Origins of the Rodman – Early Experiments in the Rodman Method, Part 2

In part one, I discussed two 8-inch Columbiads cast in 1849 and used to test the Rodman method of casting large guns.  The conclusion of that experiment indicated a slight improvement to the gun, but not great enough to prove the hollow-core, water-cooled method was greatly superior.  Gunfounder William Wade suggested more tests with betterContinue reading “Origins of the Rodman – Early Experiments in the Rodman Method, Part 2”

Origins of the Rodman – Early Experiments in the Rodman Method, Part 1

I’ve mentioned the Rodman technique for manufacture of heavy cannons on a number of occasions.  That process, simplified to a thumbnail, involved casting the gun in a hollow mold then cooling the metal from the inside out using a flow of water through a pipe in what would become the bore.  This allowed the interiorContinue reading “Origins of the Rodman – Early Experiments in the Rodman Method, Part 1”

Casting Tests: More Experimental 6-pdr Guns

Turning again to the chart of experimental 6-pdrs of the 1830s and 1840s: The last two lines on the chart are two batches of trials and experimental iron guns from Cyrus Alger in Boston, Massachusetts.  While technically not “field guns” these two batches offer a glimpse of the Ordnance Department’s attempts to determine the bestContinue reading “Casting Tests: More Experimental 6-pdr Guns”