Extract from Thomas Jefferson’s Observations on the Whale-Fishery
|[before 19 Nov. 1788]|
The Refinery for whale oil lately established at Rouen, seems to be an object worthy of national attention. in order to judge of it’s importance, the different qualities of whale oil must be noted ... the Spermaceti whale found by the Nantucketmen in the neighborhood of the Western islands ... yeilds no smell at all. it is used therefore within doors to lighten shops, & even in the richest houses for antichambers, stairs, galleries &c ... The Groenland whale oil is next in quality ... but it has a smell insupportable within doors, & is not luminous.