A Whale of a Tale: the Mysterious Case of the Tolchester Whale

(Maryland Historical Society, 3/21/2013)

Rice 377 Go See the Whale at Tolchester

“Go See the Whale at Tolchester”, lithograph by R.H. Eichner & Company, 1889, Large Prints, Maryland Historical Society.

It’s hard to work at the Maryland Historical Society and not be familiar with the R.H. Eichner & Company color lithograph entitled “Go See the Whale at Tolchester, 1889.” An original of this iconic print lives in our library, and posters depicting it grace the halls of the Education Department and the offices on the building’s third floor. It is also prominently featured in Maryland in Prints, 1743-1900 by Laura Rice, a book we often reference when assisting researchers. It is one of our favorite prints.

Despite the print’s depiction of a large dead whale, it is surprisingly charming. The behemoth lies on the beach almost playfully, seemingly in his prime, and looking far from dead. Its jaw appears to have been braced open in a permanent smile, and on its tongue a table, a few chairs, and a Persian rug. Its beckoning smile draws in tourists, allowing them entrance for a small fee. Several well-dressed men and women are enjoying this quiet past-time, feasting in their very best clothes, as families surround the huge curiosity. It literally looks like a healthy whale just splashed up on the beach at Tolchester.

Continue reading “A Whale of a Tale: the Mysterious Case of the Tolchester Whale” at: Maryland Historical Society’s “Underbelly” Blog

This entry was posted in 1880s, Baltimorons, Roadside Attractions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Whale of a Tale: the Mysterious Case of the Tolchester Whale

  1. Melissa skinner says:

    Could I purchase a copy of the “go see the Wales at tolchester” poster. I live in Tolchester estates and would love to frame a copy for my home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.