Browsing articles tagged with "ballistic pendulum Archives - Historic Fort Lesley J. McNair"
Dec
13

Washington Arsenal – The Ballistic Pendulum

By John Michael  //  Washington Arsenal  //  No Comments

Washington Arsenal – An Arsenal to the Union

For most of the 19th century (18 to 1881) the acres of Greenleaf Point were an arsenal know as Washington Arsenal.  The British invaded and destroyed it  in 1814 when they attacked Washington DC. After the War of 1812, the Washington Arsenal was rebuilt and continued to provide the ordnance and munitions needed by the military.  It was an active arsenal until after the US Civil War.  Gun carriages and limbers were constructed in the workshops.  Other buildings had workers (primarily females) who manufactured cartridges for the rifles.  In June 1864 an explosion took the lives of twenty-0ne women when the gunpowder they were using to create cartridges ignited.

TESTING AND THE BALLISTIC PENDULUM

1857 Napoleon

1857 Napoleon

 

 

Testing of new ordnance and gunpowder was another activity on those acres and in 1842 and 1843 a series of tests were documented and published in a report.  The report by Captain Alfred Mordecai was  about the ballistic pendulum that was constructed at the Washington Arsenal (see illustrations of the the pendulum in the book below). It used to determine the effectiveness of gunpowder in a variety of artillery tubes.  Test firings occurred along the west side of the arsenal and fired at a target that was placed further south along the edge of the arsenal. (See map in the book below)

 

 

 

OVER 200 HISTORICAL IMAGES, MAPS & ILLUSTRATIONS

The book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair contains over two hundred historical photographs, images and illustrations which chronicle the two hundred plus years of history among the acres of this US Army Post.

The book “Images of America – Fort Lesley J McNair”  is “a walk down memory lane” as one reader called it after he turned the last page.  Go beyond

Images of America - Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

the website and read more of the history with your own copy – BUY THE BOOK offers the opportunity to get either a personalized & autographed copy from the author or purchase the book from one of the major resellers.

 

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