A Cardinal among Cannons

While researching Playthings magazine looking for Big-Bang advertisements, I came across this ad for "A modern looking gas cannon...". I found no other ads in subsequent issues of Playthings.

I found a corresponding patent, applied for Feb. 1, 1929, two months after the above ad ran! The patent was granted in June 24, 1930. The cannon is a clever design with a large hinged cover on top of the breech. The cover had to be opened to replace the ignition cap, but most importantly to ventilate the cannon. When in the open position, carbide in the magazine fell down into an area above the projection tube. When the cover was closed, this carbide fell through the tube, through a hole in the bottom of the breech and into the sump where it reacted with water to make acetylene.

It has been my great fortune to have good friends who keep an eye out for me and help me add great toys to my collection. Robert Howard of the Hagley Museum is one such friend. It is with his help that the Dayton #210 is here. Thanks Rob!

Here is the Dayton #210 Howitzer. It is a very rare carbide cannon. I don't think many were made since it took so long to find an example. I believe that James Wily, inventor of the Big-Bang cannon bullied then bought out any and all competition. Alex, the toy soldier, is 3 7/16" tall.

Here are two views of the bottom. One with the sump in place and one with the sump removed.

Here is a view with into the breech with the cover open, magazine screw removed and hammer cocked.

Bars cast into the muzzle prevented children from charging the cannon with projectiles.

Here is the Dayton #210 and a Big-Bang 16F side-by-side for comparison. The Dayton is a contender!