Trywork

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Try pots on display at the Southampton Historical Museum. Trypots.jpg
Try pots on display at the Southampton Historical Museum.

A trywork, located aft of the fore-mast, is the most distinguishing feature of a whaling ship.

Aft

Aft, in naval terminology, is an adjective or adverb meaning, towards the stern (rear) of the ship, when the frame of reference is within the ship, headed at the fore. Example: "Able Seaman Smith; lay aft!". Or; "What's happening aft?"

Mast (sailing) pole of wood, metal or lightweight materials used in the rigging of a sailing vessel to carry or support its sail

The mast of a sailing vessel is a tall spar, or arrangement of spars, erected more or less vertically on the centre-line of a ship or boat. Its purposes include carrying sail, spars, and derricks, and giving necessary height to a navigation light, look-out position, signal yard, control position, radio aerial or signal lamp. Large ships have several masts, with the size and configuration depending on the style of ship. Nearly all sailing masts are guyed.

Contents

It is a furnace, typically constructed of brick and attached to the deck with iron braces. Two cast-iron trypots are set atop the furnace and used to heat blubber from whales for the recovery of oil. The task is similar to the rendering process for producing lard by heating or frying fatty pork. A reservoir of water under the bricks keeps the furnace from scorching the wood of the deck.

Blubber thick layer of vascularized adipose tissue found under the skin of all cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians

Blubber is a thick layer of vascularized adipose tissue under the skin of all cetaceans, pinnipeds and sirenians.

Whale Marine mammals of the order Cetacea

Whales are a widely distributed and diverse group of fully aquatic placental marine mammals. They are an informal grouping within the infraorder Cetacea, usually excluding dolphins and porpoises. Whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order Cetartiodactyla, which consists of even-toed ungulates. Their closest living relatives are the hippopotamuses, having diverged about 40 million years ago. The two parvorders of whales, baleen whales (Mysticeti) and toothed whales (Odontoceti), are thought to have split apart around 34 million years ago. Whales consist of eight extant families: Balaenopteridae, Balaenidae, Cetotheriidae, Eschrichtiidae, Monodontidae, Physeteridae, Kogiidae, and Ziphiidae.

Whale oil oil obtained from the blubber of whales

Whale oil is oil obtained from the blubber of whales. Whale oil was sometimes known as train oil, which comes from the Dutch word traan.

In the 18th and 19th century New England whaling industry, the use of tryworks on whaling ships allowed them to stay at sea longer. Since they could boil out their oil during the voyage, they did not have to carry unprocessed blubber home. Slices of blubber were cut as thinly as possible for the process, and on New England whaling ships, these slices were known as "bible leaves" by the sailors. [1] The ability to use tryworks at sea thus enabled the Yankee whaling industry to flourish. [2]

New England Region in the northeastern United States

New England is a region composed of six states in the northeastern United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. It is bordered by the state of New York to the west and by the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick to the northeast and Quebec to the north. The Atlantic Ocean is to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound is to the south. Boston is New England's largest city, as well as the capital of Massachusetts. Greater Boston is the largest metropolitan area, with nearly a third of New England's population; this area includes Worcester, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Providence, Rhode Island.

The term "Yankee" and its contracted form "Yank" have several interrelated meanings, all referring to people from the United States; its various senses depend on the context. Outside the United States, "Yank" is used informally to refer to any American, including Southerners. Within the Southern United States, "Yankee" is a derisive term which refers to all Northerners, or specifically to those from the region of New England. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is "a nickname for a native or inhabitant of New England, or, more widely, of the northern States generally"; during the American Civil War, it was "applied by the Confederates to the soldiers of the Federal army".

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Harpoon long spear-like instrument used in fishing, whaling, sealing, and other marine hunting

A harpoon is a long spear-like instrument used in fishing, whaling, sealing, and other marine hunting to catch large fish or marine mammals such as whales. It accomplishes this task by impaling the target animal and securing it with barb or toggling claws, allowing the fishermen to use a rope or chain attached to the butt of the projectile to catch the animal. A harpoon can also be used as a weapon.

History of whaling

This article discusses the history of whaling from prehistoric times up to the commencement of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986. Whaling has been an important subsistence and economic activity in multiple regions throughout human history. Commercial whaling dramatically reduced in importance during the 19th century due to the development of alternatives to whale oil for lighting, and the collapse in whale populations. Nevertheless, some nations continue to hunt whales even today.

<i>Charles W. Morgan</i> (ship) American whaling ship built in 1841

Charles W. Morgan is an American whaling ship built in 1841 whose active service period was during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Ships of this type were usually used to harvest the blubber of whales for whale oil, which was commonly used in lamps. Charles W. Morgan has served as a museum ship since the 1940s and is now an exhibit at the Mystic Seaport museum in Mystic, Connecticut. She is the world's oldest surviving merchant vessel and the only surviving wooden whaling ship from the 19th century American merchant fleet. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.

Scrimshaw engravings and carvings done in bone or ivory, created by sailors

Scrimshaw is scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone or ivory. Typically it refers to the artwork created by whalers, engraved on the byproducts of whales, such as bones or cartilage. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses. It takes the form of elaborate engravings in the form of pictures and lettering on the surface of the bone or tooth, with the engraving highlighted using a pigment, or, less often, small sculptures made from the same material. However the latter really fall into the categories of ivory carving, for all carved teeth and tusks, or bone carving. The making of scrimshaw began on whaling ships between 1745 and 1759 on the Pacific Ocean, and survived until the ban on commercial whaling. The practice survives as a hobby and as a trade for commercial artisans. A maker of scrimshaw is known as a scrimshander. The word first appeared in print in the early 19th century, but the etymology is uncertain.

<i>Pequod</i> (<i>Moby-Dick</i>) fictional ship from the novel Moby-Dick

Pequod is a fictional 19th-century Nantucket whaling ship that appears in the 1851 novel Moby-Dick by American author Herman Melville. Pequod and her crew, commanded by Captain Ahab, are central to the story, which, after the initial chapters, takes place almost entirely aboard the ship during a three-year whaling expedition in the Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific oceans. Most of the characters in the novel are part of Pequod's crew, including the narrator Ishmael.

Whaler specialized ship designed for whaling

A whaler or whaling ship is a specialized ship, designed, or adapted, for whaling: the catching or processing of whales. The former includes the whale catcher – a steam or diesel-driven vessel with a harpoon gun mounted at its bow. The latter includes such vessels as the sail or steam-driven whaleship of the 16th to early 20th centuries and the floating factory or factory ship of the modern era. There have also been vessels which combined the two activities, such as the bottlenose whalers of the late 19th and early 20th century, and catcher/factory ships of the modern era.

Flensing removing of the blubber or outer integument of whales

Flensing is the removing of the blubber or outer integument of whales, separating it from the animal's meat. Processing the blubber into whale oil was the key step that transformed a whale carcass into a stable, transportable commodity. It was an important part of the history of whaling. The whaling that still continues in the 21st century is both industrial and aboriginal. In aboriginal the blubber is rarely rendered into oil, although it may be eaten as muktuk.

A try pot is a large pot used to remove and render the oil from blubber obtained from cetaceans and pinnipeds, and also to extract oil from penguins. Once a suitable animal such as a whale had been caught and killed, the blubber was stripped from the carcass in a process known as flensing. The raw blubber was then cut into pieces and heated in the try pots to extract the oil.

Samuel Enderby was an English whale oil merchant. In the 18th century, he founded Samuel Enderby & Sons, a prominent shipping, whaling, and sealing company.

New Bedford Historic District United States national historic site

The New Bedford Historic District is a National Historic Landmark District in New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States, west of the community's waterfront. During the 19th century, when the city was the center of the American whaling industry, this was its downtown. After its decline in the early and mid-20th century, through the efforts of local activist groups the district has since been preserved and restored to appear much as it was during that period.

Nedorazumeniya Island island in Russia

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Whaling in the United States

Commercial whaling in the United States dates to the 17th century in New England. The industry peaked in 1846–1852, and New Bedford, Massachusetts, sent out its last whaler, the John R. Mantra, in 1927. The Whaling industry was engaged with the production of three different raw materials: whale oil, spermaceti oil, and whalebone. Whale oil was the result of "trying-out" whale blubber by heating in water. It was a primary lubricant for machinery, whose expansion through the Industrial Revolution depended upon before the development of petroleum-based lubricants in the second half of the 19th century.

<i>Lagoda</i> half-scale model of the whaling ship Lagoda, located at the New Bedford Whaling Museum

The Lagoda is a half-scale model of the whaling ship Lagoda, located at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The original ship was built in 1826, converted to a whaling ship in 1841, and broken up in 1899. The model was commissioned in 1916 and is the world's largest whaling ship model.

Sperm whaling

Sperm whaling is the hunting of these marine mammals for the oil, meat and bone that can be extracted from their bodies. Sperm whales, a large and deep-diving species, produce a waxy substance that was especially useful during the Industrial Revolution, and so they were targeted in 19th-century whaling, as exemplified in Moby Dick. Sperm oil is no longer needed, but another unusual product, ambergris, is still valued as a perfume fixative. Although the animal is classified as a vulnerable species, aboriginal whaling in limited numbers is still permitted, notably from two villages in Indonesia, for subsistence.

<i>Two Brothers</i> (ship)

Two Brothers was a Nantucket whaleship that sank on the night of February 11, 1823, off the French Frigate Shoals. The ship's captain was George Pollard, Jr., former captain of the famous whaleship Essex. The wreck was discovered in 2008 by a team of marine archaeologists working on an expedition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

The Basques were among the first to hunt whales commercially, as opposed to aboriginal whaling, and dominated the trade for five centuries, spreading to the far corners of the North Atlantic and even reaching the South Atlantic. The French explorer Samuel de Champlain, when writing about Basque whaling in Terranova, described them as "the cleverest men at this fishing". By the early 17th century, other nations entered the trade in earnest, seeking the Basques as tutors, "for [they] were then the only people who understand whaling", lamented the English explorer Jonas Poole.

Thomas Welcome Roys was an American whaleman. He discovered the Western Arctic bowhead whale population and patented and developed whaling rockets in order to hunt the faster, more powerful species of whale that had until then eluded European whalers.

Davidson Whaling Station human settlement in New South Wales, Australia

Davidson Whaling Station is a heritage-listed former whaling station at Edrom, Bega Valley Shire, New South Wales, Australia. It was built in 1896. The property is owned by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.

References

  1. Cf. Moby-Dick , Chapter 95, "The Cassock", footnote 1.
  2. "Overview of American Whaling" Archived 2010-04-07 at the Wayback Machine , New Bedford Whaling Museum , New Bedford, Massachusetts
Herman Melville 19th-century American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best-known works are Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences of Polynesian life, and his masterpiece Moby-Dick (1851).

<i>Moby-Dick</i> 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is an 1851 novel by American writer Herman Melville. The book is sailor Ishmael's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissance, the work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891. Its reputation as a "Great American Novel" was established only in the 20th century, after the centennial of its author's birth. William Faulkner confessed he wished he had written the book himself, and D. H. Lawrence called it "one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world" and "the greatest book of the sea ever written". Its opening sentence, "Call me Ishmael", is among world literature's most famous.

Further reading

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

National Maritime Museum museum in London, England

The National Maritime Museum (NMM) is a maritime museum in Greenwich, London. The historic buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, and it also incorporates the Royal Observatory and 17th-century Queen's House. In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen formally approved Royal Museums Greenwich as the new overall title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and the Cutty Sark. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the National Maritime Museum does not levy an admission charge, although most temporary exhibitions do incur admission charges.