Monday, July 05, 2021

Fort Mackinac - Cannon Firing Demonstration

One of the many activities the soldiers did in the park was fire cannon salutes for the tourists to the island.

These salutes are still performed today.

We got to view such a cannon firing salute during our visit to the fort. 

A six pounder cannon is used as the salute, just as it was used back in the late 1800s.

The cannon is first checked with a worm to remove any leftovers in the barrel.  In this case a piece of aluminum foil was removed.  Foil, while not accurate to the period, prevents bits of period-correct burning muslin sackcloth from falling on the town and onto tourists' heads below, which they appreciate.

Then a sponge is run down the barrel.

The cannon is then loaded, with the powder pricked through the touch hole, and it is then wheeled into position.

A friction fuse and lanyard is attached.

Then on the command to fire -


It made a most pleasing "Boom" for the crowd.    The crowd was pleased and applauded the fine demonstration even in the drizzling rain.

A very nice and well-narrated cannon firing demonstration indeed.


Old NFO said...

Fun when somebody puts a tennis ball dipped in 'volatile' liquid... Then you get a flaming ball going down range!

Aaron said...

Old NFO: That would be fun but I suspect the town and boats nearby would frown a bit on that, at least from that firing position.

drjim said...

They used to have an artillery show at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, CA. They fired everything from ancient "Hand Cannon" to a WWII British anti-tank gun, along with Civil War era cannon.

Most impressive to see the CW stuff fire. Talk about "Fog of War"!

But the real crowd pleaser was the British gun. Went off with a big THUMP you felt as much as you heard.