Antique Cast Iron
Dahlgren Style
Miniature Signal Cannon
Civil War Vintage

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 Dalghren Style miniatrue Signal Cannon

Civil War Vintage

Signal cannons were used aboard ship to make salutes, to warn of danger, and to attract attention in the case of an emergency. They were also used to start yacht races. These cannons were generally cast in the style of the period to which they belong. Presented is an Mid 19th Century design cast iron signal cannon that appears to replicate a Dalhgren 32 pound cannon because of its bottle shape, reinforced chamber and single band. Most full size Dahlgren’s were used on board ships, but a few were used in the field. This cannon is secured on an iron mounting, and thus there is no specific indication of its use, beyond being used to signal.

CONDITION:The cannon is painted in black which appears original. The paint is intact, and there are no abrasions. It is in fine condition, but because of its age, should not be fired, and is for DISPLAY ONLY. The trunnions are cast as part of the barrel which is customary. There are no mold marks or inscriptions.

Cannon 10″ Length overall
Length barrel 9 1/4″
Bore 3/4″ or 75 Cal
Maximum Width 2 1/2″
Over all Weight 12 pounds
Base 14 1/2″ x 8 1/4″ x 1 1/2″

This fine example is being sold for display purposes only, and no attempt should be made to fire it without being assessed by a gunsmith.


John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren (November 13, 1809 (in Philadelphia) and died July 12, 1870). the son of Bernhard Ulrik Dahlgren, merchant and Swedish Consul in Philadelphia. Dahlgren joined the U.S. Navy in 1826 as a midshipman, and was promoted to the coastal survey in 1834. He is most known as a United States Navy leader. Dahlgren is most known for his designs for several different kinds of guns and cannons. These inventions were considered an important part of the reason the Union won the war. For these achievements, Dahlgren became known as the “father of American naval ordnance.” He reached the rank of rear admiral. It is his cast iron muzzle loading cannon which came to bear his name (the Dahlgren gun) and be his most famous contribution. It was under his direction that the navy established its own foundry to manufacture new equipment. His “shell gun” design was an improvement on the shell-gun invented by the French Admiral Henri-Joseph Paixhans.He was an ordnance officer at the Washington Navy Yard. Over a period of 15 years, from 1847 to 1862, he designed and produced several large-caliber naval guns including a boat howitzer and the eponymous Dahlgren gun—which would later become the most common cannon mounted on board U.S. Navy ships during the Civil War.

This very fine example is being sold for display purposes only. No attempt should be made to fire it without inspection by a gunsmith.

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