The Great New Organ-Gun
Illustration, Drollery / Letter, Spoof
E G, pseud. [Ernest Griset] *
Military Technology, Exhibitions, Force, Dynamics, Music, Instruments, Amusement, Invention
The illustration shows two large guns on miniature steam engines. The guns possess large barrels from which emerge streams of shot produced by organ-grinders who are cranking large wheels attached to the gun barrels. The letter begins by explaining the accompanying illustration, which shows a 'big gun' that the author has invented and which he wished he had displayed at the Exposition Universelle (1867), Paris, 'a temple of peace' but displaying many other 'articles of war'. Explains that his weapon was anticipated by another shown to Emperor Napoleon III and that it propels its shots by centrifugal force: by turning a large crank, he claims he can achieve the same results as 'half-a-ton of gunpowder', but that owing to its small weight, it will be suitable for 'light artillery'. Boasts that his gun also fires without making any smoke or much noise. This will afford employment for organ-grinders who could attach a barrel-organ to his gun and turn it into a gun-barrel-organ, an instrument that could fire shot and a cacophony of tunes to thwart the enemy.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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