Author Topic: Turpentine  (Read 961 times)

Offline matt45

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Turpentine
« on: December 17, 2023, 09:40:11 AM »
I'm reading Sailing the Graveyard Sea by Richard Snow right now, and the sailers were using turpentine as a solvent on the guns.  Was turpentiune used for a small arms cleaner back then?

Offline Jeremiah Jones

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2023, 10:09:32 AM »
In the rural south where I grew up, Turpentine was used to clean guns and other small metal parts, treat cuts and bug bites and as an all-round solvent and skin damage treatment.  I even heard of people taking it internally for "worms".  I would not try that, but I still keep a couple of bottles handy.
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Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2023, 02:47:48 PM »
For what it may be worth, the memoirs of legendary Canadian Frontiersman John George “Kootenai” Brown (1839-1916) relate an incident in about the late 1860’s or 1870’s when he and a companion came under attack by Indians (interestingly, at a locatiom which is now within the City of Medicine Hat, where I live) and he was wounded by an arrow. His companion removed the arrow and treated the wound with turpentine before binding it.  The men had been on the trail for quite some time, and the area they travelled through had not yet been settled, so obviously they had the turpentine with them. I don’t recall any mention of what uses they had for it, but I suppose they may have included such mundane purposes as gun cleaning, disinfection/ treatment of wounds, and perhaps (based on my own personal experience) even a fire-starting aid …
Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #3 on: Today at 01:24:57 AM »

Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2023, 07:48:38 AM »
Turpenes have been used medicinely for a LONG time.    Back to Romans at least.   I would not take it internally, but I would not swallow Listerine either (okay, I have and it is unpleasant).   I have used listerine to treat wounds, and a distilled product like turpentine would be safer than something from a snake oil salesman.

Offline matt45

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2023, 09:18:26 AM »
So what were the soldiers in the frontier army issued with to preserve their weaapons?  I am assuming that it was some petroleam by-product after the 1860's, but we know what happens when we assume. ;)

Offline St. George

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2023, 12:29:05 PM »
Look over one of the reprint catalogs from 'Sears, Roebuck & Co' - your local library should have a couple.

You'll find pretty much everything available - including 'Gun Cleaning Oil' and 'Sperm Oil' and eventually '3-In-One Oil' and various nitro solvents - all available commercially, thus available to the military, but usually only on post - the first oiler wouldn't be issued until the Krag showed up.

Hot, soapy water followed by clean hot water were used and would continue to be used and then the piece was wiped with an oiled rag.

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Offline matt45

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2023, 09:11:21 AM »
roger- thanks

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Re: Turpentine
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2023, 10:41:01 PM »
have used listerine to treat wounds, and a distilled product like turpentine would be safer than something from a snake oil salesman.

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