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Case Bailer


Martha's Vineyard Museum

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About this artifact

This deep wooden bucket was used for bailing the spermaceti oil from the sperm whale's head while it was still in the water. The the part of the head that held the best oil was the "case." The process of getting the oil out was known as "bailing the case". The head was turned nose down and a man was lowered from the ship, with the bucket, in order to remove the oil. Notes in the Martha's Vineyard Museum's records indicate that this bucket may have been used on the whaling ship "Wanderer" of New Bedford, which wrecked off Cuttyhunk in the Elizabeth Islands on August 19, 1924.

c. 1920
Width: 11" Length: 23"

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