Watervliet Arsenal

Watervliet, New York

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On Wednesday 37 December, two days after Christmas, Dave Bono, Frank Dorion, Dave Osier and Errol Groff escaped the everyday and took a day trip to the Watervilet Arsenal just north of Albany New York.

The museum is on the grounds of the Watervliet Arsenal which has been making guns for the United States Army since the War of 1812.  Founded in 1813 the Arsenal still makes the cannons for the Army including the main guns for the M1A1 Abrams tank.  Of course it is not possible to tour the Arsenal itself due to security precautions but the museum is open to the public.  

The museum is housed in a 19th century cast iron building.  When you realize that all the wall panels are of cast iron you gain a new found respect for the craftsmanship of those old time foundry men.

Most photos on this page were taken by Errol Groff and Frank Dorion contributed the rest.  

P1010012A.JPG (29055 bytes)  Some information about the building  

P1010013A.JPG (34398 bytes) P1010014A.JPG (35160 bytes) Architectural drawing of the building


P1010015A.JPG (22358 bytes) P1010016A.JPG (34924 bytes)  If you like guns of any sort this is the place to visit 

P1010017A.JPG (31518 bytes) Cast iron carry beam P1010018A.JPG (35831 bytes)  Iron staircase

P1010020A.JPG (27143 bytes)  P1010021A.JPG (32672 bytes) Coehorn mortars

P1010022A.JPG (32200 bytes)  This is my favorite exhibit  at the museum. the mural, painted by John Trumbull, son of Colonial Governor Jonathan Trumbull, shows the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.  In the mural a canon is depicted.  Sitting in front of the mural is the very same cannon painted by John Trumbull.  Amazing.

P1010788FD.JPG (67430 bytes)  P1010789FD.JPG (72179 bytes) P1010789FD.JPG (72179 bytes)  Frank Dorion photos

P1010023A.JPG (30193 bytes)  P1010024A.JPG (25046 bytes) P1010025A.JPG (27647 bytes) Dave Osier gives close inspection to some of the exhibits

P1010026A.JPG (23926 bytes)  Some detail of the wall panels in the background.  The Erie Canal, at one time, ran through the grounds of the Arsenal.  While in upstate New York a visit to the town of Rome where there is an excellent re-created canal town is worth a visit.

P1010029A.JPG (28562 bytes)  P1010791FD.JPG (57057 bytes) p1010790FD.jpg (63403 bytes) 

Four Frank Dorion photos

P1010032A.JPG (26597 bytes)  P1010031A.JPG (31033 bytes)  Siege mortar

P1010033A.JPG (21457 bytes)  P1010034A.JPG (33529 bytes)  Coehorn mortar

P1010035A.JPG (26628 bytes)  P1010036A.JPG (25233 bytes)  From apprentice to chief of the works.  Quite a career

P1010037A.JPG (26451 bytes)  Foreman's desk in the machine shop.

P1010039A.JPG (36002 bytes)  P1010043A.JPG (32427 bytes)  Dave Bono next to a Garvin horizontal mill.  That's Dave on the right

P1010040A.JPG (22466 bytes)  OSHA approved pedestal grinder  (NOT)

P1010041A.JPG (27174 bytes)  P1010042A.JPG (22542 bytes)  

P1010044A.JPG (30169 bytes)  P1010045A.JPG (27278 bytes)  P1010046A.JPG (18372 bytes)  P1010047.JPG (21980 bytes)  This shaper uses a mechanism I had never seen before  As it cycles the handle seen in the first two photos swings left to right.  Either I did not see a nameplate on the machine I I slipped up on getting a picture of it.  Either way it is an excuse for a trip back to the museum.

P1010798FD.JPG (61371 bytes)  Frank Dorion photo

P1010048A.JPG (34475 bytes)  Frank and Dave next to a VERY large lathe

P1010049A.JPG (27455 bytes)  Dave (L) and Dave (R)

p1010800FD.jpg (77744 bytes)  Errol Groff and Dave Osier next to a S.B. Heavy 10 steady rest.  Or maybe not.

P1010051A.JPG (31004 bytes)     Limber: A two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle used to tow a field gun or a caisson.

                     Caisson:  In a military context, caisson is a carrier of artillery ammunition.   Caisson is also the  French term. In British usage, it was usually called a limber.    

Well, that didn't go a long way to making it clear now did it.    

P1010052A.JPG (33883 bytes)  Back in a corner this machine can just be seen

p1010796FD.jpg (93322 bytes)  Dave Bono admires a nice small planer.  If you are a visitor to these pages and not familiar with the terms of the trade a shaper is a machine tool where the tool reciprocates and the work moves laterally whereas on a planer the work reciprocates and the tool is moves in small increments laterally.  Frank Dorion photo

p1010795FD.JPG (73209 bytes)  Shaper (Frank Dorion photo)

p1010794FD.jpg (80624 bytes)  Frank Dorion photo

p1010786FD.jpg (85649 bytes)  Frank Dorion photo

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