sharpiefan: Line of Age of Sail Marines on parade (Redcoats)
[personal profile] sharpiefan posting in [community profile] w_i_r
(OK, this isn't specifically for women in re-enactment, but it is about re-enactment, so...)

I have just acquired a c.1880 hot water fountain/boiler for use in a Napoleonic-period camp to enable us to have hot water 'on tap' for tea/coffee and musket cleaning. We're not the first unit to have one of these - I have seen two other units with something very similar - and I was wondering...

Do you or your group intentionally use something that is anachronistic for your chosen period because it looks 'right' or it makes life at events that much easier? And if you do, has it been pointed out by others as being anachronistic?

Date: 2012-05-15 05:01 pm (UTC)
ironjeff: (Tizzy)
From: [personal profile] ironjeff
We've been known to sneak a caplock or 2 onto the field for a battle demonstration, for those points in the show where the gun must go off.

I also know a few cannoneers who use "shepherd's crook" rammers (especially aboard ship!). Safety First!

I can't recall anyone who's pointed out the 'error of our ways' though.

Date: 2012-05-15 06:23 pm (UTC)
ironjeff: (Tizzy)
From: [personal profile] ironjeff
When I'm not at work I'll see what I can find for that (my firewall blocks too many things for effective searches of that kind of thing!).

Basically it's a hook-shaped rammer that allows the rammer, sponger, etc. to be entirely behind the muzzle at all times.

Aboard ship it also has the advantage of not requiring the gun crew to lean over the rail (since most captains do NOT want the gun muzzle inboard of the rail at all, to protect the public aboard).

Date: 2012-05-15 06:58 pm (UTC)
msmcknittington: Queenie from Blackadder (Default)
From: [personal profile] msmcknittington
This might be a bad question, since I'm not into Napoleonic era stuff at all, but is a boiler/hot water reservoir really that anachronistic for a war camp of that period? I'm thinking specifically of the campaign showers that officers sometimes had -- there are tons of pictures of them here, though the one I'm thinking of isn't there. It was taken on campaign during the Napoleonic Wars by some British officer. I will probably never find it again now.

So, if officers were hauling things like that around with them, surely a hot water urn isn't all that much of a stretch?

Date: 2012-05-15 07:24 pm (UTC)
msmcknittington: Queenie from Blackadder (Default)
From: [personal profile] msmcknittington
What I'd be worried about with that, more than the anachronism, is if there's lead content in the metal or the soldered joins and about the rust that's on it. If it's cast-iron, then I'd get busy with some steel wool and scour the rust off. But first I'd grab a lead testing kit from a hardware store and make sure it's safe to use.

Date: 2012-05-16 04:33 am (UTC)
msmcknittington: Queenie from Blackadder (Default)
From: [personal profile] msmcknittington
I am so glad you're being careful about the lead! It's in so much stuff up until the 20th century, and I am sure it would still be if not for government regulations.

Date: 2012-05-15 08:40 pm (UTC)
sara: S (Default)
From: [personal profile] sara
You beat me to it, that's exactly what I'd worry about. Because that join sure looks like a lead-based solder.

Date: 2012-05-16 04:32 am (UTC)
msmcknittington: Queenie from Blackadder (Default)
From: [personal profile] msmcknittington
Man, I don't even think they used anything but lead solder in the 1880s. The only other possibility I can think of is a rubber connector, and that would be long cracked and useless by now. And would be probably have lead solder underneath it. :P

Date: 2012-05-15 07:19 pm (UTC)
msmcknittington: Queenie from Blackadder (Default)
From: [personal profile] msmcknittington
Here we go. A coffee urn, ca. 1815. Here's another one. And here's a hot water urn.

The thing with the spigot in the top middle. I'm not sure what your hot water boiler/fountain looks like, but there are tons more coffee urns online if you Google "regency coffee urn". If you Google "regency samovar", then you get the heating element for coffee urns that are built for being heated.

So, I would say that the principle of having hot water on demand isn't anachronistic, but the style of whatever you're using might be. I think it's allowable to use something that comes from a later date, since it's not as if you're going to 1) find reproduction hot water urns, or 2) use an actual 200-year-old samovar/urn. As long as the one you're using doesn't have Queen Victoria's head engraved on it, knock yourself out and use it.


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