Whaler's Monkey Belt

Description
After a whale was captured and killed, its carcass was towed by the whaleboat to the side of the mother ship for processing. Cutting up the whale was done by crewmen standing on a wooden plank, or cutting stage, rigged out over the side of the ship so that they could stand directly over the body. Crewmen used this canvas “monkey belt” to secure themselves while they stripped the whale of its blubber. It was dangerous and slippery work. If a sailor slid into the water he risked drowning or being attacked by sharks looking for an easy meal.
Object Name
belt, monkey
date made
1883
Physical Description
canvas (belt material)
rope (tail material)
Measurements
overall: 18 3/4 in x 6 1/8 in; 47.625 cm x 15.5575 cm
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, New Bedford
ID Number
AG*057716
catalog number
057716
accession number
2009.0184
subject
Whaling
Transportation
Natural Resources
Work
Cultures & Communities
Clothing & Accessories
Fishing
event
The Development of the Industrial United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Fisheries
Exhibition
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
U.S. Fish Commission, through J. T. Brown
referenced
Brown, James Temple. The Whale Fishery and Its Appliances
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater

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