Powder monkey

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Powder monkey (left) on a Ship of the Line

Powder monkeys were boys or young teenagers who used to work on board the old sailing ships when they went to war. When there was a battle it was the powder monkeys' job to carry bags of gunpowder from the place where it was stored to the people who were operating the guns. This had to be done quickly, so young boys were ideal because they could run fast and they were small. It was not unknown for girls to disguise themselves as boys and get a job as a powder monkey.

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