Tintype of a Civil War Rodman Cannon
Category: Civil War
Item Number: 12638
Civil War Rodman Cannon
Original Civil War half plate (4.5" x 7") tintype showing a Rodman naval and siege cannon with 6 unidentified individuals posing by the cannon. Rodmans were among the heaviest and most powerful guns of the Civil War. Due to their size and weight these cannons were used during the civil war in fixed positions in batteries and forts to protect the waterways. These weapons weighed 42,500 pounds, and could hurl a 450 pound shot over 4 miles.
Rodman's process permitted larger guns to be manufactured, guns that were previously impossible. The Union ordered 8, 10, 13, 15, and 20 inch caliber Rodman Columbiads. The 15 inch Rodman was the largest actually used by the Union during the Civil War. In this tintype we see the backside of the bottle shaped cannon sitting on its metal mount that would hold the 20 ton cannon, with 3 men and a dog sitting posed around it. Rodmans such as the one pictured here, were among the largest of the guns of the period and used in defenses and fortifications. They were capable of firing a large shell or ball up to several miles. Even today these remain some of the largest cannons ever made. A crease runs vertically half way up from the bottom of the image, and a green stain on the bottom margin, likely where it was glued into an album. Nevertheless, in good condition.