whale oil


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whale oil,

oil extracted from the blubber and other parts of certain species of whales. It varies in composition, color, and the degree of fishy odor according to the method and extent of refining. Formerly widely used as an illuminant, it was superseded by petroleum products. It is used today in soapmaking, as a leather dressing, and as a lubricant. Some is hydrogenated to form edible fats. The term is also sometimes used to include sperm oilsperm oil,
liquid wax obtained from the sperm whale, or cachalot, and related marine mammals. It flows readily, is clear, and varies in color from pale yellow to brownish yellow. Chemically it is not a true oil.
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whale oil

[′wāl ‚ȯil]
(materials)
A combustible, nontoxic, yellow-brown fixed oil obtained from whale blubber; soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, carbon disulfide, and benzene; used as a lubricant, illuminant, and leather dressing, and in soapmaking and fat manufacture. Also known as blubber oil.
References in periodicals archive ?
In its early days, when Hobart was a major port of whaling, one pint of sperm whale oil was used to fuel the light ever hour, a total of 440 gallons every year, according to a story in The Mercury by Jennifer Crawley.
Although jojoba oil seems similar to other vegetable oils, its chemical composition closely resembles that of sperm whale oil (which was outlawed in 1971).
For many years, from 1933 until at least the end of 1952, the main whaling product was whale oil.
The whale itself is covered by skin and blubber, which constitutes the main mass of the animal and is melted down for whale oil.
Each part details the unique features of the period, both social and technical, such as changes in tools, ship design, hunting locations, key home ports, the laws and regulations governing the industry, uses for whale oil and bone, and the obstacles and dangers of whaling.
Although Cook never found the continent, he observed huge reserves of one of the most precious commodities of his eighteenth-century world: oil -- specifically, whale oil.
Illegal spermaceti candles were made from sperm whale oil - spermaceti was also once used for cosmetics.
That was 1859 and as whale stocks were depleting, the cost of whale oil skyrocketed and for the first time Americans had to consider an alternative, more economical source of fuel for lighting their household lamps.
In the 1850s, long before we became "addicted" to oil, the nation faced a shortage of another critical raw material: whale oil.
Colonel" Edwin Drake hammered a pipe into the ground in search of a replacement for depleting whale oil as a fuel for lamps.