Powder Horn Info?

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jlutz

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My total knowledge of powder horns is that they hold powder and are made of horn. That said, I picked this one up at an auction and wondered if anyone might know the maker; the initials apear to me to LFJ or LEJ. Any other general observations or knowledge you’d like to share is always welcome as well. Thank you!
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Jake
 

Notchy Bob

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I can't help you with identifying the maker, but that is a nice horn. The spout is not as elaborately carved as on some horns by professional horners, but it is a very clean, simple design. The crenellations are neatly cut and the base plug is well fitted. Not being familiar with that part of the country, the only waterway I was able to identify on the map was the Wabash, but the maps you provided in the second post are unequivocal.

It looks like a horn made by a gifted hobbyist, which might make him a little harder to track down than a professional who tries to get his name "out there."

I have a very simple flat horn made by Ron Vail. I think Ron may live in that general area, and last time I checked, he had a website. What I'm getting at is that Ron may know other horn makers in the area, and if you get in touch with him via his website and show him those pictures, maybe he would know the maker.

That is a very nice horn, nicer by far than anything I could possibly turn out, and I would dare say any one of us would be proud to have it. The fact that its map shows your home area ought to make it a keeper. Thanks for showing it!

Notchy Bob
 

jlutz

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Thanks for sharing your observations Notchy Bob! I’ll see if I can find Mr. Vail’s website.

Jake
 

ohio ramrod

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It looks to me like a well made,simple map horn probably made by local craft person for his own use. A good quality horn much like an original would have been.
 

TFoley

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I have a very simple flat horn made by Ron Vail. I think Ron may live in that general area, and last time I checked, he had a website. What I'm getting at is that Ron may know other horn makers in the area, and if you get in touch with him via his website and show him those pictures, maybe he would know the maker.
Bob - elsewhere on this forum there is a guy from UK trying to find an flat horn maker in UK. IMO he is more likely to find a banjo-making Zulu. Your post might be of interest to him , though. Can you post a pic of your flat horn, please?
 

Notchy Bob

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Thanks for sharing your observations Notchy Bob! I’ll see if I can find Mr. Vail’s website.

Jake
You bet!

I looked for Ron Vail's website, but it appears to have been taken down. However, I did find his bio and contact information on the Early American Life website: Ron Vail Profile

I don't know how current that information is, but it's worth a shot. In my dealing with Ron by email eight years ago, I found him to be a pretty good fellow. Most people in the blackpowder community are happy to help each other out, and maybe he can suggest a name to match the initials on your horn.

Notchy Bob
 

Notchy Bob

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I need to review my geography... I was thinking Indiana, but The La Motte Trading Post depicted on the horn in the first photo was on the Illinois side. The trading post really existed, and there was also a ferry, both operated by Joseph La Motte. Here is a link to an interesting article about him: Joseph La Motte - Fur Trader

Notchy Bob
 

NorthFork

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Awesome find. The horn's map is somewhat local to me as well. Do you think it is an original?
 

jlutz

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I did find his bio and contact information on the Early American Life website: Ron Vail Profile
Thanks again! I sent Mr. Vail an email and if I receive a reply, I’ll share what I learn here. In reading his bio on the EAL website, I was very surprised to see that he is from Connersville, IN originally. It turns out that is my hometown as well, although I no longer live there. An interesting coincidence given the town’s relatively small size.

Thank you for the article as well. I’ll be interested to read it!

Jake
 

jlutz

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Awesome find. The horn's map is somewhat local to me as well. Do you think it is an original?
NorthFork, given my lack of knowledge in this area I have little basis on which to determine the horns age, though I took it to be a modern work. I’d certainly be interested to know if someone thinks differently. I purchased it from the online auction of an estate sale and it had very few photos and even less of a description. It just caught my eye and I was able to get it for a low price so I didn’t investigate much before purchasing it.
 
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jlutz

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You bet!

I looked for Ron Vail's website, but it appears to have been taken down. However, I did find his bio and contact information on the Early American Life website: Ron Vail Profile
Notchy Bob, I was able to speak with Mr. Vail via email. He was, as you predicted, very pleasant to deal with. He unfortunately didn’t know the maker either, so that may remain a mystery, but I’ve certainly learned a lot from everyones comments nonetheless. I especially appreciated the article you shared re: the trading post. Thank you!
 
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