Peter J. Starley

Warwickshire RFD 156

Black Powder

Gun Powders, Black Powders,
Nitro Propellants And All Reloading Materials

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Black Powder
Taylor & Challen Ltd
Engineers
Derwent Works
Constitution Hill
Birmingham

The images reproduced here were published by Taylor & Challen Ltd in their 1908 catalogue.

Link to detail Gunpowder Mixing Machine, No. 4
Here the saltpetre, charcoal, and sulphur, usually in the proportion of 75, 15 and 10, are mixed be revolving the drum 40 revolutions per minute, and the flyers inside the drum at 120 revolutions.
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Gunpowder Incorporating Mills, No. 5
The gunpowder ingredients, after preliminary mixing, are here thoroughly incorporated together. Each charge of 50lb is carefully spread over mill bed, and is subjected to the rolling weight of the runners which is considerable. viz : - 4 tons each, for 3 hours. The movements of the runners are controlled by a friction clutch, which is worked by hand gear situated in a convenient position, so that the machine can be started and stopped at any time, and quickly.

Link to detail Gunpowder Breaking-Down Machine, No. 11
The mill cake from Incorporating Mill, No. 5, is here tipped into hopper shown at left hand and elevated above the breaking-down rollers, the top pair being fluted and the lower ones plain, the conjoint function of which rollers is to convert the pieces of cake into meal, in which state the boxes below receive same. For safety, the whole framework is solid gun-metal, so are also the gearing rollers, and exposed metal portions of the machine.
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Gunpowder Hydraulic Cake Presses, No. 6
The meal powder resulting from the breaking-down machine is now sandwiched between a number of copper plates contained in the press box shown in the illustration. The powder is now pressed into cakes, which measure 24in. square and 1/2in. thick or thereabouts. To facilitate the removal of finished cake, the overhead tackle is manipulated, and the heavy box is swung to a horizontal position, when the hinged sides of the box are opened and the finished cakes removed.

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Gunpowder Hydraulic Cake Press, No. 265
The gunpowder meal is here strickled off to required depth in a mould 24in. square. The movable top block is run into position and hydraulic pressure applied from below. The resulting cake is of particularly dense composition and about 1/2in. thick.

Link to detail Gunpowder Granulating Machine, No. 234
In this machine the hard gunpowder cake, about 1/2 in. thick, resulting from treatment in the hydraulic press, is tipped into the lower hopper. Here it is broken into small pieces in the first pair of rollers, having coarse diamond-shaped teeth. From here it is raised in elevator shown to finer rolls at top, thence through other pairs of rolls of finer teeth.
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Gunpowder Dusting Reels and Glazing Barrels, No. 13
DUSTING
. - The dusting reels are of two kinds: - 1st., slope reels. 2nd., horizontal reels. The grain powder from Granulating Mill, 234, is dusted in the slope reels. THE GLAZING BARRELS now come into operation. The grain powder here, after hours of revolution varying 1-10, has imparted to it a fine glaze which the friction of grains rolling one over the other produces.
THE HORIZONTAL REELS are used after the glazed powder has dried in the Drying Stove, No. 10, and impart a finish and colour to the grain.

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Gunpowder Drying Stove, No. 10
The above represents the steam apparatus required for Drying Room through which all black powder passes. Series of posts with ledges between are mounted on iron works and receive trays of wood and canvas bottoms which contain the powder.

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