RARE FEDERAL THREE POUND 'KETCHUM' HAND GRENADE

$2,950.00 SOLD
Originally $3,250.00

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: M21143

This original, three-pound, cast-iron, projectile is a remarkable hand-thrown grenade specimen considered the most common of its type in the Civil War. Patented by Mr. William F. Ketchum of Buffalo, NY in August, 1862, the artifact exhibits an elongated form with a center swell that tapers to a round opening at each end. A small tubular device of soft metal with a flange (similar to an engine cylinder valve) was fitted to the impact end (nose) that accommodated a nipple for holding a percussion cap. Nipple is still visible when flange is removed. The powder charge was placed in the shell and when ready, a wooden shaft fitted with four pasteboard or thin wooden fins was inserted into the opposite end of the grenade. 

The finned stick, similar to an arrow's feathers, is strong and complete but exhibits light to moderate edge wear. Fins served as a rudimentary guidance system. Nicely stamped with black ink on one of the fins is the wording "PATENTED AUG 20 1861". When the grenade was thrown and hit a solid object, the tube flange device activated a plunger which ignited the percussion cap which in turn exploded the internal charge. To prevent accidental discharge, the plunger was not inserted into the grenade until just before the grenade was thrown. This grenade specimen exhibits a smooth, hard, exterior metal finish that has acquired a pleasing dark brown patina overall. Surface exhibits two small circular casting marks and the side seams are strong and visible. This original, three-pound hand grenade device is a fine example of early Civil War weaponry.

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