Whaler's Shoulder or Darting Gun


By the later 19th century, guns had replaced most hand harpoons and lances, since they were far more efficient and deadly to the prey. They also could be shot from a safer distance from the prey than the hand tools could be wielded. The darting gun was one of the more popular types. Loaded with different darts, this versatile weapon could be used both for harpooning and killing whales.

This particular gun was displayed at the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition in London, England. After the display ended, it was donated to the Smithsonian by its inventor, Capt. Eben Pierce of New Bedford, Mass.

Date Made: 1880sGuns Replaced Hand Tools: late 19th centuryDisplayed At The International Fisheries Exhibition: 1883

Maker: Pierce, Eben

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, New BedfordLocation Of International Fisheries Exhibition: United Kingdom: England, London

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: http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater

Related Publication: On the Water online exhibition

Credit Line: F. Gilbert Hinsdale

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TR.316550Catalog Number: 316550Accession Number: 66767

Object Name: gun, harpoonOther Terms: gun, harpoon; Maritime

Physical Description: copper alloy (overall material)ferrous metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 7 in x 37 1/2 in x 2 1/4 in; 17.78 cm x 95.25 cm x 5.715 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-3d37-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_844205

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