FIREARMS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - THE FIREARM THAT SHED NO BLOOD
This kind of firearm was used in the "best families" to light the fire on the cheerful old time open hearth. Poorer people used the combination of a chunk of flint, a piece of bent steel, and a tin cup of tinder. With pioneers the lock of the gun did duty instead. The unfortunates who had neither tinder box nor firearm tried to keep a constant supply of live coals, and, in the event of losing the fire, applied to a neighbor for a light. The tinder box was a domestic spark producer from about 1550 until matches came into common use —about 1835. The one illustrated was a good one in its day — evidently of early date. Later period ones had an oil well attached; the application of a drop of oil to the spark saved time and exertion in blowing. Tinder was commonly made of charred linen. A supply was kept in the hollow interior of the box, reached by a little door on the left side. The tinder box was commonly kept on the mantel shelf while the gun hung beneath. Thus the emblem of peace was in fact above the emblem of war. At the close of the Revolution, when the soldiers took home their guns, the firearm and the tinder box in close proximity looked good to reunited soldiers and matrons of the new United
States of America.
Sawyer, Charles. Firearms in American History. Boston: The Author,
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