HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

27 June 2016

Museum Artifacts.

Here are just a few glimpses of some of the items in the museum’s collection that aren’t on display at the moment.
HARPOOJHead of a whale harpoon, launched from a harpoon gun.
Detail of the the firing mechanism of a hand held rifle used to launch small harpoons.
Tip of the bomb lance from the gun above.
Flight from the bomb lance above.
IMG_7186The gun is very heavy and I should imagine would produce quite a kick on firing.

The hand-held shoulder gun was invented by the American whaler Captain Eben Pierce around 1868.

Used in whaling during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The projectile was a bomb lance or whaling bomb, which exploded when it hit the whale.

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 hand lancing operation.

The bomb is provided with a fuse which is set to fire automatically when it is discharged,  and burns for three seconds before exploding the bomb itself.
This arrangement gives the bomb plenty of time to strike the whale and become embedded in the flesh before it explodes.
The bombs are filled with a pound of powder, so the result of the explosion is likely to be fatal.


firing a bomb lance
Firing a bomb lance.
The recoil from such a gun often resulted in the whaler being thrown into the water.



No comments :

Post a Comment