The ‘smokeless’ powder that was once in this small tin was used in sporting guns to shoot birds and small game. Instructions for using the powder are given on the back of the tin.
Smokeless powder was introduced in the 1880s and largely replaced gunpowder, or black powder. The EC Powder Company set up their powder works at Bean, near Dartford, in 1885. The works closed in 1928, but the site of the powder works can now be visited in Beacon Wood Country Park.
Gunpowder in Kent
Kent has a long history of gunpowder manufacturing. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Dartford was the most important gunpowder manufacturing area in England.