Poster Title

Gunpowder Mill Explosions in the United States 1800-1865

Presenter Information

Zachary CootsFollow

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

86

KY Senate District #

25

Department

History, Philosophy, Political Science, International & Legal Studies

Abstract

The manufacture of gunpowder has been a significant industry in the United States from the post-Revolutionary period to the end of the nineteenth century, when traditional “black powder” was replaced by “smokeless” powder. The product being highly combustible and explosive, the occupation was an extremely dangerous one. Consultation of historic newspaper archives located more than 160 powder mill explosions that took place in the United States during the period 1800-1865. The information contained in these accounts has been analyzed to determine the causes, magnitudes, and socioeconomic impacts of these explosions and relate this to the technological evolution of the industry.

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Gunpowder Mill Explosions in the United States 1800-1865

The manufacture of gunpowder has been a significant industry in the United States from the post-Revolutionary period to the end of the nineteenth century, when traditional “black powder” was replaced by “smokeless” powder. The product being highly combustible and explosive, the occupation was an extremely dangerous one. Consultation of historic newspaper archives located more than 160 powder mill explosions that took place in the United States during the period 1800-1865. The information contained in these accounts has been analyzed to determine the causes, magnitudes, and socioeconomic impacts of these explosions and relate this to the technological evolution of the industry.