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Whaling lance bomb

Date: 19th century
Dimensions:
Overall: 27 x 27 x 390 mm, 0.48 kg
Medium: Metal, cork, leather
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Lance bomb
Object No: 00033893

User Terms

    Description
    The hand-held shoulder gun was used in whaling during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The projectile was a bomb lance or whaling bomb, which exploded after it had pierced the whale.
    SignificanceThis whaling lance is typical of the 19th century whaling period in the Southern Seas.
    HistoryEarly killing methods were as dangerous to the crews as they were deadly to the whale. Hand-thrown harpoons merely attached a rope to the whale to stop it from escaping. Actual killing of the wounded and thrashing mammal was done at close range. A long lance pierced the lungs or heart for a slow death.

    Bomb lances were introduced with shoulder guns to solve the problem of getting close enough to a whale to lance it, particularly in ice fields, and eliminate the often hazardous lancing operation.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: WHALING LANCE BOMB

    Web title: Whaling lance bomb

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