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1795 6-pounder cannon

Rare 1795 cannon displayed in lobby.

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In 1776, and experienced brass-caster named James Byers received funding from the Pennsylvania Council of Safety to convert a porcelain factory in Philadelphia into a foundry to produce desperately needed brass cannons for the American Continental Army in their battle with the British.

On a visit in March of 1777, Byers’ craftmanship won the attention of John Adams. A shortage of metal forced the foundry to melt down a shipload of French cannons and recast them as three 6-pound cannons.

In the midst of production, Byers fled his foundry as the British marched into Philadelphia on September 26, 1777. When Washington’s army retook Philadelphia on June 18, 1778, Byers was astounded to find his equipment still intact and resumed production beyond the conclusion of the war.

This cannon was manufactured by Byers Foundry on contract with the State of New York in 1795 and is thought to be among the earliest American made bronze cannons manufactured after Independence.



The American Heritage Museum will be open for MA Spring Break Week (April 15-21) including Monday, April 15th and Tuesday, April 16th. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Free Admission Day on Tuesday, April 16th funded by a grant from the Highland Street Foundation's Spring Week 2024 Program.