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Lead Ingot

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Artifact Description

The ten lead ingots recovered from a single cluster from the Jacksonville "Blue China" wreck are best interpreted as domestic assemblage, because one example, BC-05-00030-LD, is sliced off at its left end and possibly burnt at the right end, suggesting shipboard use. All of the ingots are bent and some display curved horizontal sides. As well as being uniform in shape, the dimensions are relatively consistent. On average, the ingots measure 27.0-28.1cm long and are 1.9-2.1cm wide maximum.

Each ingot bears on its upper horizontal surface the mold-impressed name of ‘James McCullough. N-Y’. James McCullough was the President of McCullough’s Shot and Lead Company, which in 1856 was located at 159 Front Street in New York City. An advertisement in the New York Times of 25 October 1856 confirms that McCullough was selling miscellaneous lead products, including bar lead (Wilson, 1857: 518). The company is most renowned as a major supplier to the Ordnance Department of the Union Army during the American Civil War. Multiple orders of buckshot, elongated balls and round balls of lead were requested by Major Thornton and Captain Crispin of the Ordnance Department between 1861 and 1864. Demand declined after the Civil War and in 1875 McCullough’s Lead Company went bankrupt.


Other Details

L. 27.0-28.1cm