United States Patent Office.
RICHARD I. L. WITTY, OF LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. IN THE MANUFACTURE
Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 669, dated April
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, Richard I. L. Witty, civil engineer, of the
city of Lowell, State of Massachusetts, have discovered a new and
powerful Composition for the Manufacture of Gunpowder; and I do
hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description
My discovery, consists in using a material capable of yielding a
large quantity of carbureted hydrogen or inflammable gas�namely,
bituminous coal. The coal is to be highly comminuted with certain
proportions of sulphur and nitrate of potash. These three
substances are taken in a powdered state and then mixed together;
but since these ingredients vary in quantity or otherwise, they
will require their definite proportions to be adapted to each
other; there follows a formula which I have used and found to
answer well�viz: bituminous coal, twenty-six pounds or parts;
nitrate of potash, one hundred and fifty-six pounds or parts;
sulphur, thirty-three and one-half pounds or parts; and in order
to make the gunpowder the above ingredients are to be intimately
mixed together, as must be the case in preparing gunpowder from
any materials, and then the combination may undergo the same
process as is at present practiced with common gunpowder�viz., in
the pressing, graining, glazing, and drying. .
What I claim as my discovery is�
Making use of bituminous coal in the place of charcoal to form
gunpowder, with the other two ingredients at present used�viz.,
sulphur and niter; and for the use of these two last-named
ingredients I do not claim any exclusive right.
RICHD. I. L. WITTY.
Witnesses: N. W. Ryan, W. DUESBURY.