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James Shell
Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

James Shell

Catalog #: RSN    
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Maker

Charles T. James (Inventor)

Charles James was a Major-General in the Rhode Island State Militia. His interest in firearms led to the development of a rifled cannon and several artillery projectiles including the 12-pounder. His first projectile was patented on February 26, 1856, patent #14,315. On 16 October 1862, at Sag Harbor, New York, Charles James was conducting a demonstration of his projectiles to a group of foreign military officers. A workman tried to remove a cap from one of the shells with pliers and the projectile exploded. The workman died instantly and James died from his wounds the next day, 17 October 1862.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 7.5" H x 3.5" W x 3.5" D

Physical Description

Forged metal projectile.

General History

The James shell was unique in that most serviceable guns, either of bronze or iron, could be rifled to fire a James projectile. Using the James system the gun was rifled with a gaining right-hand twist with shallow grooves and equal distance between the lands and grooves. The lands and grooves are flat and varied. The 12 pounder had 15 lands and grooves.


Keywords

Country: United States
State: Rhode Island
Era: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
Service: Militia
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