Date: ca. 1863
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Overall: 2ft 1 1/2in. x 3in., 3lb. (64.77 x 7.62cm, 1.4kg)
This is a 24-pounder Boxer war rocket briefly used by the British Army in 1864-1865. This specimen was fired about 1863 from a firing range, but recovered in 1974 and restored in 1980. Invented by Lt. Col. Edward M. Boxer, Royal Artillery, the Boxer rocket was an improved version of the Congreve war rocket developed in the early 19th century by the Englishman, William Congreve.
The Boxer rocket featured a stronger rocket case with a thicker wall and the repositioning and reduction of exhaust vents from five to three. It also employed a stronger powder. However, the Boxer rocket was replaced in 1867 by the stickless, or rotary rocket invented by another Englishman, William Hale. This object was donated to the Smithsonian in 1979 by the Royal Arsenal, U.K.
Gift of Royal Arsenal