Gunpowder Flask

Maker and role
Robert Dingee, Maker
Ames Manufacturing Company, Manufacturer
Production date
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Object detail

Copper, brass
9 x 4 x 1 1/2" (22.9 x 10.2 x 3.8cm)
As utilitarian objects, powder flasks were often damaged by their users. Luckily, many of these items were of similar size and parts could sometimes be swapped between flasks. This object is made from two military-issue powder flasks, one made by Robert Dingee and the other by Nathan P. Ames. The top and charger were made as part of Dingee’s first government contract for copper flasks in 1832. The flask itself was manufactured by Nathan P. Ames of Massachusetts circa 1837 and is identifiable by its unique design depicting a pair of clasped hands within a circle of stars. This design symbolized friendship between the states and flasks bearing its mark are known as “Peace flasks.” The flask’s original top and charger were likely damaged at some point and replaced with the older Dingee components.

Gunpowder was sold in bulk and gunpowder flasks were used to carry gunpowder when out in the field.
Object number
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