On the Water

Whaler's Cutting Spade

After a whale was captured, killed, and brought alongside the mother ship, its carcass had to be processed. First, a heavy hook was set into its skin and the hook’s line was taken aboard. Set on a long wooden handle, the cutting spade was used to cut “blanket pieces,” or long, thick, wide slices of skin and blubber from the body. The whale’s flesh was then hauled aboard for further processing. This example is marked “J.D. Cast Steel.”

ID Number:
AG*237778
Material:
metal, steel
Date:
mid-1800s
Dimensions:
17 x 2 3/4 in.; 43.18 x 6.985 cm
Source:
Transfer from Bureau of Fisheries

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