US Naval Laboratory ammunition Crates

Cpl DeFarb

Cadet
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Location
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
Good Afternoon,

I stumbled across these ammunition crates some time ago and thought that I would share the little bit I’ve learned about them here.

musket.jpg
musket.1.jpg
60265.jpg


The first two photos are of the same crate which was designed to hold 500 rounds of .69 Cal ammunition without percussion caps. The reason for not having caps in with the cartridges like army crates was because the musket ammunition was to be placed in the magazine along with all the powder for the “great guns”.

The second crate was designed to hold 6,300 percussion caps which is what is prescribed in the ordnance instructions. I believe that this box is newer then the first because of the font style of the stencils, and the wording of one of the stencils.

Below are the pages for the ordnance instructions concerning small arms ammunition packing boxes.

Annotation 2020-01-28 085214.png
Annotation 2020-01-28 085214 1.png
Annotation 2020-01-28 085214 2.png


Of particular interest to me is the fact that unlike the army ordnance instructions the navy’s make no mention of how the boxes where to be put together. By looking at these photos the crates have a fairly interesting construction. Especially the lid as you can see from this photo.
Primers.2.jpg



Other interesting items include the locks in the lid, and the strange orange color of the inside.

I have a few photos of other naval laboratory crates but you can’t find a whole lot on the internet.

If anyone else has seen one of these and is willing to share what they know it would be appreciated. I am planning on making a replica of one of the crates just as soon as I figure out the odd construction techniques.

Regards,
Cpl DeFarb
 
Last edited:

Cpl DeFarb

Cadet
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Location
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
Would you agree they are made out of pine planks, stained by varnish inside, and something darker outside?
Lubliner.

Yes. I would also suspect that the stencils on the out side where painted on first then varnished or shellacked over because in some photos the letters are more of a white color.

The other odd thing is I've never seen one of these in a period photograph.
 

unicornforge

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
Location
Near Gettysburg, PA
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View attachment 344078


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......... I am planning on making a replica of one of the crates just as soon as I figure out the odd construction techniques.

Regards,
Cpl DeFarb
Looking at the photo, the orange box appears to have a floating-panel lid or a frame with a wooden panel attached to the top......
and a butt-jointed box, with wooden handles.
 

lelliott19

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Only the last image allows examination of the inside of the box, but it appears that the butt-jointed box has had a thinner "facing" overlayed onto the box - at least on the front and ends - which aligns with the "facing" of the box top?

@Lanyard Puller @Craig L Barry @Package4 or @ucvrelics have you guys seen one of these Washington Laboratory Percussion cap boxes before and can provide additional information?
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Only the last image allows examination of the inside of the box, but it appears that the butt-jointed box has had a thinner "facing" overlayed onto the box - at least on the front and ends - which aligns with the "facing" of the box top?

@Lanyard Puller @Craig L Barry @Package4 or @ucvrelics have you guys seen one of these Washington Laboratory Percussion cap boxes before and can provide additional information?
I have a very good friend who works at the Navy Yard as an archivist and will ask if they have any of these in their collection. I seem to remember seeing one of these somewhere, but can’t remember where.
 

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
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Jan 5, 2010
Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Only the last image allows examination of the inside of the box, but it appears that the butt-jointed box has had a thinner "facing" overlayed onto the box - at least on the front and ends - which aligns with the "facing" of the box top?

@Lanyard Puller @Craig L Barry @Package4 or @ucvrelics have you guys seen one of these Washington Laboratory Percussion cap boxes before and can provide additional information?

Never seen one before
 

collectman

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Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Hello , My handle is collectman. I have a naval labratory ammunitions crate . It came from the civil war naval yard in Norfolk Va. Its inside dimensions 6 inches wide x 11 3/4 inches length x 6 1/4 deep 3/4 inch thick boards white pine, dark olive paint outside orange paint inside. the brass screw lock assembly is complete and I also have two original brass nuckle keys with two small prongs to turn lock screw. I hope this helps someone to remake an authentic size crate. I can text photos if you like. I also have a civil war generals pocket watch with Thomas Taylor Munford name engraved in the cover , also engraved is SWORD OR PLOW. Totally authentic period watch. YoursTruly, Collectman
 

Lubliner

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Nov 27, 2018
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Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hello , My handle is collectman. I have a naval labratory ammunitions crate . It came from the civil war naval yard in Norfolk Va. Its inside dimensions 6 inches wide x 11 3/4 inches length x 6 1/4 deep 3/4 inch thick boards white pine, dark olive paint outside orange paint inside. the brass screw lock assembly is complete and I also have two original brass nuckle keys with two small prongs to turn lock screw. I hope this helps someone to remake an authentic size crate. I can text photos if you like. I also have a civil war generals pocket watch with Thomas Taylor Munford name engraved in the cover , also engraved is SWORD OR PLOW. Totally authentic period watch. YoursTruly, Collectman
I would love to see some pictures. I was also thinking you may want to put the watch into the relics forum, individually, but that is up to you. I was curious if you know if it is the Thomas Munford of the cavalry of Virginia?
Lubliner.
 

The Walking Dead

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2021
Hello , My handle is collectman. I have a naval labratory ammunitions crate . It came from the civil war naval yard in Norfolk Va. Its inside dimensions 6 inches wide x 11 3/4 inches length x 6 1/4 deep 3/4 inch thick boards white pine, dark olive paint outside orange paint inside. the brass screw lock assembly is complete and I also have two original brass nuckle keys with two small prongs to turn lock screw. I hope this helps someone to remake an authentic size crate. I can text photos if you like. I also have a civil war generals pocket watch with Thomas Taylor Munford name engraved in the cover , also engraved is SWORD OR PLOW. Totally authentic period watch. YoursTruly, Collectman
I would also like to see photos of your crate.
 

collectman

Cadet
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
I would love to see some pictures. I was also thinking you may want to put the watch into the relics forum, individually, but that is up to you. I was curious if you know if it is the Thomas Munford of the cavalry of Virginia?
Lubliner.
Yes,it is Thomas Taylor Munford of the calvary of Virginia and its engraved in the watch also Sword or Plow is engraved .Unfortunately i can only text you some photos of both.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
Hello , My handle is collectman. I have a naval labratory ammunitions crate . It came from the civil war naval yard in Norfolk Va. Its inside dimensions 6 inches wide x 11 3/4 inches length x 6 1/4 deep 3/4 inch thick boards white pine, dark olive paint outside orange paint inside. the brass screw lock assembly is complete and I also have two original brass nuckle keys with two small prongs to turn lock screw. I hope this helps someone to remake an authentic size crate. I can text photos if you like. I also have a civil war generals pocket watch with Thomas Taylor Munford name engraved in the cover , also engraved is SWORD OR PLOW. Totally authentic period watch. YoursTruly, Collectman
Welcome, enjoy. Thanks for joining in
 
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