Daniel Gifford, PhD

The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress

Daniel Gifford, historian and author of The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress: New Bedford, Chicago, and the Twilight of an Industry, discusses the journey of the Progress, an authentic whaler transformed into a whaling museum for Chicago’s 1893 world’s fair, symbolized the dying whaling industry in the Gilded Age.

[Recorded August 27, 2020.]

History Camp Authors



    America's Summer Roadtrip 2020


      Daniel Gifford, PhD, is a public historian who focuses on American popular and visual culture, as well as museums in American culture. He received his PhD from George Mason University in 2011. He currently teaches at several universities near his home in Louisville, Kentucky.

      Daniel Gifford’s career spans both academia and public history, including several years with the Smithsonian Institution. His scholarship on American popular culture—including holidays, leisure activities, museums, and visual culture—underpins his classroom instruction as well as his many public lectures, exhibits, and digital humanities articles. He is author of The Last Voyage of the Whaling Bark Progress: New Bedford, Chicago and the Twilight of an Industry (McFarland Press, 2020). It retraces the voyage of the whaling bark Progress from New Bedford, Massachusetts to the Chicago World’s Fair, and explores questions of commemoration, historical memory, and what it means to transform a dying industry into “a museum piece.”

      https://louisville.edu/history/our-people/faculty/gifford