18th Century Saluting Cannon

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Signal Cannon, Starter Cannon, Thunder Mug
Singaling Cannon

Stock Number 2103-36

Saluting cannons, also called Signaling Cannons or Thunder Mugs were used in the 17th and 18th Century as a form of communication between forts. Some large farms and many towns and cities also used signaling cannons to warn residents about attacks by indians. Typically, a signaling cannon was fired each morning at a preset time. The first firing was followed by several others as each town or fort answered the signal. This signal cannon is most likely English made and dates from 1650 to 1750. The English and the French used signaling cannons cast at a foundry. A similar saluting cannon is on display at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum. The cannon is 5 7/8 inches tall, 5 inches wide at the base, and 3 inches wide at the top. The barrel diameter is 1 inch. Soldiers used this heavy mug as a mallet to pound in tent stakes and fire place irons. Also, the top was used as an anvil. This cannon shows signs of such use. The cannon was used in military forts in Vermont. It has been recently discharged from a museum. The cannon is cast from brass and is now coated with a green patena. Finally, the base has a small chip missing that does not show in the photograph. This chip is probably the result of the cannon being used to pound fire place irons. The chip was filled with plaster-of-paris for display purposes by the museum. This cosmetic repair can be undone.


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