From the Archives: Modern Scrimshaw

Here's "Needle to the Bone," an article I wrote in 2011 for the lovely but now defunct Meatpaper magazine on the subject of scrimshaw, ornamental carvings on the bones, teeth and baleen of whales. 

The second best part of growing up in New England, after Connecticut-style split-top lobster rolls, is whaling lore.

The third best part is old Puritan cemeteries where the dead have names like Goodness, Ozias, and Recompense. In the town where I grew up, the "incorrigible stubbornness of children" was made a capital crime in 1650.