On the Water

Whaleship Skimmer

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.

ID Number:
1990.0018.066
Date:
1880s
Dimensions:
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

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