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1) A large toothed whale, also known as the sperm whale. Teeth from the cachalot have been used to make small objects, buttons, and jewelry (Kuhn 1986). Cachalot Whale oil, or Spermaceti, was popular for candles because it burned cleanly and did not soften in the summer months.

2) A brand name for a cachalot substitute wax made from Stearic acid and stearin. Stearic acid and stearin were reined from tallow using Alkali and Sulfuric acid baths to remove the animal proteins.

Sperm whale

Synonyms and Related Terms

sperm whale; cachelot

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 859
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998