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Lead Shot

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Artifact Description

A cluster of lead shot was identified on the Jacksonville "Blue China" wreck site in association with the remains of a large crushed keg, from which a sample of 38 examples was recovered (Diam. 0.88cm, weight 2.7gr), and derives from a 30-caliber projectile. Like the lead ingots recovered from the site, the lead shot could also have been procured from McCullough’s Shot and Lead Company, which in 1856 was located at 159 Front Street in New York City. 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.

Extensive spreads of thousands of additional pieces of lead shot were observed on areas of the wreck site overlying hardpan where the hull remains had completely decomposed. Musket shot seemingly shipped in some of the site’s large wooden kegs reinforced with iron hoops appears to have been an additional component of the Jacksonville "Blue China" shipwreck’s composite cargo.


Other Details

D. 0.88cm