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Historic Artifact Identification: Intro, Nails, and Cans. Image from Oregon-California Trails Association. Metal Artifacts: Nails. Hand-forged Cut Wire. NOTE: In the American West, wire nails outnumbered cut nails by ~1900.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Historic Artifact Identification:

Intro, Nails, and Cans

Image from Oregon-California Trails Association

slide2

Metal Artifacts:

Nails

Hand-forged Cut Wire

NOTE: In the American West, wire nails outnumbered cut nails by ~1900

Images from Middle Tennessee University, Center for Historic Preservation, 2002.

slide3

Pre-1800 Hand-forged Nails

Shaft configuration =

*Tapering on all four sides, ending in either a point or a spade

(Heads were untapered portion of the shank, spread by clamping the shank in a vise and striking it with a hammer)

*Varying thickness throughout the length of shaft/shank

* Could be clinched

(bent over without breaking)

Image from Middle Tennessee University, Center for Historic Preservation, 2002; rose head standard clinch nail (two views).

slide4

1790-1810 Early machine-cut nails

Shaft configuration =

*two tapering sides…

…and two parallel sides

* ends [of early cut nails] often are slightly rounded/blunt

* Most heads create by hand-driven hammer blow; cut nails with hand-made heads continued to be produced until ~1820.

Early machine-cut nail with handmade head (1790-1825)

Image from Middle Tennessee University, Center for Historic Preservation, 2002.

slide5

1810/1815 – 1840 machine-headed cut nails

* water-powered machinery automatically headed these nails

* heads often thin, lopsided

Image from Middle Tennessee University, Center for Historic Preservation, 2002.

slide6

1835-1890 MODERN Machine-Cut Nails (Machine-headed)

* Machines cut these, making for UNIFORM, SQUARE ends

(due to being cut from strips of iron plate of uniform thickness)

* Heads more thin and more uniform

* Shafts display longitudinal grains

Image from Middle Tennessee University, Center for Historic Preservation, 2002.

slide7

1890-present MODERN Wire Nails

(first made in France between 1830-1855)

(from left to right), roofing nail; common wire nail; finishing nail (small head).

Image from Middle Tennessee University, Center for Historic Preservation, 2002.

slide8

Nails traditionally classified according to the pennyweight system

Nails are usually sold by weight (either in bulk or in boxes). In the US, the length of a nail is designated by its penny size.

Small contruction nails (2d-5d), final stages of carpentry.

Medium construction nails (6d-16d), common uses.

Large construction nails (20d+), framing houses, fence construction

slide9

Pre-1830 – hand-forged (wrought) nails dominate

1830-1890 – cut nails dominate

1890-1895 – 50% cut nails, 50% wire nails

1895-1900 – 25% cut nails, 75% wire nails

Post-1900 – greater than 75% wire nails

(from Sutton and Arkush 1996:164)

slide10

A test…

Hand-forged?

Cut

Horseshoe Nail

(Anatomy)

Medieval

(A.D. 450-1500)

Horseshoe Nail

IMAGES: Florida Museum of Natural History; Wayne State University, Chester, UK ampitheater project.

slide12

Tin Cans

(the most common artifacts on historical sites in the western U.S.)

U.S. Army Quartermaster Historian, Steven Anders Civil War camp; can dump Boise National Forest (mining site); can from historic site on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

slide13

hole-and-cap hole-in-cap vent hole sanitary

Images from Sharon Waechter for CDF Reference Manual and Study Guide for Archaeological Training.

slide14

Commercial canning began in 1819:

* Tinsmiths cut tinplated iron sheets to form a can body around a cylinder

* Hand-soldered lead seams held cylinder in place.

slide15

Hand-soldered [lead] seams

Up to the 1880s:

Irregular bands of lead solder remnant along edges and around top, cap, and base of can.

After ~1883, bands of lead solder were much thinner and more-evenly applied.

(After 1890s, solderless cans available)

Rock 1984:103 in Historical Archaeology 18

Can photo from Sharon Waechter for CDF Reference Manual and Study Guide for Archaeological Training.

slide16

Hole-and-cap

~1810 to 1920

* Earliest type of can (first produced in western Europe around 1810)

* Can lids have central cap (filler hole) at one end where food was inserted before sealing

* Foods were put in through the hole and boiled

* Cap placed atop (to close) filler hole

* Cans often swelled/burst during heating

Images from Sharon Waechter for CDF Reference Manual and Study Guide for Archaeological Training.

slide17

Hole-in-cap

~1820 to 1930s/1940s

* Can lids have central cap (filler hole) at one end where food was inserted

* Tiny pin-hole in center of cap acted as a vent during cooking; this reduced can failure

Rock in Historical Archaeology v. 18 1984:103

Some images from Sharon Waechter for CDF Reference Manual and Study Guide for Archaeological Training.

slide18

Vent Hole (Hole-in-Top)

After 1900

* solid lids except for tiny pin-hole vent at center, which was sealed with a drop of lead solder after the contents were cooked (Rock 1984:100).

* By 1920, evaporated milk was almost exclusively packaged in vent hole cans.

NOTE: Condensed milk was first canned in the US in 1856, & evaporated milk was first canned in 1885.

How can you identify a can that held evaporated milk from one that held condensed milk?

If the can was opened with two tiny punctures (e.g., knife blade, etc.), it held evaporated milk.  Condensed milk is too thick to pour through such small openings, so they had to be opened by partially removing the lids.

Modern condensed milk can with soldered vent hole Busch 1981 in Historical Archaeology 15.

slide19

Sanitary cans are next – but first a note about solderless seams…

Solderless Cans

1890s to present

* Side-seams crimped on inside or outside of can

(

* Commercially available by the late 1890s

* Used on modern “sanitary” cans

Image from Rock 1984.

slide20

Sanitary Cans

1900/1904 to present

* “Modern” cans made entirely by machine

* One-piece lids – no caps or vent holes

* No lead solder (crimped seams instead)

* Airtight

* Commercially available by 1904

slide21

Removable (slip) and pry-out lids

(tobacco, cocoa, tea, coffee, baking powder)

slide22

Tapered Meat Cans

1875 –present

[key-wind tins usually contain(ed) processed meat and seafood]

Rock 1980

slide23

Tobacco Tins

Usually on post 1900 sites

Pocket tobacco tins (commonly “Prince Albert” brand) were patented in 1913 and popular into the 1950s.

Busch in Historical Archaeology 15(1)1981:192

slide24

Log-cabin-shaped syrup tin

1897-WWII (some modern reproductions though)

slide25

Kerosene cans

(no photo)

1865 -- kerosene was first canned

* tall, rectangular cans with small caps

slide26

Vacuum-packed coffee

(one-pound cans)

1903 – marketed by Hills Brothers

slide27

1st beer cans -- 1935

Cone tops

(evolved to church-key opened, late 1930s)

Acme beer cans (1948)

Images from Sharon Waechter for CDF Reference Manual and Study Guide for Archaeological Training.

slide28

1st aluminum beer cans – 1959

(opened with a church key)

Pull tab beverage cans – 1962

Images from Sharon Waechter for CDF Reference Manual and Study Guide for Archaeological Training.

slide29

Barbed Wire

1874-present

Glidden large-square strands: Two large square twisted strands with two point barb on one strand. Patent #157,125, Nov. 24, 1874 by Joseph F. Glidden.

Glidden square strand: Single square strand wire with four point coil barb. Patent # RE 6914, Feb. 18, 1876 by Joseph F. Glidden.

Merrill Four-point twirl: Single strand wire with four point barb. Patent #185,688, Dec. 26, 1876 by John C. Merrill.

The Barbed Wire Museum (online exhibit) has details of dates and styles: http://www.barbwiremuseum.com/barbedwireimages.htm

slide30

Firearms

Sebastian Vrancx (1573-1647) Soldiers plunder a farm; David Kettley rendition of Jack Sparrow with a flintlock pistol.

slide31

FIREARM CHRONOLOGY (Rough)

1st recorded use of gunpowder in Europe 1247

“Hand Cannon” in Europe 1364

Flintlock muskets 1630

Barrel Pistol 1640

Bayonet (introduced by the French) 1640

Dueling pistols 1760

Flints converted to percussion caps 1820

Rim fire cartridge evolved naturally out of the percussion cap 1835

Rimfire & Centerfire cartridges 1856/1858

Whitworth Rifles 1857

Henry Rifle 1860

Metallic cartridges popular 1863

Repeater Shoguns 1866

Henry became Winchester 1866

Winchester repeating shotguns 1887

First automatic weapon (Borchardt pistol) 1893

Winchester Company brought out the first widely sold automatic rifle 1903

slide32

Flintlock firearms (early 17th century)

Piece of flint held in a spring-loaded cock; when the trigger is pulled, it releases the lock on the spring and the flint strikes a steel platform (“frizzen”), producing a spark that ignites the gunpowder, which ignites the powder charge in the barrel to propel the shot orbullet.

Gunflint (Parks Canada)

Flintlock = a muzzle loader having a flintlock type of gunlock.

slide33

Percussion Lock firearms (early 19th century)

Percussion locks ignited powder charges…

…and the percussion cap eventually replaced the flintlock as a method of igniting gunpowder (it was easier to load and more weather-resistant).

* By the Civil War (1861-1865), both Union and Confederate armies used percussion-cap guns.

Double-barreled percussion shotgun, 1885.

An Irish brigade charging in a Civil War battle.

slide34

Percussion Lock firearms (early 19th century)

* The percussion cap was made possible by a chemical compound called mercuric fulminate or fulminate of mercury [Hg(ONC)2], which consists of mercury, nitric acid, and alcohol.

* Mercuric fulminate is extremely explosive, and it is shock sensitive (a sharp blow, or even too much finger pressure causes it to detonate.

*By putting a small amount of mercuric fulminate in a pre-made cap (below) and affixing the cap to a nipple and tube leading into the barrel. The tube carries the flame from the cap to the gunpowder in the barrel.

* The hammer is shaped to strike the cap on the nipple and cover it so the nipple does not get blown off.

The percussion hammer in the cocked position (left, from How Stuff Works); the cap (center), about the size of a pencil eraser, fits over the end of the nipple.

slide35

Percussion Lock firearms (early 19th century)

* The percussion lock is exactly the same as the flintlock in terms of the mainspring, hammer, tumbler, sear and sear spring…

…AND the hammers on both flint and percussion locks have uncocked, half-cocked, and fully cocked positions.

* The percussion lock DOES NOT have the flint and frizzen. It has the nipple instead.

ANOTHER IMPROVEMENT

1825 – experiments with conical bullets, which provided greater accuracy than the round lead ball

slide36

Photo by Doug Scott

LEAD SHOT

~ 6 shotguns or fowling pieces

~ 8 pistols or rifles (>.36); at least one flintlock ignition system

Lead bars & poorly cast & puddled bullets = casting

Doug Scott (2005)

slide37

Single-shot Rifle (1848)

Quickly replaced the muzzle-loading rifles…until it was superseded by the repeating rifle.

Single-shot = Single-shot firearms are cartridge firearms that hold only a single round of ammunition and must be reloaded after each shot.

Repeating firearm = can fire several rounds without reloading.

slide38

Colt revolver

(1836 U.S. patent – 1835 England patent)

First and most famous/successful repeating firearm.

Repeating firearm = can fire several rounds without reloading.

slide39

Winchester History

1857 Oliver Winchester acquired Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, renaming it THE NEW HAVEN ARMS COMPANY.

1860 Winchester developed the rifle: Winchester Model 1866 (bored for .44 caliber ammunition)

New Haven Arms Co. manager, Benjamin T. Henry, developed the .44 caliber metallic rimfire cartridge and repeating rifle…

1863 Winchester subsequently renamed his company the Henry Repeating Arms Company

1866 Winchester renames the company again: Winchester Repeating Arms Company

slide40

Cartridge Cases

Metallic cases from expended firearm cartridges serve as useful temporal markers…and are relatively young.

(e.g., rimfires and centerfires were mass-produced between 1856-1858)

Centerfire cartridge

.22 long shells, O’Brien & Costello’s Saloon

Rimfire = A type of cartridge in which the primer is located along the outer rim of the casing's base. To fire this type of cartridge, the firing pin must impact on this outer rim; the rimfire cartridge is essentially an extended and widened percussion cap which contains not only the priming compound but also the propellant powder and the projectile/bullet.

Centerfire = A centerfire cartridge is a cartridge in which the primer is located in the center of the cartridge case head.

slide41

Cartridge Cases

Headstamp = markings punched into the base of the cartridge during manufacture; these usually indicate who manufactured the case (see Table 9, p. 174 in your textbook) as well as the caliber or gauge. American military cartridge case heads have the last two numbers of the year the cartridge was made.

e.g., “F 87 R 3” = Frankford Arsenal (F) in September (9) of 1881 (81) for rifle (R).

Helpful resource for headstamps: http://www.anthro.utah.edu/IMACs/474-Cartridges.pdf

slide42

Using the manufacturer information in your textbook (p. 174) and also in the IMACS user guide (http://www.anthro.utah.edu/IMACs/474-Cartridges.pdf):

H (impressed) Winchester Repeating Firearms Company [rimfire cartridge cases]

H (raised) Winchester Repeating Firearms Company [early rimfire]

Date: c. 1867-present

slide43

The cowboy is now gone to worlds invisible; the wind has blown away the white ashes of his campfires; but the empty sardine box lies rusting over the face of the western earth.

Wister, The Virginian, 1902: 31

slide44

Writing tips

(always revise your papers SEVERAL times before turning it in!)

Beware of excessive use of “there” (usually coupled with a form of “to be”). ELIMINATE, thereby reducing verbosity.

ORIGINAL: In the testimony there were three flaws.

REVISION: The testimony revealed three flaws.

slide45

Writing tips

(always revise your papers SEVERAL times before turning it in!)

Beware of excessive use of PASSIVE VOICE constructions.

Recast the sentence in the ACTIVE VOICE and create someone taking responsibility for the action.

ORIGINAL: The award was present by the women’s auxiliary.

REVISION: The women’s auxiliary presented the award.

slide46

Writing tips

(always revise your papers SEVERAL times before turning it in!)

Beware of excessive use of adjectives.

Make your adjectives concise and precise.

ORIGINAL: My reaction was a sickening feeling.

REVISION: My reaction was revulsion.