PoD

Replica Firepot

13 posts in this topic

Firepots were ceramic pots that were filled with oil or gun powder and topped with a wooden fuse. Around the outside of the pot were loops or “ears” that slow match was tied to.

The pot was thrown onto enemy ships or fortifications using a lanyard (also tied to the ears or onto the rim of the pot). On impact with a hard surface the pot could crack spilling out the contents that was then ignited by the slow match. If the pot failed to smash then the fuse in the top would ignite the contents. Some firepots even contained a Grenadoe that would be lit when the pots contents ignited

This is an inert replica of the firepots found aboard the La Belle shipwreck which sank in 1686.

The Original:

firepot.jpg

firepot3.jpg

My Replica:

firepot.jpg

I comissioned the pots to be recreated to the exact dimensions of the La Belle artifacts by a friend that specialises in recreating historically accurate ceramics. The rope is hemp and the ears hold actual slow match. The stopper is wood and holds a removable wooden fuse filled with fake black powder. The top is held on by a circle of calico canvas finished to look like it has been tarred.

http://www.lettersofmarque.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=13&products_id=204

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That is one unique, well executed replica. I love seeing the 'not oft mentioned', but truly period items being made into replicas.

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Thanks William. I've been wanting to reproduce one of these for a while and now being involved in a large pirate display at the Royal Armouries next year I had the excuse to get some made up. I'd love to actually get one made up for real and see just how effective they were. I might try and convince the Armouries to film a live test for the display.

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I'd love to actually get one made up for real and see just how effective they were. ...

(Let's remember to wipe our prints off that.)

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Ah, it's good to see someone replicated this. One of my associates here at East Carolina University just told me about the original recently, and about the person who did a thesis paper on it and recreated them for live tests. The project got a lot of attention at the conference they revealed the research. Apparently, the deadliest thing about this is the shockwave from the explosion. They suspect this particular firepot was intended for use against the Spanish in mines in the southwest. Imagine the damage from this firepot when thrown down a mineshaft!

Here are a couple of those tests they did with replicas:

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Thats really cool. I bet that thesis is really interesting. Wonder if he will publish it anywhere?

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It hasn't been published as far as I can tell. It's a rather specific kind of thesis in terms of publication. As for being available somewhere, it wasn't among that large collection of thesis papers that Texas A&M put online.

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The shock from the noise and compression would be enough to push most men right out of the fight.

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The shock from the noise and compression would be enough to push most men right out of the fight.

Right on. You would think the shrapnel would be the main killer, but no, the explosion creates such a shock wave that anyone within at least 25 feet is either dead or severely damaged by internal bleeding/hemorrhaging (not sure what the correct term is). If you look at the first video, you see that cardboard square with the foil circles - those test for that, and they get blown out real quick. Those of you who watch the Mythbusters may be familiar with them from some of the tests concerning shock waves.

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Hey guys,

I'm the archaeologist that put these together. The report was not a thesis, but a chapter for an upcoming book about all of La Belle's artifacts. Expect it to hit shelves in the next year (or so).

We did eleven tests of the firepots at the bomb range.

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Thats cool. I will look out for it.

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Hey guys,

I'm the archaeologist that put these together. The report was not a thesis, but a chapter for an upcoming book about all of La Belle's artifacts. Expect it to hit shelves in the next year (or so).

We did eleven tests of the firepots at the bomb range.

Sounds like an explosively fun job. :D

Jas. Hook

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