Original U.S. WWI Airplane Flare MKI with Parachute - 1918

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The following excerpt is from the book Military Pyrotechnics: The History and Development of Military Pyrotechnics

On May 29,1918, a contract was let to the Nixon Fulgent Products Co. for assembling of 50,000 airplane flares. The metal casing or bomb, was let to Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, on June 5,1918.

The Government also furnished silk for the parachutes and contracted for the making of the parachutes. Considering the large amount of detail involved, good progress was made in securing silk for the parachutes, making of the parachutes, and the making of metal cases. It was necessary to make several changes in the loading or assembling before the flares would function properly.
The contracts let with production accepted by Government inspectors up to December 12, 1918.
This is an excellent super rare example of a World War One U.S. Aircraft Flare built by the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company in 1918. We believe that it still contains its original silk parachute inside but we have not wanted to break the lower seal in order to verify. The bomb stand 46 inches tall with a circumference of 14 inches. It is marked on the exterior as follows:
Below the maker information is the U.S. Ordnance flaming bomb symbol.
The purpose of airplane flares was to illuminate the field of battle at night. When dropped it would burst at a given height igniting the magnesium flare which burned while the bomb, which contained a parachute, gradually fell to earth.

When used in this way the flare would serve to light up a wide portion of the battlefield - and in particular the spread of No Man's Land which separated the two sets of enemy front-line trenches - thus identifying any enemy patrol or wiring activity caught within the flare's boundaries.

As soon as men working in No Man's Land at night in this manner - such activity was both common and feverish - spied the ascent of a flare they would invariably throw themselves prostrate to the ground in an effort to avoid enemy detection (and resultant artillery fire) before the flare was extinguished.
Airplane flares were also used as signals and could be multi-colored, different colors serving to pass along a pre-given signal.
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