18th Century Cannon at Cornwall Iron Furnace

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

Iron was in great demand during the Revolutionary War, and brothers Curtis and Peter Grubb, proprietors of Cornwall Iron Furnace in Lebanon County, aided the American cause by casting cannon, shot, and various wares. (Because labor was in short supply, the Grubbs were permitted to use Hessian prisoners of war as workers.) Each cannon produced by Cornwall Iron Furnace was tested locally. If a cannon passed two test firings, it was loaded on a card and hauled to Philadelphia. Unfortunately for the patriots – but a stroke of good fortune for today’s museum visitors – a naval cannon failed the testing and remained at the Furnace, where it is on view.