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I Forge Iron

Iron of New Orleans, photo heavy

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Was in NOLA for All Hallows’ Eve. These are of and around the French Quarter area. Most is cast and of what seem to be only a handful of artist from the repeating styles. Also a pic of the blacksmith shop now a bar that survived 2 of the major fires. Some ceiling panels with corrosion holes. Some hinges, and a manhole cover with Vulcan stamped on it. 













































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"Only a handful of artists"  for cast iron probably they sourced from the same foundries.  The "artistic" stuff was being sold by the yard 150 years ago...Victorian cast iron could be quite ornate. When I visited Coalbrookdale in the UK, I went to a museum there of a company that did ornate cast iron items for home and garden.

Wrought iron could be done locally by smiths with more or less artistic talent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Rodman gun in front of the Confederate Museum is displayed up side down (touch hole is facing down).  I wondered about this until I noticed that the left hand trunnion is broken off (on the side facing the building) and would show if the gun were rightside up.  It could have been placed with the muzzle to the right but then the gun would have been facing south.  I suspect that the idea was that the gun should be displayed facing north, in the direction of hated Yankeedom.

One of the common ways of disabling a muzzle loading cannon in danger of capture so that the enemy could not use it was to break off a trunnion either with sledge hammers or by placing the muzzle of another cannon against the trunnion and firing it which would break the trunnion of the first gun and possibly blow up the 2d gun from overpressure, particularly if the 2d gun was loaded with multiple charges and projectiles.

BTW, cool museum and the displays have become historical objects in themselves.  I believe that the museum is pretty unchanged from when it opened in the 1890s.  Also, a good gift shop.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Items for spiking enemy cannon were part of the uniform of some soldiers at some times and places.  A nice hard spike, pounded into the touch hole would be hard to remove.

Ahh yes Wikipedia: "Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Bismarck, in his Lectures on the Tactics of Cavalry, recommended that every cavalry soldier carry the equipment needed to spike guns if an encounter with enemy artillery was expected"

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Thomas:  You may or may not be familiar with with a gunner's poignard.  which had a square or triangular blade which was often marked with calibrations to measure the caliber of the bore of various cannon.  The tip was left soft but the upper part of the blade was hard and untempered.  The idea was that the weapon would be driven into the touch hole to spike the gun, the tip would bend over or curl up on the bottom of the bore, and the blade would be snapped off with a sideways blow.  This would be particularly difficult to remove, particularly in a bronze gun where the obstruction was harder than the metal of the gun.  The ones I have seen date to the 16th and 17th centuries.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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Have you read the article on fake gunners' stilettos that was in the Arms and Armor Annual, Vol 1 (and only)?   They show a number where the markings that were supposed to correspond to size and powder charges were completely bogus.

Gunners stilettos were good if you were spiking your own guns in preparation for abandonment and retreat. 

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No, I haven't seen the article but the markings are kind of a dumb thing for a faker to get wrong since the bore dimensions and weight of round shot are pretty accessible.  It would be more difficult if you were dealing with named types of guns such as a falcon or saker.  Yes, more likely to be used on your own guns that to allow them to be used by the enemy.

BTW, the term "spiking" is still used for disabling your own guns if threatened with capture by the enemy even though an actual spike hasn't been used for about 150 years.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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IIRC the article mentions how such blades were very handy for assassinations and many places banned their being carried *except* by artillerymen and so the "fake scales" were done by blademakers who didn't know the correct values; to allow folks to claim to be artillerymen  when caught with them.

I should make one up as I have a falconette: 2" bore, blackpowder; but I generally measure powder in my palm.

That issue also had "A Wheellock Dagger from the Court of the Medici". It shot the tip of the dagger with a shaft that went into the barrel that was in the center spine of the dagger.  (I was at a Guild Show once and a maker was real proud of his machining skills and mentioned that he was going to do that himself and be the first one to do it.  I had to break it to him that he wasn't the first by several centuries...)

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