On the Water

Whaler's Mincing Knife

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.

ID Number:
AG*025912
Place Made:
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Material:
metal, cast steel, metal, iron, hard wood, steel, wood
Date:
1876
Dimensions:
36 1/2 in.; 92.71 cm; blade: 24 x 3 1/2 in.; 60.96 x 8.89 cm; sheath: 25 in.; 63.5 cm

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