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.

Date Made: 1876Collected: 1876

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, New Bedford

Used: WhalingRelated Event: The Development of the Industrial United States


See more items in: Work and Industry: Fisheries, Cultures & Communities, Work, 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: Brown, James Temple. The Whale Fishery and Its Appliances, On the Water online exhibition

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: AG.025912Accession Number: 005019Catalog Number: 025912

Object Name: mincing-knife

Physical Description: cast steel (blade material)iron (back-frame material)hard wood (handles material)steel (feruls material)wood (sheath material)Measurements: overall: 36 1/2 in; x 92.71 cmblade: 24 in x 3 1/2 in; 60.96 cm x 8.89 cmsheath: 25 in; x 63.5 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-1bd3-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_867028

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