There's Life in the Old Bomb Yet

Indiana museum’s Civil War grenade was still explosive, bomb squad says

A Civil War exhibit at the Porter County Museum in Valparaiso could be a blast. Literally.

During a recent visit to the Indiana museum, county police Sgt. Ed Clapp made sure the old guns on display were safe. While there, he noticed a few artillery items that he thought the bomb squad should have a look at.

After combing through all of the museum's exhibits, the bomb squad carefully left with a World War II artillery round fusing system and a firing device from the Korean War era.

They also carried out a large metal ball which Kevin Pazour, the museum's executive director, had always thought was a Civil War cannon ball. It turns out the "cannon ball" was actually a Civil War grenade.

All three of the items were still live and potentially explosive.

"Just because it's old doesn't mean it's not going to work," said Lt. Chris Eckert, commander of the bomb squad, reports

The Civil War grenade hadn't been sitting around and collecting dust either. The metal ball, which had been on display for over 70 years, had been handled by several of the museum's visitors. Pazour had even taken it to a school presentation.

The bomb squad will attempt to disable the items and return them to the museum. Otherwise, the dangerous items will have to be detonated.

Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and a "between blogs" blogger.

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