I am reading The Watercooler Effect: a Psychologist Explores the Extraordinary Powers of Rumors by Nicholas DiFonzo.
In The Watercooler Effect, an except from the 1850 novel White-Jacket by Herman Melville, he explains what a scuttle-butt is:
“The scuttle-butt is a goodly, round, painted cask, standing on end, and with its upper head removed, showing a narrow, circular shelf within, where rest a number of tin cups for the accommodation of drinkers. Central, within the scuttle-butt itself, stands an iron pump, which, connecting with the immense water–tanks in the hold, furnishes an unfailing supply of the much-admired Pale Ale.”
You can download a copy of Herman Melville’s White-Jacket from link below.
When I finish the book, I will post my comments.