Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 45.
The Alarm (Newspaper) article, "Dynamite: Instructions regarding its use and operations," 1885 June 27

3 p.
Introduced into evidence during testimony of Eugene Seeger (Vol. K p. 627-634), 1886 July 29.
Transcript of article.

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People's Exhibit 45.

THE ALARM, Chicago, June 27, 1885.


Instructions regarding its use and operations.

Though everybody now-a-days speaks of dynamite, that great force of civilization, some with awe, others with delight, it may be said that but few have any knowledge of the general character and nature of this explosive. For those who will sooner or later be forced to employ its destructive qualities in defense of their rights as men, and from a sense of preservation, a few hints may not be out of place.

Dynamite may be handled with perfect safety, if proper care is used. It is a two edged sword if handled by one who is not acquainted with its character. Dynamite, which is also known in the market as "Giant Powder", and "Herculean Powder", is a compound of nitro-glycerine and clay (china clay is the best); in many cases sawdust is used. It requires a practical chemist to mix nitro-glycerine with clay or saw dust, for it is a very dangerous piece of work. Revolutionists would do well to buy the dynamite ready made. It is very cheap; much cheaper than they can manufacture it for themselves. No. 1 is the best; No. 2 will do also. Dynamite can be purchased from any large powder concern in any of our cities.

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Dynamite explodes from heat and detonation. It is self-explosive at a temperature of 180 degrees (Fahrenheit) and through sudden and violent concussion, as for instance, produced by the fulminate of silver or mercury. If you keep your stock of dynamite below a temperature of 100 degrees, and even 125 it will not explode itself. Yet you ought not to expose it directly to the rays of the sun or get it too near the stove. The best way of storing it is: Wrap it well in oil paper, place it in a box of sawdust, and bury it in your cellar, garden or where nobody can touch it. The moisture is neutralized by the sawdust. Never attempt to thaw frozen dynamite. This requires the skillful hand of a chemist, and is very dangerous.

In handling dynamite be careful not to get any of it on your lips, nose, eyes or skin anywhere; for if you do it will give you a terrible headache. When filling bombs, and you must handle it with your fingers, place a rubber mitten on your hand, and tie a handkerchief over mouth and nose, so that you may not inhale the dangerous gases. They likewise produce a frightful headache. In filling bombs use a little wooden stock, and never be careless.

Keep the stuff pure! Beware of sand. For the revolutionist it is necessary that the revolutionist should experiment for himself; especially should he practice the knack

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of throwing bombs.

For further information address A. S.., Alarm, 107 Fifth Av., Chicago.

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