Jeremiah

Odd find in log cabin located in eastern TN

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I found this while dismantling an old log structure in eastern TN. It must have been in the chinking and my first thought was that is was a spear point but that seemed like a rare thing to find, so I thought maybe a letter opener. It has a flat side on the blade with the other side having a triangular profile. The two notches make me think of attaching a spearhead using sinew, as in an arrow. I think it may be wrought iron due to the grain and lack of oxidation. What do you guys think?

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Sorry for the crappy pics.

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IMHO it resembles a military bayonet - you can go to this link to see most country's styles of bayonets. Great find at any rate - http://www.arms2armor.com/Bayonets/bayonets.htm

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I sent the pics to an archaeologist who works in east Tennessee. He says:

"Aha! That's the cast iron spike off a lightning rod. We get those a lot on old homesteads."

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I found this while dismantling an old log structure in eastern TN. It must have been in the chinking and my first thought was that is was a spear point but that seemed like a rare thing to find, so I thought maybe a letter opener. It has a flat side on the blade with the other side having a triangular profile. The two notches make me think of attaching a spearhead using sinew, as in an arrow. I think it may be wrought iron due to the grain and lack of oxidation. What do you guys think?

Sorry for the crappy pics.



Definitely a bayonet - question is ... whose?
American? British? French? :blink:

Talk to your local museum curator, maybe they have a weapons specialist that can point you in the right derection.

That is a cool history mystery ... I am totally jealous.

Congrats. That's one heck of a conversation piece.

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I just don't see it as a bayonet. At least not with a 26" blade and 12" tang anyway. What does the end of the tang look like, a rivet maybe? If so perhaps this is a rapier like weapon. If not it may be a pike, an awful long blade for a pike though. It just doesn't have a shape that is conducive for a bayonet. It has no socket, it has the wrong type of blade for most of the plug bayonets that I have seen and the plug ends were not 12" long. Just dosen't seem like a bayonet blade. ;)

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I believe Matt correctly identified the mystery object.
I`ve seen these up here a time or two used on the decorative metal roof caps on some of the really old houses.The reason the "tang" is so long is it goes through a glass insulator.Some of the ridge caps have 3 or more of these lightning protectors.
All the ones I`ve seen have been wrought iron rather than cast iron though.That explains the grain in the ones in the pic.

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I just don't see it as a bayonet. At least not with a 26" blade and 12" tang anyway.

His tape reads metric :o that would be 26cm and 12 cm or the other side of the tape 12 inches and 4 1/2 inches.
Rob

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I fail to see what 'definitely' makes it a bayonet. While the (apparently) triangular shape is congruent with bayonets of the AWI and CW, it shows a lack of hollow grinding on the flats, or socket for fitting over the barrel of the gun. Plug Bayonets were outdated for all practical purposes by the time that guns would have been carried by anyone making a log cabin in TN, and this does not fit the typical profile for such an item (which was normally wide and flat)
Sounds like the archaeologist knows what he's looking at.
Neat find nonetheless, thanks OP!

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I just don't see it as a bayonet. At least not with a 26" blade and 12" tang anyway. What does the end of the tang look like, a rivet maybe? If so perhaps this is a rapier like weapon. If not it may be a pike, an awful long blade for a pike though. It just doesn't have a shape that is conducive for a bayonet. It has no socket, it has the wrong type of blade for most of the plug bayonets that I have seen and the plug ends were not 12" long. Just dosen't seem like a bayonet blade. ;)


Having checked out that website on bayonets I have to agree that it probably isn't a bayonet. Bayonets with triangular cross-section blades had barrel sockets not tangs. Bayonets with tangs had knife or sword blades.
BUT ... that looks like a 10" long blade with a ricasso, and that other end looks like a 4" tang.
The funny thing is, that the thing it looks most like to me is even more unlikely to be found in the chinking of a log cabin in TN.
This looks most like a main gauche blade. It was a parrying blade carried in the off-sword hand.
I've seen triangular cross-section blades like epees - I'm not sure if these are only modern styles or historical patterns.

Besides ... would a log cabin even need a lightning rod? Barns I can understand. Multi-story houses too ... but a log cabin?
I just don't know enough about this. I guess I'm disappointed in the possibility. I had images of an old civ-war bayonet with a great story to tell.

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The fact that it was in the chinking may suggest that the cabin owner didn't think he needed a lightning rod.

Or that he wanted to keep it from the authorities :o

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I would like to put forth further conjecture that it might have been put there in remembrance of a past loved one, or symbolically buried after some event. In any event, coooollll!

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Hey! I was wondering where I left that.

B)



What county are you in? Just curious. I'm in E. TN, and I love to prowl for old stuff.

Good find,

Don

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looks to me to be a stiletto dagger the three sides where for armor piercing. pretty sure that's what it is goggled a few before I replied too bad its not complete they seem to be worth a bit when they are old some date back to 17th century or more. either way nice find :)

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Well, if you heat the tang and stick it in the end of a stout 8ft shaft, you could hop on your horse and have the meanest 'pig sticker' this side of the kyber pass! :D

Regards Ian

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