View Full Version : John Wayne's Sons of Katie Elder question

4V50 Gary
August 19, 2010, 10:50 PM
Just saw the movie for the first time in over twenty years. In the final scene, John Elder (the John Wayne character) is inside a gunstore. He notices there are red metal cans of blasting powder. I know blackpowder came in small one pound cans and perhaps even five pounds. This can looked like it could be 20 lbs!

Was there such a critter as a 20 lb metallic can of blasting powder? I know the military used wood with non-ferrous metal for their powder kegs.

August 19, 2010, 11:07 PM
I haven't seen that one in a while. Here's a 25 lb. powder keg; it looks like a metal can with a wooden lid.


August 20, 2010, 02:33 AM
Well done Laserspot.

the Black Spot
August 20, 2010, 08:24 AM
i have one of those "coffee" can size metal cans that had powder in it i will see if there is a date on it and how many pounds it lists.

August 20, 2010, 09:52 AM
I thought about buying a 25 pound "keg" of powder from Jack's a few months ago and then had visions of my house going up in a blast and then thought,"Hell, no!"

Of course a keg is a big black plastic pickle jar or a plastic bag inside a cardboard box nowadays. I would rather my 25lbs of powder go off a pound at a time instead of one big conflagration. Humidity would make it cake into one big mass I would have to scrape or beat on to get a flask worth of powder, like a salt cube. :)

Mike Irwin
August 20, 2010, 10:10 AM
For industrial applications, blasting powder was also packaged in 100 pound kegs.

August 20, 2010, 02:06 PM
In the early 1980s when black powder was hard to find, I bought in 25 pound metal barrels/kegs. They were lined with plastic. I repackaged in one pound lots to resell in my gunshop.

August 20, 2010, 11:15 PM
Around the mid-1870s the wooden kegs gave way to steel kegs. Weights between 25 and 40 pounds were pretty common.

the Black Spot
August 21, 2010, 01:22 PM
i checked the red metal can that i have. it looks real close to the same size in the sons of katie elder movie. on my can it says "red dot, lot 316, 3 lbs".
it is an all red metal can with metal lid. this was back when hercules powder was in wilmington, delaware.
of course, 3 lbs of red dot may not weigh as much as the same amound of black.
i can send a pic to someones email if interested to see it.