This is a replica of the Congreve 32-pounder war rocket, a gunpowder-propelled war rocket of the early 19th century. The rocket was developed by the Englishman, William Congreve. The specimen shown here is of the central stick mounted pattern with an explosive warhead. Incendiary warheads could also be attached. The maximum range of the 32-pounder was about 3,000 yards.
The rockets were usually fired from tubes mounted on tripods but could also be discharged from ladder-like frames from boats or from special launchers from the sides of ships. Congreve rockets first appeared during the Napoleonic wars and were also used in such conflicts as the War of 1812. This model was donated to the Smithsonian in 1976 by The Science Museum of London, England.
Gift of The Science Museum, London