Harpoon Logo
Salariya Web Books Salariya Web Books
Trying Out the Oil
Main Title You Wouldn't Want to be a Roman Gladiator!
With the blubber removed, the sperm whale’s head is cut from its body and raised onto the deck. The spermaceti (liquid wax) and teeth are removed (see below).
You Wouldn't Want to be an Egyptian Mummy!
You Wouldn't Want to be a Polar Explorer
Now it’s time to ‘try-out’ the oil from the whale’s blubber. Fires are lit in the try works and sections of blubber lowered inside the try pots. The fatty blubber boils and is converted into oil, which is poured into wooden barrels.
Whaling
Whale Logo Whale Logo
Introduction
Flensing the Whale Stove by a Whale
Trying Out - Bottom
Nantucket: Whaling Capital of the World
The Whaling Ship Essex
About this Title
Life Aboard Ship
Whaling Links on the Web
There She Blows
The Process
Salariya Book Company
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Flensing the Whale
DRAINING SPERMACETI
A hole is cut in the whale’s skull to drain the spermaceti – as much as 528 gallons (2,000 litres) from a large whale.
Trying Out
Stove by a Whale
See where spermaceti comes from.
Alone in the Pacific
PULLING TEETH.
Ropes and pulleys are used to pull the whale’s teeth from its jawbone. The teeth will be used by the sailors to carve scrimshaw.
Starvation, Madness, and Cannibalism
The Homecoming
HORSE PIECES
The long strips of whale blubber (‘blanket pieces’) are carved into smaller blocks. These are known as ‘horse pieces’.
BIBLE LEAVES
Thin slices are cut into the horse pieces. These are called ‘bible leaves’ because they flop open like the pages of a book. They are cut with a special tool (see below).
Mincing Knife
TRY POTS
The ‘bible leaves’ are put into the ‘try pots’, which are heated by the fire in the brick-built try works. The blubber melts into oil, which is skimmed off the surface, cooled and drained into barrels.
HANDY HINT
Keep a bucket of wet cloths close to the try-works. Use them to smother sparks which could set the oil-soaked ship alight!
Based on the book, You Wouldn't Want to Sail on a 19th-Century Whaling Ship!
Copyright 2004 - the Salariya Book Company
Harpoon Logo
| HOME | INTRODUCTION | NANTUCKET | THE ESSEX | LIFE ABOARD SHIP | THERE SHE BLOWS! | SLEIGH RIDE | FLENSING | TRYING OUT |

| STOVE BY A WHALE | ALONE! | STARVATION... | THE HOMECOMING | ABOUT | LINKS | WEB BOOKS | SALARIYA BOOK COMPANY |