Whaler's Head Spade

Description
Once a whale was caught, killed, and brought alongside the mother ship, the outer flesh and fat layer, or blubber, was peeled off the carcass. Then the remains were drawn onto the vessel’s deck for further processing.
The heavy head spade was used for decapitating the whale, by chopping through the vertebrae at the base of the animal’s skull. Then the head and bone could be further processed.
Object Name
spade
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (part: handle material)
Measurements
overall: 149 cm x 7 cm; 58 11/16 in x 2 3/4 in
ID Number
1990.0018.102
catalog number
1990.0018.102
accession number
1990.0018
subject
Whaling
Transportation
Natural Resources
Work
Cultures & Communities
On the Water exhibit
event
Expansion and Reform
See more items in
Work and Industry: Fisheries
On the Water exhibit
Exhibition
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.