contact fuse

contact fuse

[′kän‚takt ‚fyüz]
(ordnance)
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I'm old enough to remember when pubs shut in the afternoon and didn't open their doors again until 7pm, a relic of the First World War when they didn't want munitions workers spending all day on the beer - and let's face it you wouldn't want a chap who was soon to be handling a contact fuse to have had a skin-full would you?
Prior to World War II, two main types of fuses were used in detonating explosives: a timed fuse, set to explode at a predetermined time after firing, and a contact fuse, which exploded on contact with an object.