Whaler's Mincing Knife

Description
Whaling crews used mincing knives to cut the blubber strips into thin slices down to, but not through, the thick whale skin. This process increased the surface area of the blubber and helped it melt faster in the try-pots. Cut in this fashion, the sections of whale blubber and skin were known as “bible leaves” because they resembled the pages of a book.
Object Name
mincing-knife
date made
1876
collected
1876
Physical Description
cast steel (blade material)
iron (back-frame material)
hard wood (handles material)
steel (feruls material)
wood (sheath material)
Measurements
overall: 36 1/2 in; x 92.71 cm
blade: 24 in x 3 1/2 in; 60.96 cm x 8.89 cm
sheath: 25 in; x 63.5 cm
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, New Bedford
ID Number
AG*025912
accession number
005019
catalog number
025912
subject
Whaling
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
referenced
Brown, James Temple. The Whale Fishery and Its Appliances
Related Publication
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater

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