Lead Pots…

Civil War Powder Cap… 1640’s
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Lead Caps often referred to as Powder Measure – early 1600’s… with the “cord arms” folded up…

These little chaps are often referred to as Powder Measures, but in fact, they are powder “caps” which fit over the ends of the powder carriers and are attached via two strings or cords, to slide up and down, allowing access to the powder, most people associate them with the civil war, but were used right up to the advent of the iron flasks being used, so although classed as a powder measure, that is a bit of a misnomer, as they were not used as a measuring tool, they were actually caps, to cover the powder carrier, which is classed as a flask… if you find what looks like a powder cap but is a round piece of lead, with no base, but still retains one or two arms, it could be a powder cap which had a wooden base, in times of need, lead was best used to fire at an enemy…

As shown on the left… the arms with the holes were never protruding out, but were folded in, this was to keep the cap from moving out of position and either losing your powder or letting moisture in, if it was to tight, it was an easy task just to pop up the arm and free the cap, to slide up and down the cord…


After being lost or discarded, & being made of lead which is malleable, these powder caps soon become distorted, after being turned over in the ground by the plough, or cultivator… as seen on the pas website, when we find these as metal detecting finds they tend to be somewhat flat, broken or totally destroyed… the other thing to remember here is that these powder caps came in other material…

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Powder Cap sitting on a sixpence
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Powder Cap
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Shown here on the left is a powder cap in place, on a flask, both the flask and cap are made from flat “sheet steel” maybe not so vulnerable as a lead item, but how many get discriminated out ?

Fred’s End Note