A lecture organised by the Abertay Historical Society to mark International Women's Day
Victorian Dundee has often been described as a ‘woman’s town’. While Dundonians readily associate women with jute mills political activism, few would associate them with Dundee’s leading role in the whaling industry. However records indicate that this was very much the case. Like men, women from every social class supported the business of Arctic whaling. They worked as seasonal labourers in the local yards, carried out independent business transactions with whaling companies, and materially supported male family members and acquaintances who voyaged north into the ice. Yet women’s most documented relationships to the whaling trade were as shareholders, investors and creditors. Until now virtually no consideration has been given to women’s involvement in the financial underpinnings of the whaling trade. This fascinating talk aims to uncover another hidden but vibrant aspect of women’s history in Dundee!
Matt Ylitalo is a doctoral student in modern history at the University of St Andrews working in collaboration with the University of Dundee and Dundee Heritage Trust. He is researching the local and global social history of Dundee’s whaling trade, hoping to uncover new aspects of Dundee’s rich heritage.