Whaler's Cutting Spade

Whaler's Cutting Spade

Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
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.”
Object Name
spade, whaling
date made
mid-1800s
Physical Description
ferrous metal (overall material)
textile (cord material)
resin coating (cord production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 17 in x 2 3/4 in; 43.18 cm x 6.985 cm
ID Number
AG.237778
catalog number
237778
accession number
045474
Credit Line
Transfer from Bureau of Fisheries
subject
Whaling
Expansion and Reform
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
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.