Harpoon cannons (and harpoons)?


#1

I’m looking for some insight into harpoon cannons and harpoons (as used in whaling). Are any of you aware of books/research which specifically examine harpoon cannons’ methods of operation, major manufacturers, and types/models available (historically and at present)? I’m mostly seeking to document the technical characteristics of different types and models, and all known manufacturers, from 1900 to present day. It would also be important to examine the projectiles themselves in a similar way (types, models, manufacturers, etc.). Operational notes/manuals/etc. on employment of different harpoon cannons would also be useful.

Finally, are there ‘harpoon (cannon) experts’ known to any of you?

Many thanks!


#2

RougeAdventurer:

THERE ISN’T A LOT OF INFORMATION OUT THERE ON THIS SUBJECT IN THE WAY OF BOOKS OR REFERENCE MATERIAL. GOOGLE, “SVEND FOYN” AND YOU WILL FIND A LITTLE INFORMATION.

YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO CONTACT THE FOLLOWING MUSEUMS.

THE SAG HARBOR WHALING & HISTORICAL MUSEUM
200 MAIN STREET
SAG HARBOR, NY 11963
631-725-0770

NEW BEDFORD WHALING MUSEUM
18 JOHNNY CAKE HILL
NEW BEDFORD, MA 02740
508-997-0046

THE WHALING MUSEUM & EDUCATIONAL CENTER
279 MAIN STREET
COLD SPRING HARBOR, NY 11724
631-367-3418

WHEN CONDUCTING RESEARCH INTO THINGS IN THE PAST, I HAVE HAD FAIRLY GOOD LUCK WITH MUSEUMS. IF THEY DON’T HAVE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THEY MAY KNOW WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT. I KNOW AT ONE TIME THE NEW BEDFORD MUSEUM HAD A DISPLAY OF HARPOONS, HARPOON GUNS AND RELATED MATERIAL.

GOOD LUCK ON YOUR RESEARCH.

SOMETIME BACK THERE WAS A THREAD ON THIS FORUM THAT HAD TO DO WITH A WHALE GUN AND ITS AMMUNITION BUT I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO LOCATE IT. PERHAPS SOMEONE ELSE MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE FORUM CAN ASSIST.


#3

you will find some posts I made about whale guns but they are for before 1900 guns.
I have a friend who is collecting this kind of material and he has a pretty advanced collection.
Tell me for which model you are looking info and he has perhaps something.
jp


#4

Thank you, gentlemen.

Jean-Pierre - I am looking for broad information on operating mechanisms, types/classes, and harpoon types and functions. It would also be good to understand the historical and present manufacturers, and list their offerings. The likely output is a short (6-10) page document. Perhaps your friend might be interested in helping author such a thing? You can get hold of me at: nic@armamentresearch.com


#5

Hello

In Norway several local mechanical workshops made whaling guns. Kongsberg and Bofors (Sweden) were the bigger manufacturers.They introducedguns with recoilbrakes about at the same time. Bofors even had a doubblebarreled cannon.
skipshistorie.net/Sandefjord/SFJ … 0MAJOR.htm

Here’s a link to Kongsbergs models. It has a lot of info about the use and loading etc…, but written in norwegian
kvf.no/guns-hval.php
youtube.com/watch?v=vTdnpny4gZw

The digital museum has some pictures from various norwegian museums:
digitaltmuseum.no/search?query=hvalkanon

Cannons by L.H.Hagen, a famous norwegian gunsmith.
digitaltmuseum.no/search?query=kanon%20hagen

The whaling museum at Sandefjord might give you some info.
hvalfangstmuseet.no/en/

mfs.dk/sites/default/files/d … n76-86.pdf


#6

I am researching “line throwing guns” which are closely related to harpoon guns. Here are the sources I have fencountered with some good information on harpoon or whaling guns, although mostly small arms rather than cannon types, and mostly pre-1900:

Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and their Values has excellent descriptions and historical information on many whaling and darting guns in Chapter XVIII.

“Whaling Guns.” Arms Heritage Magazine Volume 3, No. 4 has exceptional examples and photos.
https://armsheritagemagazine.com/

Thomas G. Lytle, Harpoons and Other Whalecraft, New Bedford, MA, 1984, is another excellent source.