Phoenix Shot Tower
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 10:02AM
[chuck] in Baltimore, Other, Phoenix shot tower

The imposing structure shown above is the Phoenix Shot Tower in Baltimore.  A shot tower is a tall tower used to make lead shot for muskets. Molten lead is poured through perforated pans at the top of the tower, and as the lead pellets plummet down through the shaft they become round.  A "quenching" tank of cold water at the bottom of the tower cools and solidifies the lead shot.

During it's heyday, the Phoenix shot tower produced as many as 500,000 25 pounds bags of shot a year, and was one the largest suppliers in the US. They stopped making shot with the tower in 1892.

The shot tower contains more than a million bricks, and was built in less than six months without the use of external scaffolding. When it was completed in 1828, the 235 foot tower was the tallest structure in the U.S. It maintained this distinction until until 1846, when Trinity Church was erected in Manhattan. [NOTE: The shot tower is a only short walk from some really good restaurants in Baltimore's Little Italy district.]

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