Friday, 29 November 2013

Research: Small Bar-Lead For Making Shot and Round Ball.

This research of mine is as usual ongoing, but this is what I have so far on this subject. It is undeniable that small bar lead was available in England and in the colonies. It was used in shot towers, it was for sale and trade. Small bar lead was undoubtedly carried in small quantities by woodsrunners and Indians, but I believe the major use of the ball mould carried in the shot pouch was for remoulding spent lead retrieved from shot game. 

18th Century Small Bar-Lead For Making Round Ball.
To write down all the processes of producing bar lead from lead ore would take up a lot of room here, so I will keep it brief. The lead ore is mined from the ground, it is sorted from dead rock, and the rock with Galena in it is then crushed using a flat headed hammer called a “Bucker”. This work was carried out by children 10 years of age, and some elderly adults.

A Bucker was used to crush the pure Galena to uniform pea sized chunks. Photograph © 2006 Carol Haynes. http://www.mylearning.org/lead-mining-in-the-yorkshire-dales/p-414/;

The ore being washed. By David Allan

Crushing the rock and sorting. By David Allan.
After the ore was sorted and crushed it went into a furnace, where the lead was melted out and run out of the furnace into lead ingot moulds or pig moulds. These varied in shape and size depending on the individual mine and the country that mine was in.
Large 18th century lead pig.

From here these lead pigs or ingots were taken by pony to a smelter for further refining. Sometimes the made product was silver and the lead was a secondary product. At the smelter the moulten lead was again poured into moulds of a particular size, and again depending on the smelter there were a variety of shapes and sizes.

Lead Processing at Leadhills Smelting by David Allan

Lead Processing at Leadhills Weighing the Lead Bars By David Allan.

Although I can find no information regarding the production of “small bar-lead”, I believe that it was probably made as part of the process at the smelter. The large ingots and pigs were then sold, some going overseas. These large lead pigs were used as ship’s ballast to save on shipping expenses. NOTE: The terms ingot and pig also referred to bars of lead regardless of size
Dutch East Indiaman Kennemerland wrecked at Stoura Stack December 1664. Carrying 100 lead pigs. http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/hmpa-outskerries.pdf
Small bar-lead was used in the 17th and 18th  and 19th century fur trade, it was also used by the military and on occasion issued to the soldiers.
, 30 bars of lead, 30 pounds of powder, 30 awls, 30 glasses, 30 tobacco boxes, 3 papersof beads, 44 pounds of red lead, 30 pair of hawks' bells, 6 drawing knives, 6 caps,
12 hoes: Do by these presents grant, bargain and sell, &c., all right, title and iinterest,
During the 1744 treaty conference, the British commissioners traded with the Iroquois goods they held to be worth 220 pounds sterling and 15 shillings, including 200 shirts, four duffle blankets, forty-seven guns, one pound of vermillion, 1000 flints, four dozen Jews Harps, 202 bars of lead, two quarters shot, and two half-barrels of gun powder.
Small Bar Lead--@ 18\3 --
Other equipment mentioned was ladles for transferring the smelted lead from the fore-hearth into the one "greate iron moulde" and the 12 "small mouldes".
Bar lead sizes and Images.
 On average, the ingots measure 27.0-28.1cm long and are 1.9-2.1cm wide maximum.
On average, the ingots measure 27.0-28.1cm long and are 1.9-2.1cm wide maximum.
19thc. http://odysseysvirtualmuseum.com/products/Lead-Ingot.html;
Lead Pigs 18th century.
Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Pigs of lead.;
17th century pigs of lead from shipwreck.
The Archaeology of Lead Mining. 18th century mining.
Lead mining in Cymru/Wales.
Lead sinkers made from bar lead.
PDF: Composite lead & iron round ball.
Fort Edward and Roger’s Island sites information.
Dutch East Indiaman Kennemerland wrecked at Stoura Stack December 1664. Carrying 100 lead pigs.
"pigs of lead to make shot" A Journal Kept byCaptain John Narbrough, &c. John Narbrough.
Bar-lead and Galena owned by the author. Image copyright Keith H. Burgess.
Galena or lead ore. Image and copyright: Keith H. Burgess.

Author’s goose shot mould.

Author’s ball mould and copy of an original copper lead ladle.

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