The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Name given to fibres of old tarry ropes sundered by teasing, and employed in caulking the seams between planks in ships; the teasing of oakum is an occupation for prisoners in jails.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Oakum'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/o/oakum.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.