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Published July 24, 2010 More Info »
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Published July 24, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS TO BIGJAS FOR THE FIRST CORRECT ANSWER...
A BLACK POWDER TESTER.
FROM THE MIDDLE 1600,S WHEN FIREARMS AND CANNONS BECAME A MASS PRODUCTION ITEM, THERE WERE ONLY A FEW MANUFACTURERS OF GUNPOWDER. GUNPOWDER IS MADE OF CHARCOAL,SULPHUR, AND SALTPETER. THE MIXTURES WERE HAND MIXED AND ANY VARIATION ON THE FORMULA AFFECTED THE STRENGTH OF THE POWDER. THE MILITARY WAS VERY AWARE OF THIS BECAUSE THEY DIDNT WANT TO SEND HUNDREDS OF MEN OUT INTO THE FIELD TO FORM A PICKET LINE AND HALF THE BULLETS OR CANNON BALLS FALLING SHORT. EACH TIME A NEW KEG WAS OPENED SOMEONE WOULD USE A DEVICE LIKE THIS TO TEST THAT POWDER. HE WOULD STUFF POWDER INTO A CHAMBER AT THE TOP AND THEN FIRED. THIS WOULD KICK UP THE LITTLE LEG SEEN AND KICK THE WHEEL AROUND AND WOULD STOP ON A NUMBER. THE TESTER WOULD NORMALLY TEST THREE TIMES, TOP, MIDDLE AND BOTTOM OF THE KEG. THEN THE  KEG HAD THAT NUMBER PAINTED OR BRANDED ON THE OUT SIDE SO THE SAME STRENGTH OF POWDER WOULD GO TO CERTAIN PLACES.
THE COMMANDERS WOULD SET UP ATTACKS AND DEFENSES KNOWING HOW FAR  THE SHOT WOULD GO. ALSO TO HOT OF A MIXTURE COULD DAMAGE THE FIREARM. GOVERMENT MADE ARMS THAT ALL HAD TO BE TESTED WOULD SOMETIMES HAVE MINT MARKS SHOWING WHAT STRENGTH THE FIREARM WORKED THE BEST... 5-7.
TODAYS GIZMO WAS ANOTHER TOOL THAT WAS USED IN SEVERAL INDUSTRIES BUT HAD A VERY LARGE COMMERCIAL FOLLOWING. THE POLE WAS 10 FEET LONG AND THE BUSINESS END WAS FROM 8-14 INCHES WIDE, DEPENDING ON THE MANUFACTURER. THIS PIECE IS FROM THE EARLY 1900'S
WHAT IS IT???

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