Colorized photo from 1910 Original title: Rifling big guns Photographer: Bain News Location: Watervliet, NY
The Watervliet arsenal (a part of the US Army) was founded in 1813 to support the war of 1812, it was officially designated an arsenal in 1817. It occupies 142 acres of land and is still in use today. It's currently a National Historic Landmark, designated in 1966. Today they still use it to make cannon tubes, mortars and tanks.
This giant machine is called a rifling machine. Just like hand guns, cannon barrels are rifled. Rifling creates a series of spiral grooves, it allows better accuracy making the ammunition hit is target in a more predictable manner. The ammo spins in the air when fired.
That bar on the right is called the Sine Bar, it introduces height and a curve. The machine rolls back and forth using that long gear, and then in and out and it makes that groove. Different guns have different bores, which is why that thing is adjustable.
That guy on the far right in the brown suit, is the Seacoast shop foreman Carl Christiansen who seems to appear in quite a few images from this location.
January 15th, 2024
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