Stories from Dordrecht 34. The Green Lanterns

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A lesser-known economic activity of the people of Dordrecht is whaling. In the early 17th century, the cultivation of oil seeds, a raw material for, among others, candles and lamp oil, declined in the Republic. Therefore, the focus was on whales, walruses and seals. The first Dutchmen appeared in the Arctic Ocean in 1612 and the later founded Noordsche Compagnie had a monopoly on fishing there until 1642.

A real whaling company from Dordrecht could only be talked about in 1679. Then, two Dordrecht citizens successfully sent the whaler Sinter Klaas te Paard to Greenland. In the period 1680-1690, Dordrecht even had 13 whaling companies that sent 16 ships together for a number of years. This gave a major boost to the local economy.