Oil was needed for light and lubrication; baleen was needed for skirt hoops and corset stays. Whale products The primary products of the Yankee whale fishery were sperm oil, spermaceti, whale oil and whalebone and occasionally ambergris if any were discovered.
Another feature is its superb qualities of illumination.
Although Americans had ceased to hunt sperm whales the commercial uses of spermaceti and sperm oil both lasted well into the 1960’s in a variety of industries including leather tanning, cosmetics, the garment industry and in the manufacture of typewriter ribbons.
Whale oil Otherwise known as “train oil” the whale oils are varying shades of brown in color, depending upon the age of the blubber from which they were boiled and the general health of the animal from which they were obtained.
However, their meat is not safe for human consumption since it often contains a high amount of mercury.
Whale blubber is another reason that motivates hunters. It is also found in cosmetics, perfumes, and detergents.
Baleen is made of keratin, the same substance found in human nails, hair, hoofs, and claws.
It was used in a variety of nineteenth-century products: * Buggy whips; * Carriage springs; * Corset stays; * Fishing poles; Hoops for women’s skirts; * Umbrella ribs; * Other applications for which plastic or steel would now be used.
It saw new uses during the 19 century Industrial Revolution both in Europe and America in the tempering of steel, screw cutting and cordage manufacture.
It continued to be used as an illuminant particularly in the headlamps of miners.