Much of my family is descended from British Loyalists who settled in Canada following the American Revolution. They settled in eastern Ontario, which would be invaded 30 years later in the War of 1812. The war was a fairly minor conflict on the world stage, overshadowed by the larger Napoleonic wars, but is still a major event in Canadian and American history.

When visiting an old family friend in 2014, we realized that we were very distantly related. His ancestor, Henry Shaver, was a brother to my ancestor. Henry Shaver fought on the British side in the War of 1812, enlisting with the 1st Regiment Stormont Militia. A sword and a rifle hang on the wall of my relative’s home; they supposedly were Henry Shaver’s weapons, used in the War of 1812. Don’t ask me if the weapons are correct for the period- Henry served for much of his adult life, and the weapons could be from a later period in his life. It’s a good family heirloom story, though.

Henry was involved in several major battles in Eastern Ontario, including the Battle of Chrysler’s Farm; this battle forced the USA to abandon their campaign to capture Montreal.

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I wasn’t able to take the weapons off the wall into better lighting, so had to take photos of them in that particular location. I’m not sure of the particular materials used in these weapons- the rifle is obviously wood, but I didn’t get to touch the sword scabbard. The scabbard is very dark, but scratches can faintly be seen on it. Lines can faintly be seen on the rifle stock and forearm; I think they are marks left from carving and polishing the wood into the correct shape.

Here are the two weapons broken into the blue, green, and red channels.

2014 08 15 1131 B IMG_17812014 08 15 1131 G IMG_17812014 08 15 1131 R IMG_1781

The blue and green channels are both fairly similar, and do not resolve the detail much further. The red channel, on the other hand, makes the marks on the rifle much clearer. I took another photo, with my Zomei 760 nm infrared filter.

2014 08 15 1130 IR760 P1030365

The marks on the rifle are very clear in infrared, as are the scratches on the sword scabbard. I would think, from this picture, that the scabbard would be made of wood or plant material, then coated/polished with a dark material. Leather does not seem to reflect infrared light in the same way wood does.

Henry Shaver eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and commanded the Second Battalion of the Stormont Militia. He retired in 1860, and died in 1874.

The visible spectrum photo was taken with a Canon Rebel T3 camera; the infrared photo was taken with a modified Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 Camera.