Sewing Machine Sperm Oil


Sperm whale oil is very light and fine, and it has a low freezing point. As a result, it was used to lubricate fine machinery such as clocks, watches, and sewing machines from colonial times into the 20th century.

Date Made: 1870-1880

Maker: Donnell Company

Related Event: The Development of the Industrial United States


See more items in: Work and Industry: Maritime, Cultures & Communities, Work, Industry & Manufacturing, Natural Resources, Transportation, On the Water exhibit

Exhibition: On the Water

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication:

Related Publication: On the Water online exhibition

Credit Line: Gift of Robin Davis, Poseyville IN

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2007.0084.1Catalog Number: 2007.0084.1Accession Number: 2007.0084

Object Name: Sperm whale sewing machine oil

Physical Description: glass (overall material)cork (stopper material)paper (label material)Measurements: overall: 5 in x 1 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in; 12.7 cm x 4.445 cm x 3.175 cm


Record Id: nmah_1326116

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