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Old August 19, 2010, 10:50 PM   #1
4V50 Gary
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John Wayne's Sons of Katie Elder question

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.
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Old August 19, 2010, 11:07 PM   #2
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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.
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Old August 20, 2010, 02:33 AM   #3
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Well done Laserspot.
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Old August 20, 2010, 08:24 AM   #4
the Black Spot
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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.
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Old August 20, 2010, 09:52 AM   #5
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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.
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Old August 20, 2010, 10:10 AM   #6
Mike Irwin
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For industrial applications, blasting powder was also packaged in 100 pound kegs.
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Old August 20, 2010, 02:06 PM   #7
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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.
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Old August 20, 2010, 11:15 PM   #8
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Around the mid-1870s the wooden kegs gave way to steel kegs. Weights between 25 and 40 pounds were pretty common.
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Old August 21, 2010, 01:22 PM   #9
the Black Spot
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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.
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