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Inventor of the Temple Toggle Iron.
Scrimshaw on mammoth ivory
on cocabola and mammoth ivory mount.
3.75"H x 3.75"W x 1.25"D

Private Collection


Front and Reverse Views

The harpoon invented by Lewis Temple was one of the most significant inventions in the history of whaling and was used by virtually every whaleman. Temple, a former slave, had learned the trade of blacksmithing while in bondage. When he arrived in New Bedford in 1829 he found work almost immediately on Coffin's Wharf. This is the same wharf where Frederick Douglass later found work as a caulker. After several years Temple established his own blacksmith shop at 3 Walnut Street. It was there in 1848 that he invented the Temple Toggle Iron.



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