Thomas C. Gaskill (1865-1945) Tom's River, NJ
Tom Gaskill was not a decoy carver by trade, but a carpenter who built boats for Kirk's Boat Works. He came to Tom's River around 1887 and spent the rest of his life there. Gaskill's carvings depart from the Barnegat Bay style in that they are broad and stumpy. His decoys are flat-bottomed and possess the unique feature of both a hollow body and a hollow head. The process of carving a hollow head is more time-consuming, but produces a lighter decoy. Unfortunately, the hollow neck also increases the risk of breakage at an already vulnerable point on any decoy. To compensate for this weakness, Gaskill set the heads in a tucked attitude. He did not produce mass quantities of decoys, but the ones attributed to him include black ducks, red-breasted mergansers, redheads and scaup.