From Adam

I just returned from a trip to Charleston South Carolina and while there among the places I visited was the Charleston Powder Magazine. I thought it might be of interest to readers.

The Powder Magazine is a storage building completed in 1713 to house gunpowder to be used by the city’s defenders in the day when Charleston was still a fortified walled city.


In this model of the city as it was in 1713 the Powder Magazine is the building to the far right of the map completely enclosed by a fence.  It was set off away from the rest of the buildings so as to minimize damage in the event of an explosion.


What impressed me, aside from that it’s still standing, was the thought that went into its design. The walls are three feet thick and the roof thins out as it reaches its peak in order to channel the blast upwards in the event the powder was ignited in the building. The roof was also built in layers with sand sandwiched between so if the roof was compromised in an explosion the sand would dump downwards to smother any fire. Consider it an early fire suppression system.


Nasty little thing to have coming at you.


Uniform of the Independent Company of South Carolina


I thought it was a neat bit of history and something not often seen in American cities.

1 Comment

  1. John M. says:

    Cool stuff. I love colonial history.


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