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Full text of "United States Patent 669"

United States Patent Office.

RICHARD I. L. WITTY, OF LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS. IN THE MANUFACTURE 
OF GUNPOWDER.

Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 669, dated April 
2, 1828.

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 
thereof.

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.