Original 19th Century U.S. Powder Tester by James Haslett of Baltimore c.1812

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. James Haslett, a born Irishman, arrived in the United States in 1799 to work for Robert McCormick, a Gun Maker in Baltimore. McCormick's business failed despite his contract with the State of Virginia to supply Flintlock Muskets in 1806. By 1810 James Haslett had taken over the contract with the State of Virginia. In 1812 he enrolled in the U.S. Army as a Major for the upcoming War with Great Britain. He remained in business as a Baltimore Gunsmith until 1824 and ultimately died in 1833.

Here were have a simple all brass and wood POWDER TESTER marked J. HASLETT on one side and BALTIMORE on the other. It consists of a brass wheel connected to a cover mounted on the front of a brass barrel and an "open" touch hole, complete with wood pistol grip. It would be fired by touching a spark or wick to the touch hole, which caused the wheel to be rotated by the pressure exerted against the cover. The number displayed on the dial would indicate the strength/grade of the powder being tested.

Simple, exceptionally clever and early, dating to 1812 or before. In fine condition and ready to display.

Year of Manufacture: c.1812
Caliber: N/A
Ammunition Type:  Powder
Barrel Length: 1 inch
Overall Length: 7 3/4 inches
Action: Flintlock Side Action
Feed System: N/A

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    New Jersey

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