~ U.S. Civil War & Other 19th Ordnance ~
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Artillery - A Brief History

Although the Chinese were almost certainly the first to develop pyrotechnic compositions, the first positive European record of the use of these types of materials as gunpowder was written in AD 1326, reporting on the manufacture of brass cannon and iron balls for “the defense of the commune, camps and territory” of Florence Italy.

Max Emperor Maximillian and his Cannon Makers
Germany, 1500
Early spherical projectiles consisted of solid balls of stone or iron. By 1421, crude explosive shells were also developed. Explosive shells were never very popular however, since the lack of reliable fuze technology made those very hazardous to the gun crew.

Fundamental cannon design changed little over passing centuries. The pace of improvement was so slow that many nations kept vintage captured cannon and kept them in service for many decades after.

About the mid 1800's things changed dramatically. Advancements in technology produced stronger guns along with better fuzes and more powerful powder. Ideas which proved impractical before could now be implemented. The few short decades between the mid 19th century and the beginning of the 20th saw the most dramatic evolution of artillery weapons and ammunition in history.

Here is just a very small display of a few items of 19th century ordnance.   -ej

(Click the Picture to go to that Page)

Civil War Artillery Rounds
Muzzle Loading Artillery Rounds
Dyer (U.S.)
Hotchkiss (U.S.)
Studded (French)
Schenkl (U.S.)
12 pdr (U.S.)

Hand Grenades
Hand Grenades
Ketchum (U.S.)
6 pdr Ball (French)

Artillery Fuzes
(U.S. & French)


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