Author Topic: Powder Horn Base Pins  (Read 1924 times)

Offline okieboy

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Powder Horn Base Pins
« on: August 17, 2021, 11:09:40 PM »
 I was looking at the powder horns at the DAR Museum that Sequatchie Rifle kindly posted and it brought up a question that I have wondered about. On original powder horns, say from 1770- 1870, what was the most commonly used material for pinning the base plug. I know that horn makers say that you can use wooden pins, brass pins iron pins, brass and iron nails and tacks, etc. But what I am asking is not for a list of all possibilities, but what turns up most often. My guess is iron nails, but that is absolutely a guess.
 Can someone knowledgeable provide some illumination on this?
Okieboy

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2021, 12:20:52 AM »
 Do you by any chance have Jay Hopkins' book Bone Tipped & Banded horns? For most horns he lists what holds the butt in but Wood seems to be the front runner. In Art DeCamp's Pennsylvania "Horns of The Trade wood also seems to be the leader. Although those horns may be a bit out of you time frame.

   Tim

Offline jdm

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2021, 01:12:03 AM »
In general one of the many  things you look for in identifing  a 18th century horn are wooden pins or small hand made iron nails.
JIM

Offline okieboy

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 05:16:05 PM »
 Thanks both of you for your replies. I like wooden pins and will feel better now about using them.
Okieboy

Offline jdm

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 07:09:51 PM »
These I believe are rosewood.




JIM

Offline T.C.Albert

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2021, 02:16:35 PM »
Are those proverbial square pegs in round holes?
Or were the holes burned or worked square too?
Tim A
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Offline okieboy

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2021, 06:41:12 PM »
 The photos that jdm posted are a lesson in the problems associated with gathering information by looking at a photograph. Without his description of what is really there, I would have thought from the color of the pins and the way they stand above the surface of the horn that these were iron nails. And I would have been wrong.
Okieboy

Offline jdm

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2021, 06:59:54 PM »
I said these were rosewood but it's just my guess. It looks like other rose wood I have seen. There are four pins all of them different. One is round and one looks like it broke off at one time. Perhaps when made.  This is on a horn that  had a connection with a whaling ship so they probably had access to exotic wood. I assume the shafts were cut down to fit a round hole but there is no way for me to tell.
 When I first saw this horn I thought the pins were iron ( bad eyes ). until I examined them through a glass.

This is the pin that is damaged.  When you click on the image it blows it up to a pretty good size


JIM

Offline Elnathan

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2021, 05:00:45 AM »
Are those proverbial square pegs in round holes?
Or were the holes burned or worked square too?
Tim A

I can't answer for the horn in question, but for the record I have used square toothpicks to peg powderhorn plugs and IIRC they worked just fine in round holes, compressing to fit the hole. I have been awhile since I had square toothpicks to work with, though.
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Offline Dan Fruth

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2021, 03:13:27 PM »
Iron pins were the norm for Philly, Reading, and Northern Berks horns, while wooden pins or thorns were used on York horns.
The old Quaker, "We are non-resistance friend, but ye are standing where I intend to shoot!"

Offline WKevinD

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2021, 06:59:09 PM »
I have used Locust and Crabapple thorns.

Kevin
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Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Powder Horn Base Pins
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2021, 11:10:06 PM »
 My great grandadís old powder horn had black Locust pegs, just like he used on his Arkansas homestead cabin. Those pegs will be around long after iron nails have rusted away.

  Hungry Horse