WOOD BLOCK FROM FRICTION PRIMER PACKAGE – GETTYSBURG PICK-UP -- MOLLUS COLLECTION

$67.50 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 286-1093

This is the drilled wood block from a package of Civil War artillery friction primers. This block originally had a dark blue wrapper and held five primers.

Friction primers are short copper tubes filled with black powder used to fire Civil War-era cannons. The primers were used by placing one into the vent hole at the breech of a cannon and pulling a jagged piece of wire (with a long rope lanyard) through the top of the primer to ignite a flammable compound. This, in turn, would ignite the powder charge in the artillery piece.

This is just the weathered wood block, the wrapper is gone. Likely a Gettysburg battlefield pick-up later donated to the M.O.L.L.U.S. museum in Philadelphia.

This was in the collection of the War Library and Museum of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the U.S. in Philadelphia until recently. That organization was formed by veteran Union officers in 1865 and reached its height with about 8,000 members in 1900. Their library and museum was incorporated in 1888 and from 1922 was housed in a townhouse on Pine Street in Philadelphia. It closed in 2008. Much of its material was placed with other museums, and the remainder was sold at auction. This was purchased this at Redding’s Auction in 2021.  [jet] [ph:L]

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