Physics behind the mechanism of the Shot Tower-Crane Park-Twickenham-UK

shot tower

This shot tower caught my eye while walking in the Crane  park with my dad and we started an interesting discussion about physics behind the mechanism of making ammunition using the height and the atmosphere around the tower.  


  • The tall, hollow structure of Shot Tower has a heating chamber at the top.   In this chamber,  lead is heated until molten
  • Heated lead is then poured through a copper sieve that determines the equal size of the ammunition.
  • The drops of molten lead fall through the air to a cool water basin placed at the bottom of the tower.
  • During the fall of heated molten lead in the air, they form into spherical balls due to the fact that air resists motion. The final stage is that the spherical shots are removed from the cooling basin and polished to prevent them from corrosion.

The origin 

A plumber called William Watts from Bristol happened to notice that the    rain drops take an almost perfetly round spherical shape as they fall through the air from the tall roof of his local church.  He was quite amused and conducted an experiment making lead fall through a sieve from the church tower and his assumption was right.  His simple idea lead him to make a fortune by producing ammunition in large scale in the late 18th and 19th century.

The diagram of shot tower

Crane Park

The trees are green, solitary soldiers, canopies ranks of army that stretch high into the sky. The leaves of trees form green, picturesque roofs which enclose waterways with spotted shade. Small lakes are ideal for floating in, green trees, deep blue water and golden summer sun forming a vibrant colour mix that adorns nature’s glory.

Dirt paths guide you through the thick forest, on either side encased by brambles displaying a wide selection of juicy blackberries. The daily soundtrack of birds and duck is eternally present along with the rustle of trees and the sound of children with sieves joyfully attempting to catch darting tadpoles that flash past in the blink of an eye. Bees and crickets feast on the large meadows of wild flowers that sway gently in the evening breeze. Fields are green canvases on glory in the late-day light.

Picture gallery – Crane Park

Taking a dose of fresh air into my lungs
Invented a new fishing method with a kitchen seive
Any child’s dream – Splashing water to my heart’s content

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