Photograph as originally submitted to this page
in the Historical Marker Database www.HMdb.org
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Photographer: Craig Swain
Taken: July 21, 2008
Caption: An Eprouvette
Additional Description: The eprouvette was a variation of the mortar. As seen here, construction was a simple "cup" on a fixed bed. Elevation was exactly 45 degrees. Based on that fixed elevation, the strength of the powder could be calculated based on the distance a 24 pound shot was propelled by a single ounce of powder. The range was expected to exceed 225 yards. Good powder propelled the shot to over 300 yards.
The eprouvette fell into disfavor as it was discovered black powder strength increases exponentially as quantity is increased. Furthermore, the qualities of slow burning powder, which worked much better in long bore cannon, could not be tested in the small mortar.
Submitted: August 6, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
Database Locator Identification Number: p30892
File Size: 2.209 Megabytes
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