Punch,  27 (1854), 229.

A Steam Battery



News-Commentary, Drollery


Military Technology, War, Steamships, Railways

    Responds to a proposal in The Times that Sebastopol should be battered with Perkins's steam-gun. Insists that while the proposal might seem 'perfectly absurd', it is no less preposterous than steamboats or railroads which were also greeted with derision when 'first started'. Considers the claim of the son of Jacob Perkins that iron balls weighing a ton can be fired five miles from one of Isambard K Brunel's ships. Having ridiculed the idea of a gun loaded with steam rather than powder, points out the 'we do try some things which we are by no means sure will answer'. Assesses the risk of Perkins's proposal against the number of lives saved, and concludes that the proposal is only amusing because it has not been tried.

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