Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Overall: 8 in. wide x 5 ft. 3 in. long x 6 1/2 in. diameter (20.32 x 160.02 x 16.51cm)
Sheet iron body; fabric covering on part of warhead; wood guidestick; twine wrapping around warhead and part of guidestick
This is a Congreve 100-Pounder war rocket made by the Englishman Sir William Congreve in 1815. It lacks its complete wooden guide stick that would have made it some 25 feet long. Only the rocket body, with pointed warhead and part of the guide stick, are shown. The propellant was gunpowder while the warhead contained combustible powder meant for the destruction of forts.
Congreve rockets saw service until as late as the 1860's when they were replaced by the Hale stickless, or rotary rocket. However, the 100-pounder and other larger calibers up to the 300-pounder, never became operational since they were expensive and difficult to make and transport. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1968 by the Royal Artillery Institute, U.K.
Gift of Royal Artillery Institute