Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 6 in. wide x 3 ft. 5 in. long x 1 1/4 in. diameter (15.24 x 104.14 x 3.18cm)
Overall, wood; burlap held together and tied on to wood pole with steel wire; tubes, cardboard
This is a full sized model of a 17th century Fire Arrow Rocket of Sweden, the oldest known extant rocket specimen in the world. The original, dating to about 1600, is in the Royal Army Museum (Kungl. Armémuseum) in Stockholm. The specimen contains a bundle of three gunpowder rocket tubes wrapped in a fabric material. Around the fabric was contained an incendiary composition.
The three rockets propelled the arrow toward a target. The barbed arrowhead insured that it stuck to its wooden or other inflammable target. At the end of the rockets, fuses or powder ignited the incendiary composition so that the whole burst into flame and burned the target. The model was donated to the Smithsonian in 1976 by the George Marsden Design Company.
George Marsden Design