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  1. #1
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Unfortunately Planet Earth
    Thanked 502 Times in 212 Posts

    Whitehead War Nose Mk1

    Evening all,

    Here is a very interesting torpedo pistol - it is a Whitehead War Nose Mk1 which were produced in the 1890s.............

    Apart from being relatively uncommon, this fuze is interesting for the following reasons:

    1) Still has the original tin shear pin in place;
    2) Still has it's original sealing washer;
    3) Still has the copper disc base firing pin cover;
    4) The direction arrow is on the opposite side from the norm;
    5) and most interesting of all, it is stamped with a serial number #1 (stamped on both the body base and on the top of the firing pin)

    Historic references indicate that this fuse was manufactured at two main locations - either the Whitehead Weymouth Factory in the UK, or from 1892 onwards under licence by E. W. Bliss Co. of Brooklyn, N.Y. In the same year the USN place an order for the manufacture of 100 Whitehead (3.55meters by 45 centimeters) Mk 1 torpedoes at a price of $2000 each with Bliss Co................

    The current theory is the fuze may be associated with the initial USN order for the 100 x Mk1 torpedoes.

    {Further, between 1896 and 1904, the Bliss Co. manufactured approximately 300 more Whitehead-developed units of five types for the U.S. Navy. The 3.55-meter Whitehead Mk 1, Mk 2, and Mk 3 torpedoes were basically the same, differing mainly in mechanical details. The Mk 1 and Mk 2 versions were also available in the 5-meter length}

    As highlighted in the attached photos, the fuze required some careful "TLC" restoration........

    Firstly, the removal of the totally rusted grub /retaining screws, clean out and re-tap (trust me they were rust welded imbedded!!!)
    Secondly, involved the manufactured of 2 x replacement screws - one from a 1/4" whitworth bolt, the other using a smaller M4 bolt - these were the original screw threads.
    Finally, involved cleaning the rust off the arming fan (impeller) and associated collar housing, initially soaked in vinegar to derust.

    Fortunately apart from the rusty screws, the fuse was still fully functional prior to restoration and able to be armed after 23 revolutions of the impeller.

    At least now it's back to a "respectable condition"!



    BTW - I have absolutely no intentions of attempting to remove the shear pin in order to remove the firing pin!!! (LOL)
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Dronic69; 15th September 2020 at 01:00 AM.

  2. The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to Dronic69 For This Useful Post:

    Alpini (14th September 2020), Bellifortis (14th September 2020), BMG50 (14th September 2020), Burney Davis (14th September 2020), Darkman (14th September 2020), Depotman (14th September 2020), doppz92 (14th September 2020), Dwight (17th September 2020), Gspragge (16th September 2020), HAZORD (15th September 2020), Michel (14th September 2020), MINENAZ16 (14th September 2020), nachtwuenscher (14th September 2020), no3nh4 (15th September 2020), Snufkin (14th September 2020), TimG (14th September 2020), wichitaslumlord (15th September 2020)

  3. #2
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Thanked 299 Times in 181 Posts
    Nice find.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to BMG50 For This Useful Post:

    Dronic69 (15th September 2020)




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