Check out my balls Spring

Discussion in 'Militaria' started by terry5732, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. terry5732

    terry5732 Well-Known Member

    I think these are likely souvenirs of Michigan copper country. They have no mold seam. There is a very light indent ring to one side of each. 2.03 inch diameter. 23 ounces each.
    0212 copper 007.jpg 0212 copper 010.jpg
  2. janettekay

    janettekay Well-Known Member

    Can't help..but your title really made me look.:D
  3. elarnia

    elarnia SIWL

    hey! i get to use some of that math they drilled into my reluctant head (and some look-up skill :cat:) so... a 2.03 inch diameter sphere = 4.38 cubic inches, which at the weight of copper (the look-up) is 22.66 ounces. so it looks like you have pretty much solid copper there, which you already knew. oh well.
    cxgirl likes this.
  4. maryislgal

    maryislgal Well-Known Member

    I have to say--those are very nice balls. Just sayin
  5. cartoongirl

    cartoongirl "Don't Blink!"

    yup...had to look. Very nice, indeed.
    judy likes this.
  6. springfld.arsenal

    springfld.arsenal Store:

    There is a very light indent ring to one side of each. If we can't see that in the photo I'd like to see it, I don't know exactly what it would look like from the words.

    I used to dismiss people who'd bring me brass or copper balls with their theory that they were cannon balls, but I don't do that any more. Recent scholarship and archaeology have convinced me that copper cannon balls, including grapeshot and canister shot, saw widespread use in Mexico because copper was more available than iron, the more traditional cannonball material. Just a possibility to consider. In order to check that out fully you'd probably have to check around to find out what bore sizes of cannon were in use then, say ca. 1800, and also what the grapeshot diameters were for large cannons. If they came from a family with ancestors who fought in the Mexican War, that's a good clue.

    I can't comment on the souvenir possibility but if you find an identical one mounted on an old stand with a descriptive sign saying it is a copper mine souvenir, there you go.

    You will get attention if you care to post a link back to here or make a separate post on SARA, the "Spanish Artillery Research Associates" Yahoo group." I've seen more discussion of copper cannon balls there than anywhere else.
    judy likes this.
  7. springfld.arsenal

    springfld.arsenal Store:

    Could be an older one of these, "museum grade sample" which is supplied by this firm as a 2-inch diameter ball.

    They also hammer it all over, which could account for the slightly larger diameter due to the small radial metal displacement caused by each hammer blow.
  8. terry5732

    terry5732 Well-Known Member

    This really has the appearance of purposely being hammered but could be from rolling too. There are numerous pits that look like naturally occurring copper inside.

    You might be able to see the ring a bit in this video: balls.mp4

    There is no deformation to the roundness. They measures 2.03 in all directions.
  9. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    if you're a cannon'd better be round.
  10. springfld.arsenal

    springfld.arsenal Store:

    OK I did notice a seam. I have one 7" copper cannon ball that was made to shoot from a powder-testing mortar. It is perfectly round and smooth as glass. I guess I don't have any theories on the dents in those posted. The seam could have something to do with the mold used to cast it, assuming it was cast.
  11. terry5732

    terry5732 Well-Known Member

    What may look like a seam in the pics is just a light trick. There is nothing like a seam in the center. The groove I'm referring to is towards one end. It looks to me like what a sabot might impress. If they were cast, I would think they would have been sand cast. I cannot see any obvious place that was a sprue.
    0212 balls 001.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  12. Dennis

    Dennis New Member

    These may be check valve balls for plumbing. The made them out of cast copper because they wouldn' rust
    Christmasjoy and Bronwen like this.
  13. springfld.arsenal

    springfld.arsenal Store:

    I can’t add any more. Even my knowledge of the more common iron balls is a bit rusty.
    Christmasjoy likes this.
  14. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    There`s an Alien in there :D

    0212 balls 001.jpg
    Christmasjoy and judy like this.
  15. Bev aka thelmasstuff

    Bev aka thelmasstuff Colored pencil artist extraordinaire ;)

    Or a bowler with very tiny fingers.
    springfld.arsenal likes this.
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