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Author Topic: Paper fuze question  (Read 2906 times)

emike123

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Paper fuze question
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:20:52 PM »
The fuzes used come in a lot of different patterns and sizes.  The typical Frankford Arsenal type is on the far left but what of the others?

Plumber tells me the red ones like the next one in left to right are pre-war
Next one is pretty bright red.  Is it legit?
Is the black one pre war too?
Two little ones to the left go in the short ball fuse adapters.

Anything anyone can tell us definitively about these different types would be of interest, at least to me.


John D. Bartleson Jr.

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 08:30:40 PM »
Good question MIke,
  Aren't the Frankfort fuses all the same color and length, just different mixes and driven at different psi?
I would guess the two at right are hand grenade fuses for the Adams grenade.
Would the colored ones represent different burn times and of C.S. manufacture? I have never seen inside a string wrapped package of C.s. fuses.
In looking at the extremely long shanked W.C. fuse adapters for the large diameter shells or the thick nosed rifled shells, just how long are the paper fuses used in them??
Regards,

John
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 08:35:33 PM by John D. Bartleson Jr. »

emike123

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:45:35 PM »
Thanks John.  Yes on the Frankford ones being all same size and shape and only differing in the powder composition which affected burning time even though the fuse was the same size, John.  The two shorties on the right fit the CS copper ball fuse adapters.  Only thing I know about the long colored center ones is Dave told me they are pre-war.  Looking for more on them in particular.

geneingram

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 10:23:05 PM »
In the late 1960's I bought a Civil War Collection up in Ohio and there were several of the red colored paper fuses in the collection, none of them had the seconds marked on them, I don't know were they came from, they were not in a box, but also in the collection there was a box of Franklin fuses, I still have one of the red ones, and 2 of the Franklins, one marked 6 sec. and the other plain.  The collector I got the from made several visits to Bannerman Island in N. Y. and may have picked them up there, as he did several other small items he just picked up, of course Bannerman bought most of the Civil War surplus of the U.S. Government, and at that time of my friends visit I don't think there was anyone around that could have answered that question, and he is dead now, also.  That still doesn't help.
Gene Ingram

6lbgun

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 12:02:50 PM »
Mike,
     Both Gibbon's 1860 Manual and Roberts' 1860 Handbook have descriptions of the of the 2 1/4 inch fuzes.
Black     2 sec per inch
Red       3 sec per inch
Green    4 sec per inch
Yellow    5 sec per inch
     The two 21/4 inch fuze pictures I have posted also have side markings to indicate burning rates.  The red one with three hash marks (3 sec) matches the specs but the black one, which by the specs should be 2 sec is marked with a 10.
     The 2 inch bright red one that you posted I'm not sure of.  I can find no reference to the above color coding relating to 2 inch fuzes.  It could be Confederate.  I have found no evidence that there were 2 inch color coded Federal fuzes produced.  I have also not found any written or visual evidence any 2 1/4 inch CS fuze. I know that it's been said the 2 1/4 fuzes are Confederate, but I feel that Gibbon and Roberts dispel this theory.  I do have a red 2 1/4 fuze with a glued on tag identifying it as being Confederate , but I have strong doubts.  The CS Richmond Laboratory 5 sec fuze war 2 inches long with a horizontal label giving burning time and topped with cotton twine to insure ignition.
     The Federal 2 inch fuze in your post may not be Frankfort produced.  Did you get out of a pack?  I have an open pack of Allegheny Arsenal 5 sec fuzes.  These are identical to the Frankfort ones except for the fact that the Allegheny ones have an extra horizontal number printed on it whereas the ones that I have observed from a Frankfort pack do not.  This is very limited observation of fuzes of known packaging.
     The origin of the two small ones on the right are a mystery to me.
Hope this helps
Dan

mccaul

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 07:25:21 AM »
Did some quick research last night as I remember mentioning in my book that Army paper fuzes were color coded.  (The Navy did not as color coding as that would involve memorizing and instead used black dots or lines  [I cannot remember which right now] to indicate how many seconds the fuze would burn.)  The colors mentioned on page 295 in the 3rd edition of the Ordnance Manual are yellow, green, and blue depending on the composition used.

John D. Bartleson Jr.

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 08:21:03 AM »
Thanks Ed, however being an old Navy man we do have memories. :)
Regards,
John

mccaul

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2012, 07:37:51 AM »
John, That is how it was described - the Navy did not want to uses color coding as it would involve memorizing.  I did think that it was quite funny as a comment on how the Navy viewed the mental facilities of their gunners. ;D

CarlS

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2012, 09:19:05 AM »
I suspect it was less of an indictment on the memories of their gunners and more of a process design to eliminate errors during the heat of battle.  With colors you would need to equate a value with the color.  With dots or dashes the number is right there.  Although I guess the door is open to a miscount/misread if in a hurry but with the smaller counts like 4 dots it's not too likely.  You start getting up to 10 and it becomes more probable.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:23:13 AM by CWArtillery »
Best,
Carl

John D. Bartleson Jr.

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2012, 11:31:24 AM »
The Navy didn't like it cause they couldn't learn braile. 8) ::)
John

Selma Brooke Gunner

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Re: Paper fuze question
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2012, 02:43:42 AM »
The navy most likely didnt use color coded fuzes because the did use a color code system on their powder charges. Most likely not to be confused in the heat of battle they maintained numbered fuzes so as not to confuse fuze color with charge color.
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emike123

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Burning question…
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2019, 09:14:31 AM »
    The seconds of burn per inch numbers for colored paper time fuzes from the ordnance manuals provided above do not jive with my recent observations and require some explanation, at least to me.  I am not really back in the game yet, but will look forward upon my return in a couple weeks to the Civil War projectile community to seeing if someone has an explanation for what I am describing below.

    • I had a broken open pack of 2.25” long black fuses marked “10 seconds to the inch.”  This pack is shown below.  At 2 seconds per inch per the above, this should be 4.5 seconds
    • I can see red color in another pack of 2.25” long fuses I have marked “14 seconds to the inch.”  At 3 seconds per inch per the above, this should be 6.75 seconds.
  • I had 2 packs of 2” long yellow paper time fuses marked “20 seconds”.  At 5 seconds per inch per the above, this should be 10 seconds.

In each case the time on the cover of the pack is rounded up to twice what it “should” be per the ordnance manuals.

I have a pack of 2.25” long paper time fuses marked “20 seconds to the inch.”  I have seen these often enough but never opened one, but would presume they’d be green or yellow per the calculations above.  If anyone has one of these and can peek at the paper time fuse color, it’d be of interest to me.

Curious as to what is going on with these colored fuses and their seconds per inch.  No wonder gunners were confused and later paper time fuses went to a number stamped on them for total burn duration with lines for cutting them shorter.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 09:29:51 AM by emike123 »