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.
date made
1883
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, New Bedford
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
ID Number
AG.057716
catalog number
057716
accession number
2009.0184
Credit Line
U.S. Fish Commission, through J. T. Brown
subject
Whaling
Fishing
related event
The Development of the Industrial United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Fisheries
Work
Cultures & Communities
Clothing & Accessories
Natural Resources
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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