Powder horns held gunpowder for 18th Century firearms. Unlike today, gunpowder had to be manually added to Colonial Era guns. Powder horns made it easy to carry large quantities of gunpowder. Designs, like this eagle, became way to distinguish between individual powder horns, as well as reflecting the owner’s personality.
The bald eagle has been an American symbol since 1782, when the official U.S. Seal was adopted. Eagles are a symbol of power and authority, and the bald eagle is the only species found naturally in North America.
To learn more about symbols in American history, join the Salem Museum Thursday, February 8 at 7pm on Zoom. George Washington is one of the most iconic and storied figures in all of American history. This talk explores Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of our first President. Curiously, Stuart incorporated imagery of Noah and the Flood into the portrait, details which provide insights into how Stuart saw Washington and his vision for the new nation.
You can see the powder horn, and a flintlock rifle it would be used with, this weekend at the Salem Museum during Hands-On History Saturday. The Salem Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4 and located at 801 E. Main St.