The Bormann fuse is named after its inventor, Belgian Army Captain Charles G. Bormann. The Bormann time fuse was employed by the United Stated Ordnance Department as early as 1852. The time fuse is contained in a tin and lead disk. This disk has time markings indicated in seconds and quarter-seconds graduated up to 5 1/4 seconds. The artillerist used a metal punch to pierce the thin metal at the desired time marking. This exposed a section in the horseshoe-shaped horizontal mealed powder train. When the cannon discharged, the flame from the explosion ignited this powder train. It would burn in a uniform rate in both directions, but one end would terminate in a dead-end just beyond the 5 1/4 second mark. The other end would continue to burn past the zero-mark, where it would travel through a channel to a small powder booster or magazine. This powder then exploded, sending the flame through a hole in the fuze underplug to the powder chamber of the projectile. The Bormann fuse was widely used by the Union artillery throughout the Civil War, and the Confederacy manufactured its own version graduated to 5 ½ seconds. This example measures 1 5/8” in diameter and is in unpunched, unfired condition with sharp threads.
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