Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, from the Fourteenth Day of October, One Thousand Seven Hundred, to the Twentieth Day of March, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ten Page 240-244, Image 284-288 (1810) available at The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources.
An Act providing for the inspection of Gun-powder. Whereas gun-powder imported from abroad and manufactured within this state, hath frequently been found to vary much in its strength, and sometimes of inferior qualities, and its defects not discovered until brought into actual use: and whereas the modes heretofore used to prove the force thereof have been found uncertain and variable: and whereas Joseph Leacock, of the city of Philadelphia, hath invented an engine, called a pendulum powder proof, with a graduated arch and catch-pall, by which it is conceived that the force of gun-powder may be proved by experiment and the article reduced to certain and uniform standards of strength, whereby the manufacture may be advanced towards ultimate perfection , and the purchaser and consumer protected against fraud and imposition: § 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the first day of October next, all gun-powder manufactured within this state, with intent to sell the same within the city or county of Philadelphia, shall be put in good and tight kegs or casks of twenty-five, fifty, or one hundred pounds neat weight , each made of well seasoned timber, bound together with at least twelve loops, and having a hole bored in each head with the diameter of one fourth part of an inch, well stopped with corks and having the tare weight (weight of the actual keg or cask) of each cask marked thereon, and that all such gun-powder, and all other gun-powder, wheresoever manufactured imported into the port of Philadelphia, or brought into the city or county of Philadelphia for sale, shall be deposited, forthwith on such importation or bringing by land or by water, in the public magazine in in the said city, and delivered to the care of the keeper the same, who shall give his receipt for the same, deliverable to the order of him or them who shall deposit the same. § 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That David Rittenhouse, Francis Gurney, and Thomas Procter be, and they are hereby, appointed commissioners, to procure at least two pendulum powder proofs, upon the construction invented by the said Joseph Leacock, as nearly uniform in length and radius and weight of pendulum, and in length of caliber and weight of the pistol, as they can procure the same, and therewith make experiments of the respective strength or force of the several species of gun-powder imported from abroad and manufactured within this state, sufficient in number to ascertain the quality and force of three different degrees of strength in explosion, and marking the number of degrees on the graduated arch of the said engine, to which equal quantities of weight of the said three species of gunpowder, rammed with equal force into the pistol, shall elevate the said pendulum; and the power which shall be barely capable of raising the said pendulum to the lowest rate of elevation, shall be the standard for the state of Pennsylvania for gun-powder of the first or lowest proof; and the powder which shall be capable of raising the said pendulum to the highest rate of elevation, shall be the standard of gunpowder for the state of Pennsylvania of the third or highest proof; and the middle or second proof standard of gun-powder shall be ascertained by the number of degrees on the said graduated arch, to which the same quantity by weight in equal moieties of the first and third proof powder shall be capable of raising the said pendulum; and ht said standard being so fixed and ascertained, the said commissioners shall make report thereof in writing, by indentures under their hands and seals, one part thereof, together with one of the said two pendulum powder proofs, as accurate a draft and description thereof as can be made shall be returned to the Governor, to be file and remain the office of the Secretary of the commonwealth; and one other part shall be returned to the Master of Rolls, to be recorded in his office, and filed among the laws of the state; and the other part, together with the other pendulum powder proofs, shall be delivered to the first Inspector of gun-powder to be appointed in pursuance of this act, and by him, and his successors in office, to his and their successors, as often as another officer shall be appointed. . . § 6. And by it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall be the duty of the inspector of gunpowder so to be appointed, for the time being, to attend at the aid public magazine, and his office so to be built, as often as shall be necessary, to inspect and examine all gunpowder there to be deposited, to draw samples form each cask of powder which shall be so as aforesaid bored, and to open or otherwise get samples of casks of powder not bored as aforesaid, and removing such samples to his office, there to prove the same b the pendulum proof aforesaid, and note the standard quality of each cask, to provide himself with cedar plugs stamped on the outer end with the letters S.P. and the figures number one, number two, and number three, so designate the first, second and third proofs of standard gunpowder of the state of Pennsylvania, and another stamped with letters S.P. to designate condemned gun-powder, and therewith carefully to plug up the holes opened or made for the purpose with such marked plugs, as the proof quality of the powder in each cask respectively contained, and occasionally to weight the said casks; and if upon weighing the same suspicion shall arise that he casks are false tared, or do not contain the quantity herein above mentioned for each cask, to empty the same, and weigh the cask and powder separately, to ascertain the deficiency, if any, in the neath weight, and to fill the same to its due weight out of the other cask belonging to the same person, marking the weight taken on the ullage casks , and keeping an exact account in the books thereof, and of the names of the owners and persons bringing and depositing the same. . . §10. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any person, from and after the first day of October next, importing or bringing into the port or city, or county of Philadelphia, any quantity of gun-powder exceeding twenty-five pounds, with intent to sell the same, shall neglect to deposit the same for inspection in the magazine aforesaid, or shall sell the same before it be inspected and marked as aforesaid, or shall sell any gun-powder that shall be condemned as aforesaid as and for merchantable gun-powder every person so offending shall forfeit all such gunpowder as aforesaid. § 11. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the inspector shall be entitled to demand and receive of and from the owner and possessor of all gun-powder deposited in the said magazine, and by him or his Deputy examine, proved and plugged, as aforesaid, the following sums or rates, whether the same be approved or condemned, paid or secured before the same shall be removed from the magazine; if the Inspector shall so require; for every cask of powder, manufactured in this state, or any of the United States, bored, and stopped with corks by the manufacturer, containing twenty-five pounds neat weight, seven cents; for every like cask containing fifty pounds, eight cents; for every like cask containing one hundred pounds, nine cents; and fore very cask of foreign powder, or powder manufactured in the United States, not bored and stopped with corks as aforesaid, double the said price or rates; and for every cask which shall find deficient one per cent. In weight and shall fill up, fifty cents. § 12. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any dispute should arise between the owner, possessor or consignee of any such powder and the Inspector, touching the proof or condemnation thereof, or the goodness of the materials and manner in which the casks are made, upon application by the owner, possessor or consignee of such powder to one of the Magistrates of the city or county of Philadelphia, where the dispute shall arise, the said Magistrate shall issue this warrant to three indifferent judicious persons to be triers thereof, one of them to be named by the said owner, possessor or consignee, of by the said Inspector, and the third of the said Magistrate shall thereupon give his judgment agreeably to the report of the said triers, or any two of them; ad in case the said Magistrate shall on such reports adjudge the powder not to be merchantable, he shall award the owner, possessor or consignee thereof, to pay all costs; but in the case the said powder shall be found merchantable, the Inspector shall be adjudged to pay all costs, which may have accrued, and shall thereupon cause the powder to be marked as the standard to eb directed by the said triers.