An eprouvette was a fixed elevation mortar that was used to test the strength of gunpowder.
This instrument was used for many years but gradually disappeared from use in the middle of the 19th century.
By placing a carefully measured piece of gunpowder, called a charge, inside and adding a standard weight shot, people were able to accurately measure the distance in which the shot travelled in comparison with standard travel distance.
A survey of gunpowder testing through the ages precedes a proposal for an eprouvette typology, which forms the core of the book.
A series of useful appendices includes a listing of over 700 eprouvettes traced.