• large wooden spikes jut out from a large wooden angular wall lit by sunlight. verdant grass surrounds it.

    Fort Stanwix

    National Monument New York

Featured Artifact

Detail of engraved horn.

Detail of engraved map.

NPS Image

Powder horns were used for storing gun powder to refill guns or cartridges. With a cord attached to the ends, soldiers, militiamen, riflemen, and hunters could easily carry the horns over their shoulder while out in the field.

The horns were light-weight, cheap to make and kept the powder dry. Horn is also a non-sparking material that eliminated the risk of igniting the gun powder stored within the horn.

Powder horns were often decorated with engravings, many of which depict maps like the one seen on this powder horn. These maps usually provided a basic geography of an area.

This powder horn shows the Hudson River from New York City to Canada. The powder horn has "NORTH REVER" engraved near the south end of the Hudson which is another name for this segment of the river.

Towns, forts and other significant locations are marked along the river such as Saratoga and Lake George.

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