Smokey the Cannon

Smokey the Cannon

Smokey the Cannon was built in 1953 by the University's mechanical engineering laboratory in answer to the traditional shotgun blasts heard at Texas-Oklahoma football games. Smokey is fired every time the Longhorns score a touchdown or make an exciting play. The cannon was modified to shoot twin 10-gauge shotgun shells in 1955 and renamed Smokey II. In 1988, Lupton Machinery of Austin built Smokey III out of the trunk of an oak tree. The newest Smokey weighs 1,200 pounds and fires up to four blank 10-gauge shotgun shells at a time. Funds to cover the $25,000 cost of the new cannon were raised through alumni donations. Smokey is currently under the care of the Texas Cowboys, a UT student service organization.

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Original photo courtesy UT Center for American History; colorized by Jason Graham