Museum Blog

Constructing the Past

Rusted cap and ball revolver frame with a long round barrel, ca. 1870. Object ID: 1928.100.001a; Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center collection.

During the construction of the Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center, this rusted cap and ball revolver was found. George Cowdrey, the City Engineer discovered the piece of history during the digging of the basement. There is a possibility it belonged to Anson Rudd, who owned the property and buildings behind the museum.

Cap and ball revolvers relied on the loading of loose powder and a ball. They could be slow to load, generally requiring around three to four minutes. The powder couldn’t be wet when loaded making it tricky to load in adverse weather conditions. Paper cartridges, filled with measured powder and a ball significantly cut down on loading time. This type of revolver was popular through much of the mid-1800s but began to wane in popularity by the 1870s and 1880s as new firearms appeared.       

You never know what history may be just below your feet!

May 11-17 is Museum Week! We will be sharing some early history of the museum throughout the week.

The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.

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