Capturing a Whale

Call me Ishmael

“View of harpooner ironing a Sperm Whale. From The Capture a lithograph made in 1862 by Endicott & R. S. Gifford, corrected by Benjamin Russell.” What sort of corrections could have been required? Did the Giffords read Moby Dick and think all whales were white? Did they draw Captain Ahab’s leg in there somewhere?

This Plastichrome postcard, probably produced in the late 1970s or early ’80s, describes itself as “Classic Whaling Series #1”. I can’t help but wonder if there was ever a second card in the series. What’s neat about this postcard is that it came to me just the other day from a Postcrosser, who found it in an old bookstore.

Another tidbit from the card says that it was produced from the lithograph owned by The Book and Tackle Shop, and was in fact distributed by them as well. The Book and Tackle Shop was established in 1953, and still conducts business from Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

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4 Responses

  1. Kris says:

    It looks like the whale is already belly up. Wonder why the harpoonist is still lunging?

  2. Stephanie says:

    This card is fantastic, a real treasure.

  3. billy milliken says:

    I have that old postcard plus another whaling one out of the series called the chase

  1. 21 March 2016

    […] This is a Plastichrome postcard, probably from the late 1970s or early 1980s, printed in Ireland, and distributed by the Book & Tackle Shop of Westerly, Rhode Island. (I believe that they’ve since moved to Watch Hill.) This isn’t my first postcard from the Book & Tackle folks; I also have a reproduction of a lithograph that hangs/hung in their shop depicting the capture of a whale. […]

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