This facility was typical of others in the country that made small spherical lead shot for the fowling pieces of frontier settlers. Smelted lead from the nearby Austinville mines was melted at the top of the tower and poured through a sizing sieve to produce small droplets. Surface tension caused the molted lead to assume a spherical shape that solidified during its 150-foot fall. The shot was then collected in a water-filled kettle at the bottom of the shaft. The "drop process" was patented in England in 1769 by William Watts, a craftsman of Bristol, England.
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: ManufacturingEra: 1800-1829DateCreated: 1807New River Trail State ParkAustinvilleState: VAZip: 24312Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/manufacturing---1/-63-jackson-ferry-shot-tower-%281807%29Creator: Jackson, Thomas , Watts, William
YearAdded:Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Dr00bie (CC BY-SA 3.0)Era_date_from: 1807