Powder and Propellants is the story of the U.S. Navy’s premier facility for research, development, testing, and evaluation of “energetic materials,” the chemical compounds used in gun and rocket propellants as well as in aircraft cockpit ejection seats. Initially charged to improve the penetrating power of warheads against steel armor, Indian Head became the proving grounds for testing guns, propellant powder, shells, mounts, and armor, notably the manufacture and testing of Jet Assist Takeoff (JATO), Zuni, Talos, and Polaris rockets and missiles.
First published in 1990 as a private publication for the Navy, Powder and Propellants is now available again as a revised and expanded second edition, with a new chapter on the institution’s last decade. Those interested in military history, technology, and government institutional history will find this book invaluable.
“A sound piece of historical scholarship . . . It very ably ties the story of the institution to what was happening in the navy as a whole during this time.”—Public Historian