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Baltimore's Phoenix Shot Tower

In days of old, shot for rifles was made in the "Shot Tower." Molten lead was dropped from the top of the tower into a vat of water at the bottom. The lead droplets, like raindrops, would form into perfect spheres, cool and solidify as they fell into the cooling water vat below.

801 E. Fayette Street, Baltimore, 410-837-5424

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Baltimore Shot Tower


The shot tower seems to "stand sentry" near the entrance to Little Italy and directly in front of the Post Office building. In the distance can be seen the "former" Memorial Stadium, which was once home of the Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore Colts.

blatimore shot tower photo

The use of fire-arms has a long history, but this particular business, originally called Merchant's Shot Company. opened in Baltimore City in 1828. Both "drop shot" for pistols and rifles and "moulded shot" for larger weapons such as cannons were made here.

One of only a very few similar buildings left in the United States, the Phoenix Shot Tower was used to make lead shot from 1828 to 1892. Molten lead was dropped from a platform at the top of the 234' tower through a sieve and into a vat of cold water. Being constructed of one million bricks, the Shot Tower was the tallest building in the United States until the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, was completed after the Civil War. The Shot Tower was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972.

801 E. Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: 410-837-5424.

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