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Connecticut article related to English flint

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  • Connecticut article related to English flint

    I just ran across this on an unrelated search. Cool and interesting short article about the use of English Flint by Native Americans during King Philip's War.
    TN formerly CT Visit our store

  • #2
    The bifacial gunflints can sometimes leave you wondering what you've found.
    Try this link: has pics, and don't need to sign in.
    If the women don\'t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.


    • #3
      I found something new (to me) while reading the report..

      pg. 11
      "Native Americans used a number of different types of material for their
      gunflints. According to Witthoft (1966:22), most gunflints from Long Island were
      made of quartz."

      I read that in VA., and other states they've been found also. It never occurred to me that good ol' quartz was used when a suitable European import, or native flints couldn't be acquired. Looking around on the net for pics (slim pickins') I did find one (!), and as it turned out, it was from one of my old stomping grounds in S. Maryland. Guess I'll start digging through boxes of artifacts to see what I've missed. Anyway, thought I'd throw this out there in case there are others that missed seeing the forest, for the trees..

      If you have any quartz gunflints post 'em up!
      If the women don\'t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.


      • #4
        I guess if you need to use ballast stones in your ships, you might as well use a ballast stone that is potentially useful and plentiful along the English coast. In the Caribbean Spanish ballast stones were a relatively important building material on some islands for a period of time.
        Hong Kong, but from Indiana/Florida


        • #5
          In the early colonial days, there were more goods coming out of the Americas (tobacco, cotton, sugar etc) than there were going in, so many ships were forced to carry ballast on the inbound journey for stability at sea. In the early period, there were opportunities to carry something that at least had some commercial value and frequently it was barrels of glass beads in huge quantities for trading with the natives. A bit later, when the immigrant population was larger, it was boxes of clay pipes, glass or ceramic bottles and other goods not yet manufactured in quantity in America. Then, later still, it was luxury goods.

          Ships unable to secure an inbound cargo with any value looked for the cheapest heavy material they could find and so flint rubble (although not free) fitted the bill nicely. You’ll find it in most American & Canadian Colonial harbours that had a merchant shipping trade, and it arrived in such quantity that it quickly became a navigation hazard when dumped overboard. Some harbours introduced laws forbidding it to be randomly dumped, sometimes specifying an acceptable location and/or a collection system whereby it was removed for use on shore. Much of the dock area of Savannah and some of its town squares are paved with English flint cobbles for example.

          The practices are reflected in naming too. In Nova Scotia, Sydney had an area in its north harbour called the “Ballast grounds” for dumping and the southern bay of Pictou harbour had “Ballast Island” for controlled unloading. Names such as “Chalk Point” are common in many places on the east coast (especially the Chesapeake region) and, in some cases derive from the presence of huge ballast loads of chalky flint.

          One enterprising company gathered up dumped flints in large quantities and transported them to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for use as grinding media in ball mills used to crush copper ores.

          You may be interested in this too:

          Worked Ballast Flint at Aptucxet

          I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.


          • #6
            Good thread. I learned something new too
            South Dakota