Description: Powder Horn

A powder horn is a watertight container used to store gunpowder for a flintlock musket.  As a companion piece to the soldier’s gun, the horn would have been kept close at hand, hung from a strap on the soldier’s body.  Thus the images and words engraved into these horns were often personal representations tied to the soldier’s military experiences.  More than mere decoration, we can understand the carvings on these horns as significant to the soldier – a name, a map, memories of a significant place, or personal or national allegiances.  As a tapered cylinder, the decoration on the surface of the horn cannot be seen in its entirety at any one time.  

  • Culture: American
  • Creation Date: ca. 1760
  • Credit Line; Gift of Miss Isabel C. Herdle in memory of Ray M. Pike (first superintendent of the Gallery), 75.16