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New Bedford Was ‘The City That Lit The World’


New Bedford Whaling Museam

We’ve been to the Whaling Museum, through the historic downtown section, and to the waterfront where the fishing boats are docked.  However, many of us don’t know much about the rich history of New Bedford.   There are some amazing facts about this city that few of us knew.

Because of it’s whaling industry, New Bedford was “The City That Lit The World.”  Most of the whale oil used in lamps was a product of our whaling industry.  

New Bedford was the richest town in America at that time.  The city had more millionaires per capita than any other place on earth.   And although there is no more whaling, we are still the country’s most profitable commercial fishing port.  

Another factor in the history of New Bedford was Hetty Howland Green.   She was born in 1834 to the owners of the Howland Fleet, which included 50 whaling ships.   She had no brothers, so at a young age she began reading the daily financial news, and soon developed a knack for business.  She was actually referred to as “The Witch of Wall Street” at one time.   Hetty Howland Green married late married late, and save her money.  When she died in 1916, she was worth $100 million, which would be $17 billion in today’s economy.     

Thank you to the New Bedford Economic Development Office for these interesting facts taken from an article  from the Huffington Post.   There is a link below.

Huffington Post

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