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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Phoenix Shot Tower

 
 
Phoenix Shot Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
1. Phoenix Shot Tower Marker
Inscription. Built in 1828 by the Phoenix Shot Tower Company, this soaring 215 foot structure is the last remaining shot tower of the three that accented Baltimore’s skyline in the 19th century. Shot pellets used as ammunition for muskets was produced by pouring molten lead through perforated pans from “dropping stations” high up in the tower. The swift passage of the lead droplets down the shaft rounded the pellets into shot. The “quenching tank” of water at the bottom cooled and solidified them.

The Tower produced as many as 500,000 25-pound bags of shot a year, and was one of the largest suppliers in the nation. Despite technological improvements, the principle of the “drop method” is still applied in the production of small shot. Modern towers less handsome and less sturdy have spouted up in California, Illinois and Oklahoma.

Shot was produced here until 1892, when rising cost forced the owners to abandon the tower. When the tower was threatened with demolition in 1921, a group of citizens purchased it and presented it to the City for preservation. It was converted into a museum in 1977 and forms the centerpiece of Shot Tower Park, in startling contrast to 9 North Front Street, the historic house at its side.

The tower was built with more than one million bricks. It was constructed
Phoenix Shot Tower image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
2. Phoenix Shot Tower
in less than six months and built entirely without the use of exterior scaffolding.
 
Erected by the City of Baltimore, N. Plovsky & Son, Inc. Sponsor, William Donald Schaefer, mayor, rededicated 2005, Martin O'Malley, mayor.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers, and the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 39° 17.447′ N, 76° 36.332′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of Fayette Street and Front Street, on the right when traveling east on Fayette Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21233, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Baptist Church, Baltimore (here, next to this marker); 9 North Front Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore Police Department (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Vincent de Paul Church (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named St. Vincent de Paul Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Cast-Iron Façade (about 700 feet away, measured in
Shot Tower erected 1828 image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
3. Shot Tower erected 1828
For making shot, molten lead, poured through a sieve at the top dropped into a tank of water inside the base. Height 234 feet, 3 inches; diameter at base 40 feet, at top 30 feet. Owned by the City of Baltimore
a direct line); Baltimore's Great Fire (about 700 feet away); Fish Market (about 700 feet away); Cistern (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1017 - 1021 East Baltimore Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceLandmarksNotable Buildings
 
Four Plaques on the Phoenix Shot Tower image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 18, 2011
4. Four Plaques on the Phoenix Shot Tower
Registered National Historic Landmark image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, September 16, 2007
5. Registered National Historic Landmark
Phoenix Shot Tower has been designated a Registered National Historic Landmark Under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935 this site possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service 1972
9 North Front Street image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten
6. 9 North Front Street
As described on the marker.
First Baptist Church Baltimore image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 18, 2011
7. First Baptist Church Baltimore
On this site purchased in 1773 the first permanent meetinghouse, a dwelling for the pastor and a school house were erected and a cemetery established for the First Baptist Church of Baltimore Town. The present and fourth building of the church is located at 4200 Liberty Heights Avenue. * This marker dedicated in 1968 by the historical committee of the Baptist convention of Maryland. First Baptist church was one of six churches that organized this convention in 1836.
Multi-Media Presentation image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, June 18, 2011
8. Multi-Media Presentation
Multi-Media presentation for the dedication of the Baltimore Shot Tower presented as a gift to the City of Baltimore by the Baltimore Junior Association of Commerce, Inc. (Jaycees). September, 1776
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,593 times since then and 54 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 19, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   4. submitted on December 17, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on September 19, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   6. submitted on September 25, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   7, 8. submitted on December 17, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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