Grinding and pressing crude spermaceti for removal
of taut-pressed oil. Interior view of oil refinery. Filling bottles
with sperm whale oil 1902.
Sperm whales have a particular kind of oil called
"spermaceti" in their massive heads. This is different to the normal
kind of whale oil from blubber that is used by the whale for insulation
and also for food storage, it therefore has different properties.
Spermaceti is a liquid when warm (when obtained from
the whale) and turns to a white solid on contact with air and when it
cools. This are pictures of a shore processing factory where the spermaceti
brought back in barrels by whaling ships is being turned into whale
oil products - mainly high quality candles.
Image courtesy NOAA