Powder Scoop Physical Object

Accession Number
Alternate object names
Scoop;Measuring Scoop;Measure
Creation Date
circa 1620
A copper powder scoop or ladle was used to place a gunpowder charge in a cannon. It was originally mounted on a long wooden shaft so it could reach the bottom of the bore. The powder was carried down the bore, and when it was fully inserted, the ladle was turned over, dumping the charge in place. The ladle was extracted, and the powder was then packed with a wooden rammer to be readied for firing. The diameter of the ladle was linked to gun size, and this piece, at 10.5 centimeters (4.13 inches) in diameter, corresponds to a piece that fired a 9-pound iron ball, a medium-sized gun called a “demi-culverin.”