Whaleship Skimmer

Description
After a whale’s blubber was melted down into oil in the try-pots, a few solids, like skin and gristle, remained floating on the surface of the oil. These were removed with a skimmer. The tool’s long handle helped keep the crew from being burned or splashed with hot oil. The leftover oily pieces of flesh, or “fritters,” were then tossed under the pots and recycled into fuel to keep the fires burning.
Object Name
skimmer
date made
1880s
Physical Description
brass (part: bowl material)
ferrous metal (part: handle material)
Measurements
overall: 3 1/4 in x 8 1/2 in x 192 1/4 in; 8.255 cm x 21.59 cm x 488.315 cm
ID Number
1990.0018.066
catalog number
1990.0018.066
accession number
1990.0018
related event
The Development of the Industrial United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Fisheries
Work
Cultures & Communities
Natural Resources
On the Water exhibit
Transportation
Exhibition
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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