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Cannons and Explosives
Links to History from around the World
Over 400 thumbnail images and 104 full pages
hyperlinked interactive PDF Educational
Visual Index 1.1 eHistory GB Series
ISBN 9780953861378

Further information

Cannons and Explosives
Links to History from around the World FULL DOWNLOADABLE PDF
Over 400 thumbnail images and 104 full pages
hyperlinked interactive PDF Educational
Visual Index 1.1 eHistory GB Series
ISBN 9780953861378

1.3 Cannon & Explosives Introduction
2.8 Gun and Cannon Design C14th to C19th
3.7 Early Training Ships & Royal Navy Schools
4.13 Manufacturing Bronze & Iron Techniques from both North and South Wales, Iron Bridge Telford and Carron Iron Works Stirlingshire, Scotland 5.17 Old and New World Wars, Countries and States still using old horse-power, early samples of new technologies being used for the first time like: Photography, Telegraph, Newspaper and Medical treatments and Ambulances 6.4 Land and Naval Cannon, Fortifications of Forts, many finds Worldwide in Europe and America. 7.10 La Belle the Restoration and Preservation, Ship Wrecks Navigation and Time calibration using Noonday Guns 8.18 Gun & Cannon used in the American Civil War 9.9 Safe Manufacture and Testing of Explosives for Industry. Personal Safety, it is illegal to manufacture explosives without a license
10.10 Additional Information, Web Links, Adverts & Downloads
Over 400 thumbnail images, 104 pages fully interactive
Visual Index 1.1 eHistory GB Series PDF Educational Pages
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GB Carron Iron Works Stirlingshire, from Cannons to Post Office Pillar Boxes
Hand Cannon and grenade from the 10th Century Dunhuang. This is the earliest depiction of an explosive fire in China. Right, C14th Casting of Cannon, Bombarda Mortar.
The Loshult cannon was found in Loshult, Skåne, Sweden, and is now in the Statens Historiska Museum. This is cast from bronze and weighs 9.07 kg and has a muzzle calibre of 36 mm and an overall length of 300 mm.
Early cannons are cast from a variety of metals and were probably made in bell foundries. From the mid 14th Century cannon were made up of a cylindrical wooden core, alongside which longitudinal wrought iron strips were placed, and hammered over this were heated metal hoops. The whole cannon was then heated to burn out the core and fuse the wrought iron together. The performance of the Tannenberg Gun with 4.5 g of 4 of 8 powder behind a patched 16.8 mm round ball, and the performance of the Danziger gun with 3.0 g powder and a patched 11.8 mm round ball. The bullets were fired from a distance of two meters. The dents in the steel plates are witnessing tests with more moderate loads. Certainly, medieval personal armour was made from hardened steel. But due to its weight, it was hardly possible to wear two-millimetre armour. As I could prove, it is easily possible to pierce steel of considerable thickness with my primitive, homemade black powder. The Tannenberg gun with fully loaded chamber (4.5 g powder) = 2.0 mm steel. The little Danziger gun with fully loaded chamber (3.0 g powder)….. = 1.5 mm steel. The advance of firearms, beginning with the hand gun, changed warfare at the end of the 14th century entirely.
The iron guns were loaded in a different way to the bronze guns.
They had a breech chamber that was taken out to be filled with gunpowder. The picture below shows the chamber and the wedge used to hold it in place lying next to the gun.
The ship was equipped with two different types of light guns. The majority of these were swivel guns, mounted on stirrups cut into the rails on the castle and upper decks. They had a tail-like tiller which enabled them to be trained and elevated by the gunner. They were of wrought iron construction and had a bore of between 46 and 65mm. C16th Naval and Land Forts using composite Iron, Steel Cannon and Bronze Muzzle-loading Lantaka.
Early Cannon Manufacture in 14th C, this 1518 early cannon muzzle was made of wrought iron bombard with the design features assembled like a wooden barrel. From the Museu Militar, Lisbon. Each stave where hammer-welded together around a wooden mandrel; the reinforced hoops were then heated white hot, slid over the staves and hammer-welded into place. 1470 Leonardo Da Vinci Master Visionary draw up designs of multiple barrel cannons to very large cannon firing stone cannon balls.
After HMS Mary Rose, a long tradition of Skills Training for Royal Navy schools, like HMS Conway, a Navy Merchant Ship, and over 300 years of shore bases, some active today. The bronze guns from the Mary Rose are some of the earliest made in England. Examples of 16th to 18th Century Naval Swivel Guns and their designs.
1806 Early Rockets from Fireworks to Gunnery by Hale and Congreve. From 1830’s-Rockets for War & Saving Life. “Quit Ye Like Men be Strong”, the motto of HMS Conway. The land base, now the Conway Centre, is next to Plas Newydd, Nr. Menai Bridge, Anglesey, North Wales. Training Ships “Conway” & “Excellent” are broken up and made into land base Schools and Colleges. C18th European Battle Ships with state-of-the-art Precision Engineering using the best timber, bronze and iron, built in France, Holland and Britain. 18th-20th century Bronze & Iron Casting all over Britain, Europe & America. 18th-20th c Cannon War Production in Britain fighting on a World scale over Sea and Land for 300 years.
18th-20th century Gun Foundry melting, mould and machining worldwide, Tredegar Iron Works Richmond, Virginia, Cyfarthfa Ironworks Merttyr Tydfil 1825 and Carron Iron Works Stirlingshire.
C18th-19th Precision Mechanical Engineering, 400 years, the black smoke age of the Industrial Revolution burning Wood, Charcoal and then and Coke for Iron Smelting, in Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge. 17th-19th Century Waterpower Machinery, river and canal transport. 19th-20th Century Factories started to Employ large numbers of workers to build the Steam Engines. James Sharples did not achieve long-lasting glory or the financial support of wealthy patrons. But he proved that ordinary people can pursue their dreams despite many obstacles, and he celebrated the difficult lives of the working-class people.
Trade Unions: The Amalgamated Society of Engineers was formed in 1851.
Over the following year many of the societies gradually decided on formal amalgamation including the New Society of Millwrights; the Old Society of Engineers and Machinists of London; the London Smiths; the Steam Engine Makers’ Society; the United Machine Workers’ Association; the United Kingdom Society of Amalgamated Smiths and Strikers; the Associated Brassfounders’, Turners’, Fitters’ and Finishers’ Society; the North of England Brassfounders’ Society; the Amalgamated Instrument Makers’ Society and the Amalgamated Society of General Toolmakers, Engineers and Machinists. By the end of 1851 the number of members had increased to 10,481 and the birth of one of the most influential unions in the United Kingdom was complete. Sheffield in 1858 one of the fast-growing steel towns, together with Lymington Ironworks on the Tyne.
High Precision Cannon Engineering, with design improvements to the Crimean War,
Roger Fenton photographs taken by Marcus Sparling over 200 sepia prints 1854-6.
Showing the Balaklava Harbour & Base Camp, the Railway and Mud Roads at Balaklava.
Army Drilling & 1st Summer Encampments, of Soldiers, Officers, Generals, Chaplin for the Living & Dead. Photographs of “Lords”- Officer, local camel sport and specialist soldiers,
the best of British, 72 to 96 Grenadier Guards Regiments. Views from Balaklava protected from high ground and from the sea. A set of 4 lithographs showing the Battle of the Balaklava starting from all sides. In 1854 the Charge of the Light Brigade against Cannon,
in Crimean Winter, wooden buildings and underground shelters. A winter view of
1854-5 British transport vessels in harbour in Balaclava. After each Day and Night follows Life or Death (original photographs). Images from Crimean Armies of Turkey, Russia, France & Britain.
Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale trained Volunteer Nurses in good practice, saving many Soldiers’ lives. The longed for “Ambulance Service”, was established through the unfailing efforts of Florence Nightingale. Understandably, those who wished to use the vehicle of mercy had to supply their own horse or else hire one. Damaged and Wounded Soldiers returning Home to their Families are the lucky ones.
New Scientific Inventions help to give newspapers the power to describe the Horrors of War. Soon after the publication of this news article, two more Assistant Army Postmasters, Mr Sissons and Henry Mellersh, plus seven sorters were despatched from London. They arrived in Constantinople on 5 February 1855. Mr Mellersh was to play a significant part in the establishment of a dedicated Army Postal Service, the first International Money Order Service (1854). In response to demands made by Florence Nightingale, a method of transmitting money was devised to allow troops to transfer monies back to their families at home in the United Kingdom. This was designed to prevent drunkenness and became the world’s first International Money Order Service. In its first month of operation,
£7,000 was remitted by the British troops.
Within 6 years the American Civil War would develop all the latest inventions: Photography, Telegraph & Morse Code, War Reporters Newspaper Correspondents, Hydrogen Balloons for checking troop movements. The War Postal Service would help to keep soldiers both Union and Confederate in touch with their families. These were most useful as both sides had taken 1000’s of prisoners. Field and Hospital care was very important, horse drawn Ambulances were also used.
We take a step back our journey continues from Edward’s 1st Castle from the first Guns and Cannon, to the rapid World development of Warfare from 14th c to 20th c on Land and Sea.
14c Castles gave protection only against arrows and light Guns. Forts like Belan were designed and built all over Britain and around the World, specially designed to guard shipping Ports in Europe and came to prominence in American Civil War. A French print of 1803 showing a plan for invasion forces to cross the Channel by boat, balloon and tunnel.
106 Forts protecting the American Southern States alone, all built with large earth embankments. The American Civil War is covered in “The USS Alabama visual eHistory”.
Naval Forts of the Confederacy, designs including Casement, Citadels, Batteries, Redoubt, Tower, Turret, and Hospitals built before 1857. Palmerston Naval Forts, designs of Barracks, Battery, Citadel, Redoubt, Tower, Turret, and Hospitals built in before 1857, with the threat from French invasion. Examples of Forts in Europe and in the American Civil War.
The Discovery and Excavation of La Salle’s Shipwreck 1996-7,
“La Belle” 1686, the only early ship to survive in North America, early French trading with the Indians. C14th to C20th Cannons found on or near the “La Belle” wreck, how they are found, and reconditioned to original polished state. Most show their owner’s coat-of-arms, maker’s marks and dates. The discovery and excavation of La Sall’s shipwreck, La Belle inside her Cofferdam, shown in colour. C17th to 19th New World Trading. Iron axe heads were important trade items to the Indians, as they had no technology for metallurgy. Thousands of glass trade beads were found on board the ship, more than 575,000 of them in one wooden box alone. Small brass bells—often termed “hawk bells”—were popular trade items. These bells were sewn on native clothing. CSS Alabama built by Lairds GB in 1861 sunk & burnt 50 USA Ships, a new eBook in preparation.
Since the Earth rotates at a steady rate of 360° per day, or 15° per hour (in mean solar time), there is a direct relationship between time and longitude. If the navigator knew the time at a fixed reference point when some event occurred at the ship’s location, the difference between the reference time and the apparent local time would give the ship’s position relative to the fixed location. Finding apparent local time is relatively easy. The problem, ultimately, was how to determine the time at a distant reference point while on a ship.
By using an astrolabe helped them measure the Sun’s angle above the horizon which could then be looked up in a table to see how far north or south of the equator they were.
Navigators could determine their latitude by measuring the sun’s angle at noon (i.e., when it reached its highest point in the sky, or culmination). To find their longitude, however, they needed a time standard that would work aboard a ship.
The Longitude Act 1714, Parliament Act of Queen Anne, 12, cap. 15 (the Longitude Act), passed on 8 July 1714, provided a large incentive for solving the longitude problem.
Harrison’s Chronometer solved the problem of longitude for 34 years and had produced a number of solutions of varying quality (and enormous size), but in 1760 he produced his masterpiece, the H4. The longitude problem was eventually solved by a working-class carpenter from Lincolnshire, England with little formal education. John Harrison challenged the scientific and academic establishment of his time and won the famous Longitude Prize. He used his mechanical genius and extraordinary determination to build a clock that could function at sea. His discovery enabled navigators to accurately fix their position.
C21st Cannon & Explosives in North Wales. Their many Links to History from around the World, regatta, noon day guns. The Restoration and Preserving of Guns and Cannons
Explosives, and their Safe use for Good 106 Forts protecting the American Southern States. Built all over Europe with large earth embankments, over 50 in South of England GB.
Noonday Gun is still setting the Time in Canada, Hong Kong, Malta and Scotland.
7×3= 21 Gun Salutes The custom stems from naval tradition, where a warship would fire 7 cannons harmlessly out to sea, to show that it was disarmed, signifying the lack of hostile intent. X3 for all land Salutes Military saluting stations are London, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Cardiff and Hillsborough Castle in County Down, Northern Ireland. In London, salutes are fired in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London. On State Visits, at the State Opening of Parliament and for The Queen’s Birthday Parade, Green Park is used instead of Hyde Park. The salute is fired by The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. The first round is fired at noon (11.00 am on The Queen’s official birthday).
At the Tower of London, the salute is fired by the Honourable Artillery Company at 1.00 pm. Gun salutes occur on the following Royal anniversaries: 6 February (Accession Day) 21 April (The Queen’s birthday) 2 June (Coronation Day) 10 June (The Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday) The Queen’s official birthday (a Saturday in June) 14 November (The Prince of Wales’s birthday) The State Opening of Parliament (usually November or December).
Gun salutes also occur when Parliament is prorogued by the Sovereign, on Royal births and when a visiting Head of State meets the Sovereign in London, Windsor or Edinburgh.
Gun and Cannon in the American Civil War 1861-65
1807 Slavery was banned in GB, U.S. Army learning from the Art of War in Europe. Both the North and South developed new weapons on land, sea and the mighty Mississippi the USS Essex Ironclad, CSS Freeborn and Monitor. The Federal States developed armoured Ferries called Ironclads, the forerunner of our modern Battle Ships. From Steam Ferry to Battleships in only 4 years. Out of the evil of War, social history is changing society quickly, technology will change from Steamer to Ironclad Battleships with Rotating Cannon Turrets. A New Breed of Battle Ships 1861-65, from the Mississippi Confederate States and Union Navy Ironclad Ferry Boats, Torpedoes and Submarines. British Naval Skills are taught to American Navies North & South. Crewmembers of the USS Wissahickon by the ship’s Dahlgren XI-inch pivot gun, during the Civil War. On the right communication by Flag signals. The sinking of the Alabama one of the First Great Battle Ships in Maritime History. In July 1861, a contract was signed with shipbuilders Laird Brothers, for vessel number 290, known as Enrica. On 29 July 1862 Enrica went to sea supposedly for trials with various dignitaries on board. After putting them off by a tug she quietly sailed off for the Azores to take on armaments and ammunition and begin life as the blockade-runner CSS Alabama. Sinks over 50 ships. CSS Alabama (No.290 Enrica): commissioned 24th August 1862, commanded by Capt. R. Semmes, 65 prizes (53 sunk, 9 bonded, 1 converted to raider, 1 sold, released), sunk by USS Kearsage 19 June 1864 in English Channel. Our last ship the Ironclad HUÁSCAR of Perú & Chile , Built in 1864-66 at Laird’s in Birkenhead, England, sister ship to the Alabama.
Making of Gunpowder into a Fine Paste.
The main manufacturing industry in Penrhyndeudraeth established in 1872 to make guncotton. Cookes Explosives Ltd – part of the Imperial Chemical Industries (I.C.I.) dealing with increased demand for munitions during World War I set up a new explosives factory. A measured amount of explosive would be loaded into a mortar (a small cannon), the muzzle of which is then pushed into the cavity in the pendulum (which weighs two tons) and the fuse lit. The resulting movement of the pendulum determines the quality of the batch of explosives being tested. The Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey and Ardeer. A chronograph that records the time it takes the shadow of the bullet to pass two photo cells and then, as a result, the instrument displays the velocity on its panel. According to Newton, the bullet-energy then is Pendulum it’s easy to measure the velocity and the energy of a bullet. You simply buy calculated: Energy (Joule) = m/2 * V2 where m = mass of bullet (kg) and V = velocity (m/s). In GB regulations clearly say you cannot legally manufacture explosives without a license. CHARCOAL and SALTPETRE Soon after the writing of the “Liber Ignum”. and the “history”, of black powder ca. 1300, we hear from Roger Bacon in his book “Opus Tertium” 1275, that black powder was used for fire crackers. Combustible Dust Explosions from materials like wood, plastics, coal, sugar, paper, soap, dried blood, flour, feed, certain textiles, plastics durable goods, rubber and most metals (such as aluminium, zinc, chromium, and magnesium), in a chemical fusion. Rock Cannon these holes were on average 125 mm in depth and between 25 mm and 32 mm in diameter. Where used to celebrate the and show-off powder man’s skills to blast out a tune. Dexpan Non Explosive Demolition Agent by silent cracking, an alternative to Explosive-Blasting, Jack Hammer, Hydraulic Breaker, Diamond Blade Concrete Saw and other demolition hammer breaker equipment, rock breaking tools.
Part of a new series of eBooks expanding on Corporal John Griffiths Jones (Ballistic 1843-1864) Cased Photographs Collection Wisconsin Volunteers, Civil War, 1861-1865 Welsh letter collection will be translated, together with a mixed collection of original pencil sketches showing battle scenes and every-day life in and around the war zones and prison-camps.
Some background history from the 1830’s Catlin’s illustrated record of 50 native Americans tribes. Before their way of life changed for ever, due to immigrants taking away their lands.