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Battery Chamberlain

Battery Chamberlain, Golden Gate 

I noted with interest this evening that a search for “battery chamberlain” had led folks to my site twice, so I thought that I would copy my earlier (August 07, 2007) comments from my “News/Blog” page to this blog, and make them more easily found.

Below are the earlier comments, embellished with more links to photos. Photos of Battery Chamberlain that were previously in the Portfolio can be found on the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™. Additional photos are linked from the Stock Photo Table. Historic photographs of the battery can be viewed within the battery itself, when the battery is open to the public, the first full weekend of each month between 11 AM and 3 PM.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

Battery Lowell Chamberlin (named after a Civil War veteran) on Baker Beach is the home of one of the few remaining “disappearing guns” used in World War I and thereafter. Battery Chamberlin is open on the first full weekend of every month, between 11 AM and 3 PM. The 50-ton M1905 6-inch-diameter-bore rifle on display is virtually indistinguishable from the M1903 rifle originally emplaced at the battery to defend the Golden Gate. The weapon sits on an M1903 “disappearing” carriage. The M1905 on display came from Battery Livingston, Fort Hamilton, Harbor Defenses of New York, and spent time at West Point before given to the Smithsonian Institution and finding its way to San Francisco. The name “disappearing gun” refers to the operation. When a lever was pulled, a lead counterweight dropped, and the aimed rifle was pulled upward to the firing position. After firing, the recoil dropped the weapon below the parapet for reloading (effectively hiding it from the view of enemy ships), and raised the lead counterweight to prepare for the next shot. The battery has no overhead protection from a later weapon of war, the airplane. A detailed discussion, by Chuck Wofford, of the history and technology of Battery Chamberlin, can be found here. I was fortunate to visit at a time when Battery Chamberlin was open, and I could participate in a tour.

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. 

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