grytviken

Photograph of Solveig Jacobsen standing (with her dog) in front of a whale on the Grytviken flensing plan, taken by Magistrate Edward Binnie in 1916
The settlement at Grytviken was established on 16 November 1904, by the Norwegian sea captain Carl Anton Larsen as a whaling station for his Compañía Argentina de Pesca (Argentine Fishing Company). It was phenomenally successful, with 195 whales taken in the first season alone. The whalers used every part of the animals - the blubber, meat, bones and viscera were rendered to extract the oil and the bones and meat were turned into fertilizer and fodder. Elephant seals were also hunted for their blubber. Around 300 men worked at the station during its heyday, operating during the southern summer from October to March. A few remained over the winter to maintain the boats and factory. Every few months a transport ship would bring essential supplies to the station and take away the oil and other produce. The following year the Argentine Government established a meteorological station.