I make no bones about the fact that I shoot black powder cartridge rifle rounds, and a goodly amount of black powder gets converted into smoke and noise thanks to the hobby. Much is said about the characteristics of current Holy Black compared to what our forefathers used, and I've been buying higher-grade Goex Cartridge to improve the quality of both my creations and their subsequent results. Some recommend I make my own, but that pushes my safety envelope a bit much. I can easily drive to my supplier and pick up several pounds for about $11.00/pound, so I'm in no big rush to come up with an alternate source.
However, I've been keeping a little shard of days gone by, namely, the June 6th, 1896 edition of Harper's Round Table, for some time now.
Because it has a darned interesting article in it, describing the gunpowder works at the DuPont factory near Wilmington, Delaware.
It's time to share this piece of history, if not for the technical information, then for the journalistic style of the period. So I scanned the whole article, and created an Adobe .pdf file for y'all.
Hell, even the watercolors are neat.
And yes, they used willow as the wood of choice for their charcoal, grown on the DuPont estate.
Read about it here:
Which explains what went inside my other piece of history, still quite full: