Explosive Corks and Gun........

Discussion in 'Fireworks Nostalgia, Collectables And History' started by Escht, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    Hunt all over for unusual stuff and this turns up in local antiques centre........
    Made by DRGM in Germany Knall Korke. ( Pop Gun )....... I have been trying to acquire the type marketed by Standard Fireworks in the 1930's...... chances are they didn't make it themselves and probably did buy in from Germany as some other 1930's items like Eton Hats etc. were....... big question is.does anyone have a picture of the gun sold by Standard Fireworks.......... when item is cocked a small trigger drops down so item can be fired....barrel end is 13mm dia. internal.
    knall korke contents428.jpg
    This was Standards version of the spare corks box, there is an illustration on this box, but need to see what a gun would look like.
  2. i dont think that was a standard fireworks one , they used ajax pistols. they where a slightly different shame to the one you have shown.
    sorry kevin !
  3. ill send photo later, when i take a pic of the brochure .
  4. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    Thank god for that.... just imagine the trouble there would have been had it turned out to be the Standard one.........
  5. you would have been hunted down by the y r a .
  6. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    they never travel too far from home, so no worries there
  7. Here photos of the AJAX pistol. It was made by the Adrian&RodeCompany in Germany (like the EROS pistol you have).
    DRGM is the abbreviation for "Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Muster", it means it is a German patty patent It was used until 1945. It seems the AJAX pistol was specially made for the British market.
    AJAX-KK-l.jpg AJAX-KK-r.jpg
  8. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    Thanks for that, first time I have seen what it is I'm trying to locate. Do know someone who has 3 of these stored away but they are in no hurry to dig them out
  9. Charlie

    Charlie Pro Firer/Crew

  10. Pyromania

    Pyromania Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    "24 good bangs for 6d"....

    You don't get that kind of value these days! ;) :D
  11. Charlie

    Charlie Pro Firer/Crew

    Looking at the design of the barrel of the ajax and the info on the box i don't think it was designed to fire corks rather just be a cap gun! And looking at the silhouette of the gun on the bottom of your standard box in the first post there is another Cork gun with a hollow barrel that will allow the pressure of the cap to fire a cork to find.
  12. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    Having seen a similar one being fired the cork isn't fired out , it explodes into dust with a load bang equivalent to any decent old type of banger going off......... one I saw being fired was the Spitfire version
    Charlie likes this.
  13. Here you can see an EROS and a TIP pistol in both versions. The both on the left are made for the British market, these on the right side are pistols used in Germany. Both types are made to shoot detonation corks. The construction of the left pistols is intended to reduce the risk of injury from explosion residues thrown forward. Maybe this construction was required by the British law. Does somebody know such a requirement or law? Knallkorkenpistolen.jpg
  14. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    Might be, I don't know enough about them although a friend of mine is doing an article on them at the moment, I can add this version into the mix seen here with the Spitfire model,
  15. sounds an interesting bit of nostalgia,
    any more details on the "corks"?
  16. Charlie

    Charlie Pro Firer/Crew

    Basically blank firers (which to all intense and purposes these are) cannot project anything forward. If they do then they fall in the corresponding firearm category. hence why UK legal spec blank firers are usually ported up or down. The reasoning behind is the possibility of firing a blank with a ball bearing or similar in the barrel as a projectile. In the rest of Europe you can vent forwards and they can attach things like flare launchers etc...
  17. Escht

    Escht Supports UKFR

    this is what was with the Spitfire and Eros guns
    explosive corks.jpg IMG_0500.JPG IMG_0501.JPG
  18. Agreed. The venting arrangement would appear to be a move to avoid having the gun classed as a firearm by preventing the discharge of a projectile. The attitudes of the Inspectorate towards Percussion Primers in the early days were fluid even though they had been around for years. Accidents and developments were not comfortably accommodated and definitions were subject to debate and refinement. I've been looking at this today as it happens albeit only casually and reading up on old Home Office papers on the subject.

    The Explosive Cork phenomenon wasn't limited to guns. It would appear that the cork industry developed from the technology first and then, applications were found to harness the effect. They were used as burglar alarms and were marketed as "Alarm Corks". Many were produced overseas, the vast majority I suspect. The Inspectorate really didn't like them at all and declared before the turn of the last century that there were unlikely to ever be approved owing to the sensitive nature of the composition. I will try and dig out the information I came across later and post it if anyone's interested.

    I love the pictures - these are excellent examples and a real piece of important history. Thanks for sharing Kev.
  19. Apologies for comments in the previous post that duplicated information provided at the outset. I didn't read through properly.

    The inspectorate - soon after bringing in the 1875 Act took to issuing circulars and memo's as and when situations developed requiring them to do so. The notes I read this afternoon were drafted in around 1885 and expressed grave concerns, they were made around the time of a visit by the Explosives Inspectorate to Germany and I formed the opinion that Corks were on the agenda during this trip. The notes also covered import licenses but I have to confess I didn't give any of this that much attention as I am busy compiling the list of licensed factories of various modes and time was limited.

    From my notes, the next time Explosive Corks were looked at again was in March 1913 (I'm sure the subject was investigated repeatedly but I don't have that information).

    The problem at this stage was highlighted by the Public Control Department of the London County Council who alerted the Inspectorate at the Home Office. Their beef was that they were picking up unlabelled explosive corks in unmarked, plain boxes. They couldn't establish the place or even country of origin and thus, could not confirm whether they were on the approved list of explosives. The goods would have come to light during surveillance on dealers premises and no doubt incidents involving the things.

    This department took responsibility for the licensing and inspection of Toy Firework Factories, reporting their findings to the Explosives Inspectorate. TFF's were licensed under more relaxed terms and the arrangement was deemed most suitable for these places. Corks could have been produced in TFF premises hence the interest by the Public Control Dept.

    Records show that explosive corks had been authorised under the designations:

    Explosive Cork, Eros Cork, Alarm Cork and Alarm Cork Cartridge.

    A circular was sent to the following tradesmen/manufacturers:

    H. J. Cadwell
    Messrs Bielenberg, Turner and Co.
    Marcus. H. Harris
    Messrs Allen Jessop and Sons.
    Paul Metz
    A Page.

    Four of the six operated out of London - the capital was the centre of TFF's, from memory 20 out of 25 TFF's were based there in the 1880's.

    I have in my memory the notion that firing mechanisms were made to attach the things to windows and to allow them to be set out in gardens as security products - it would be very interesting to find such a contrivance but I guess no-where near as attractive as the gun.
  20. Many thanks for this report. I have a Britisch EXPLOSIVE CORKS box (unfortunately empty), but no idea of which time period, with the statement:
    H.M. inspectors have declared “EXPLOSIVE CORKS” have to be toy fireworks.
    Does it mean that there is no restriction in age?
    In Germany we had the following rules:
    Until the 20s the sale of explosive corks was not restricted as to age. With the introduction of the safety package in 1928 the age barrier was set at 16 years of age, later in 1953 fixed at 18. Explosive corks are now classified as fireworks, class T, and may only be used as starter pistols in sport events or as stage ammunition in the theater.