Coopering in Preparation
Whales and Whaling pictures

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The long journey to the whaling grounds was far from being just a relaxing cruise. Like any ship at almost any time in history, the crew were kept permanently busy and there was always plenty to do. Here an age old skill of coopering (making wooden barrels) is being carried out on a factory ship in the 1930's. By this time the bulk of the oil from processed whales had been stored in tanks on board ships for many years, although in earlier whaling days when sailing ships and more labour intensive methods were used, whale oil was stored aboard ships in hundreds or thousands of such wooden barrels.

These will be for some other purpose, possibly for storing the finer grade oils derived from sperm whales that were at a premium as industrial lubricants.

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