The cover of the container is slipped on and forced firmly into place, being locked by the seam previously mentioned. Through the 1-inch hole in the cover is poured a special prime mixture, which serves to ignite the first fire and also to seal the hole in the cover. The composition of this prime is as follows:


Meal powder.................


Orange shellac.........................


Enough denatured alcohol is added to make a stiff paste.

The two dry ingredients - namely, meal powder and powdered orange shellac - are first thoroughly mixed by hand in the proportions of 8 pounds of meal powder to 1/4 of a pound of orange shellac. The denatured alcohol is now added and worked into the mass until a mixture is formed having the consistency of stiff paste. This prime is introduced through the hole in the cover and thus comes in direct contact with the first-fire composition. The action of the alcohol upon the orange shellac readily hardens the mass and forms a cementlike seal over the top.

Paper Disk

After the prime is hardened a Kraft-paper disk, 2 inches in diameter, with an inch hole punched through the center, is pasted over the top of the case, the hole concentric with the orifice in the top of the case. The Kraft paper used for this disk is 80-pound stock. (Fig. 209.)

Cardboard Disk

This consists of a cardboard disk, 2 inches outside diameter, cut from No. 50 strawboard. Through the center of this disk are punched two small holes, about 1/4 of an inch apart, through which is threaded the two-ply quick match, which has already been attached to the prime. This match extends over the cardboard disk about an inch, and is held firmly in place by means of the strike blob. The cardboard disk is attached to the paper disk by means of paste.

Case with protecting disk, striker, and strike blob.

Fig. 209. - Case with protecting disk, striker, and strike blob.

Strike Blob

The strike blob is a quick-firing composition, composed of -

Per cent.

Chlorate of potash...................


Red gum....................




This composition is mixed in the proportions of 24 pounds of chlorate of potash, 2 pounds of red gum, and 1 pound of charcoal. The chlorate of potash is first thoroughly pulverized and the three ingredients are then carefully mixed, and water is added to bring the mass to the consistency of heavy paste. A small blob of this paste is supplied by means of a brush to the exposed match on top of the cardboard disk.

Blob Guard

The blob guard consists of a tin disk, 1/2-inch in diameter, stamped in the form of a shallow hat with a 3/16-inch rim, the crown of the hat being 3/16 inch high. On two opposite sides of the crown of the hat are cut slots 7/8 inch long, just above the rim, of a width that will permit the threading of the tape.


A woven cotton tape, 3/4 inch wide and 7 inches long, is passed through the slots in the blob guard.

Striker Card

The striker card consists of a piece of No. 100 strawboard cut 5/8 by 1 1/2 inches. This striker card is shown very clearly in figure 209. It is attached about an inch from the end of the tape by means of two wire staples, a stapling machine being used for this purpose.

Striker Composition

The materials used for this composition are as follows:

Red phosphorus and fine charcoal, dampened with gum water.

Gum water is made by adding 5 pounds of gum arabic to 2 1/2 gallons of water. The red phosphorus and gum water are added to make a thick paste, and a slight amount of charcoal is added to roughen the mixture when dry. A thin coating of this composition is then applied to the card, similar to that on the side of a safety-match box.

The tape is threaded into the blob guard with the two ends of tape projecting over the opposite sides of the case. Figure 209 shows the completed case, the cardboard disk, and striker blob, with the blob-guard tape and striker ready to be put in proper position.

Striker Protector

A piece of oil paper, 1 1/2 inches long and 5/8 inch wide, is glued on the side of the cylinder in such a position as to come directly beneath the striker when the tape has been pulled over the top into its required position. The object of this protector is to prevent the paste of the drumhead from causing the striker to adhere to the side of the cylinder.

Case showing drumhead in position.

Fig. 210. - Case showing drumhead in position.


A piece of Kraft paper, 80-pound stock, is cut 6 3/4 inches square, with 1 1/4 inches off at each corner. This drumhead is pasted over the top of the case in such a manner as to inclose the entire top and down over the sides, holding the tape and striker, with a small portion of the tape projecting from under the paper to be used for readily tearing off the drumhead when it is desired to use the torch, as shown in figure 210.


A waterproofing composition of asphaltum dissolved in gasoline is made up and the entire smoke torch is dipped therein. This hardens and forms a thorough waterproofing for the torch.


Below is a facsimile of the label, printed on yellow paper, which is pasted on the side of the case:

Smoke Torch Mark 1

To Fire - Tear tape right off to expose firing composition, rub the tablet of red composition (which is attached to the underside of tape) smartly but firmly across exposed black dot of composition in center of top.

Keep Dry. Stand Upright.

October, 1918.



Before packing for shipment, each torch is inclosed in a wrapper made from 200-pound Bogus paper, cut 6 by 13 1/2 inches. This wrapper is shaped around the torch in the form of a cylinder, and is not secured in any way. It is held in place when the torches are packed in their shipping case, preventing abrasion and adhesion.

Box Lining

A tin lining, 18 by 6 by 14 1/2 inches, is inserted in the wood case, which will hold 20 completed smoke torches. A tin cover is clenched in place and hand soldered. It is also waterproofed with the asphaltum-gasoline mixture, such as is used for waterproofing the torch.

Box Strap And Nails

After the tin cover has been waterproofed a wood cover is nailed on the box by means of coated-wire nails, and short pieces of box strap are also nailed over the top and around the ends for additional security.