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Kinzie Battery, Fort Worden at Pt. Townsend, WA


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#1 speeder3

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:26 PM

I had the opportunity recently to visit Fort Worden State Park in Pt. Townsend, WA.  First, I explored the remains of Battery Kinzie, located on the beach head below the actual fort.  This battery, constructed in 1910-11 (IIRC)  housed a pair of 12-inch "disappearing" guns.

 

I have a question regarding an apparatus that is present at this battery.  Near the center of the structure, on the upper level, is a room with three wheels stacked one above the other.  These wheels (like steel steering wheels), were each connected to a series of rods via chains and sprockets.  The rotating motion of the steel rods was transmitted to a spot near each of the two guns, making 90-degree turns via bevel gears.  Whatever the rods were connected to at each end no longer exists.

 

At the fort proper is the Coastal Artillery Museum, located inside one of the barracks buildings (the movie "An Officer and A Gentleman" was filmed at this fort).  I highly recommend a visit to the fort and this museum (the small arms room alone is worth the price of admission).  The museum has a wonderful 3-D animated movie showing how the 12-inch guns operated.  Unfortunately, the animation and photos in the museum do not shed any light on what the three wheels did.  Anyone have any ideas?

 

The Coastal Artillery Museum has a great video on YouTube: 

If the link doesn't work, just search for "Coastal Artillery Museum" on the YouTube site and it will come up first.

 

Brian

 

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#2 speeder3

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:34 PM

 I forgot to add that the room with the three wheels is just below the center, uppermost structure where the lookout and range finder were located (command center?).  The two rooms are connected via a speaking tube (as are most all of the rooms).  So I am wondering if the the three wheels were actually a method of "telegraphing" the position of a target to the guns?  I can imagine that at the "receiving" end of the three rods may have been three "dials" to indicate the information needed to aim the guns.  Does that seem plausible?

 

Thanks,

 

Brian



#3 speeder3

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:42 PM

A couple additional photos...

 

I thought I had taken a photo of the wheels.  In the first photo, there is a doorway (between two windows) centered between the shell elevators.  The second photo was taken looking through the window to the left of the doorway.  Only two of the three wheels remain, but you can see all three sprockets that were connected via chains to the rods located below the floor (on the ceiling of the first level).

 

Brian

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#4 TLeo

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:59 AM

Not sure what they are either but I visited there many years ago while on vacation on the area and had a great time at the museum and exploring all the artillery positions. If some of those photos look familiar to folks....the film Officer and a Gentleman was filmed there.



#5 12thengr

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:41 AM

phpIlxsGOAM.jpg Ah yes, Ft. Worden, great place! Here's my grandaughter w/ the oozlefinch last summer. As for your question, you may want to message Agate Hunter. He's a bit of an expert on the NW Coast Artillery Forts.



#6 speeder3

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:09 AM

Update on this topic:   I managed to get in touch with someone who studies the history of Ft. Worden and learned that the apparatus in question was known as the "mechanical range transmission system."  

 

My contact also suggested checking out the Coastal Defense Study Group web site (CDSG.org) for more information.  There is a ton of information here on the U.S. coastal defenses (design, construction, history, and preservation efforts).  Lots of maps and other printed info available for free download if you so desire. 

 

Brian



#7 son of a Jungleer

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 07:45 AM

This may not exactly pertain to your topic, but it is cool to see in your photos, that volunteers are at least trying to combat the gang graffiti. I partipated in the centennial celebration of Ft. Worden with the Friends of Willie & Joe some years back. It was disconcerting to see the mess that the taggers had made to the concrete emplacements, at that time... Cheers...


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