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Object Name Tongs, Oyster
Date 1900-1950
Description Long handled oyster tongs for shellfishing. Wrought iron implement with two opposing rake ends which have sets of pointed tines that project from a sifting basket formed by iron straps. Two long tapered wood handles pivot to swing apart. Tool is operated by bringing handles together, causing tines to grasp shellfish and catch them in the sifter basket.
(Keywords: Fishing, Shellfish)
Acquisition Gift of Michael Murphy
Ownership and History This item was used by the family of Charles Blaich (1890-1963). Mr. Blaich served for many years as a New York City firefighter, and resided with his family at 144 Roe Street in West New Brighton, Staten Island. These oyster tongs, along with an eel spear, a bait trap, and a clam rake, were all found in the house by the subsequent owner, and were donated to the Historical Society in 1988.

Robert Blaich, the youngest son of Charles Blaich, recalls that the family used maritime tools like these for leisure-time activity in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. They had their own boat and outboard motor, as did many of their friends, and they spent their time on the water in the areas of Great Kills, Crooke's Point, and Princes Bay, Staten Island.
Earliest Date 1900
Latest Date 1950
Subjects Oystering
Lexicon Sub-category Fishing & Trapping T&E
Associated People Blaich, Charles
Blaich, Charles Jr.
Blaich, Robert
Catalog Number 88.021.0003
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2012.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.