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Thread: Cast Iron Balls

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  1. #1
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    Zodiacdiverdave

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    Cast Iron Balls

    Found these on a ship wreck, it had a shipment of these iron balls but most of them are missing the shaft part. I think they may be fly weights for a steam engine governor but I thought that they would be brass. The ship wreck was 1870s.
    Can anyone help ID these for me?
    Thanks ZDD
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  2. #2
    us
    Jul 2012
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    they would make a funny door knocker lmao

  3. #3
    us
    Jun 2011
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    they almost look like those stupid 'truck nuts' that some people put on their pickup trucks these days

  4. #4

    Oct 2005
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    Interesting find. Can't see them acting as engine governors as, as you say they would normally be brass and the holes would be correctly centred.

    They could be used for taking soundings but again would iron be used which would rust and be really messy ?

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2010
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    Window weights?

  6. #6

    Mar 2012
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    Amazing shape to have been in saltwater for 140 years (1870s).

  7. #7
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    Renewing America's Economy...One Zincoln at a Time!

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    They would load two of these into a cannon...They had a chain connecting them...made to take down masts on ships, or take your bloody head off at the neckline...nasty things...
    In a pinch, they could have been used as anchors for dingys

    HH,
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  8. #8
    us
    Dec 2009
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    Could they be legs for andirons? The way there shaped at the top the S curve would intersect the cross brace, and the height seams to be about right? HH
    Broken Knee

    Let me retract the andiron idea. I still believe some type of leg for something, just what I don't know?
    Last edited by Broken knee; Aug 03, 2012 at 08:28 AM.

  9. #9
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    monty

    Jan 2005
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    I was thinking cannon fodder like grape shot, etc. Monty
    Don't make me loose the hounds! If you dig, Cover up your holes.

  10. #10
    Educator

    Feb 2006
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    Zoiacdiverdave wrote:
    > Found these on a ship wreck [...] I think they may be fly weights for a steam engine governor
    > but I thought that they would be brass. The ship wreck was 1870s.
    > Can anyone help ID these for me?

    As my posting-name indicates,my specialty-area of relic study is pre-20th-Century artillery projectiles. Although there was such a thing as a "hinged/expanding" Bar-Shot projectile, the balls on them were round, not egg-shaped like the objects you found on the shipwreck. Your "egg-ended" objects are definitely not an artillery projectile. Based on their form, I think you are on the right track that they are some variety of flyweight for a steam engine governer. Not all versions of flyweights were made of brass.

  11. #11
    Ism
    Ism is offline
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    Jun 2009
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    I don't know anything from anything, but could these be sounding weights?
    When it comes to detecting, you will always find me "out standing in the field".

  12. #12

    Mar 2012
    PA
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    I'm thinking the ringer part of a bell...noticed the hole seems off center if that means anything to anyone..

  13. #13
    us
    Dec 2009
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    CBG, is right governor weights were made of iron as well I just don't think your items are them.Most of them have one attachment point and 2 points of attachment for the springs, which yours do not have. HH
    Broken Knee
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    Last edited by Broken knee; Aug 03, 2012 at 08:39 AM.

  14. #14
    us
    May 2012
    Wisconsin
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    Are those solid cast iron? not hollow? About 2/1/2" (64mm) across? Cannonballguy may be absolutely right, but those do resemble projectiles shot out of the deck guns that had lines attached to mooring ropes. Early version of a Lyle Gun. About how many of those were found?

  15. #15
    Educator

    Feb 2006
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    Note that the end of the object (past the hole) is angled instead of straight... and has a flange (ridge)... and the flange has a notch in it. Those distinctive features are not there by accident. They were included by the designer/manufacturer for a specific purpose. They are important to the proper functioning of the object, or they wouldn't be on the object.

    There is no need for an artillery projectile (or a maritime line-throwing cannon projectile) to have the angled end, and flange, and notch in the flange, which we see on the objects found ny Zodiacdiverdave. I do not know what his finds are, but I am 100%-certain they are not something which was intended to be fired from any kind of cannon.
    Last edited by TheCannonballGuy; Aug 03, 2012 at 03:28 PM.

 

 
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