AMES MODEL 1835 BRONZE 6-POUNDER CANNON DATED 1837 In 1835 the US Army Ordnance Board recommended that the army change the metal used for future procurement of field guns from iron to bronze. The following year, the Secretary of War approved the Board’s proposed adoption of the French version of the British single-block carriage. COL George Talcott, Chief of Ordnance with a talented team that included MAJ R.L. Baker, Captain Alfred Mordecai, and Lieutenants Benjamin Huger and Daniel Tyler oversee the final pattern drawings and develop specifications for contracting both bronze cannon and their carriages. On 13 July 1836 two Massachusetts bronze foundries, the newly-established one of the N. P. Ames Company at Cabotville and Cyrus Alger & Company of Boston, each received a contract for the new bronze guns, Ames for 32 and Alger for 26. Under this contract, Ames ultimately delivered 31 that were accepted during 1837-1838. The Ames 6-pounder also impressed the Army of the Texas Republic, which ordered six from Ames to supplement their sword contracts with him, which were delivered to Galveston in the fall of 1840. This fine and rare example of an Ames Model 1835 of the First Production was produced and delivered in Ames’ first year of the contract and is so marked ‘1837’ on the face of the left trunnion, its right trunnion marked: ‘N.P. AMES. / FOUNDER / SPRINGFIELD’. At the top of the breech back is stamped ‘9/751/G.T., indicating that this was the 9th gun delivered under the contract with Ames, weighing 751 pounds and inspected and accepted by George Talcott. From the contract records, we know that this 9th gun was one of only 11 delivered in 1837. The vacant holes on the top of the barrel near the vent are for the Mexican War period “hammer” percussion primer in use prior to the well-known friction primers of the Civil War ear. The barrel measures 60 inches in length, not including the cascabel (knob) with a base ring diameter at breech of 9 13/16 in.; the bore length is 57 1/2 in. with a diameter of 5 13/16 in. The gun used by the famous U.S. “Flying Artillery” of Palo Alto fame and onwards to long and distinguished usage during the Civil War, our number 9 Ames is mounted on a reproduction of the Model 1841 No. 1 carriage, as used in both conflicts.
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