Civil War-era cannonball, firearm cartridge at Mount Holyoke College


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Mar 16, 2016
Civil War-era cannonball, firearm cartridge in Mount Holyoke College museum collection, prompts visit from state police bomb squad

By George Graham

SOUTH HADLEY - The Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad was summoned to Mount Holyoke College Monday after museum curators, cataloging Civil War artifacts for an upcoming display, discovered some potentially hazardous items - including a 4-inch cannonball containing lead shot and powder.

Both the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and the Skinner Museum produced items for state troopers attached to the bomb squad to examine, Jennifer Mieth, spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshal's office, said.

Items produced by the art museum were X-rayed and deemed to be inert, said Mieth, who had no information on what those items were.

The cannon ball and a firearm cartridge, among the Civil War era items produced by the Skinner Museum, required further action, however, Mieth said.

The cartridge was determined to contain live primer and powder inside the split-in-half cannon ball, was deteriorating. Both items were taken to a safe location and "counter-charged" to be rendered safe, Mieth said.

Entire article can be found here -

I'm guessing that "counter-charged" means they destroyed the items?


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