Sunday, September 18, 2011

Guns? Oh, Here's A Gun

The Perkins Steam Gun: 1000 rounds a minute -- in 1824! And nary a one fired in war. (You want nightmares for a week? The Civil War Between The States* with steam machine guns. --Like this one -- thankfully, one and only.) As for Perkins, he's pretty amazing.

Found at Lateral Science, q.v., and for the finding of which I must thank Carl Bussjaeger.
* Northerners, Southerners, fight quietly among yourselves over this terminology; given Indiana's deeply divided opinion during the Late Unpleasantness, I thought it only fitting.


Stranger said...

My 1920 American History book called that unpleasantness "The War Of Southern Secession."

Certainly accurate, and likely not to raise the ire of the Second Klansmen who ran the Gummitup when Wilson was President, and afterward, or the wrath of the Southerners.

I do not know how many 6th graders before me were taught history from that book, but the "checked out to" label inside the front cover had 15 names, and had a new label pasted over the old.

Parents today would have apoplexy at the thought their precious juvenile delinquent had to study from a book that had been sullied by other hands.


John A said...


- - -
I have a sort of love-hate relationship with links, too often I end up falling down the rabbit-hole of more links. In this case, when next I dazedly removed my eyes from the screen, I realised I had read several pages of Anarchic Experimental Science in Victorian Weardale -
concerning a [fictive] jet-engine flight circa 1850...

Roberta X said...

Yeah, I was gonna give that its own link -- pretty fun stuff, in a twisted way.

Hat Trick said...

Great articles. The Perkins Steam gun would have been useful on a steam powered ship. Wouldn't have to keep all that powder in the magazines to have it blow up.

When I worked in MD I passed within a block of the Winans Steam Gun replica on my daily commute. Even rode under the Thomas Viaduct when I rode my bike to work. Never knew it was there. Guess I was concentrating on the traffic.

Anonymous said...

Deeply divided opinion???

No other state gave as many men for the North as Indiana.

Good grief, don't tell L. Neil Smith got to you?

Shootin' Buddy

Roberta X said...

Deeply, deeply divided, Shootin' Buddy, with groups of Hoosiers showing great affinity for both sides; just ask Governor Morton, a true Union Patriot (you'd take his word, right?): "Governor Morton wrote to President Abraham Lincoln that no other free state was so populated with southerners, and they kept Morton from being as forceful against secession as he wanted to be." Wikpedia has a good article on the subject.

Didn't they teach you any real Indiana history at all those fancy schools? Should'a gone to Purdue!

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

A lot of the Copperheads down south came to the side of light after Morgan's Raid, though :)

FWIW I have a friend who insists on calling it the War of Northern Aggression. YMMV :)

Anonymous said...

As to the War of Southern Treason, yes, prior to the outbreak of the war there was much sympathy for the South because of the southern half of the state contained many butternuts (Southern immigrants). However, after the shooting started Hoosiers flocked to the Union banner, even turning away volunteers.

Not all Southerners were slavers. Those that immgrated from the South to Indiana (the butternut) did not possess slaves and were not friendly to the slavocracy.

Morgan THOUGHT he might be welcome in Southern Indiana. However, as he was crossing the river he started drawing fire.

They taught me just fine but I look at it in a macro level. On a micro level, you certainly have valid historical points.

Shootin' Buddy

Mad Saint Jack said...

You know Mythbusters built the gun?

Ken said...

First, as usual, I'd like to thank the slave power for polluting the well of resistance to the centralizing tendency of authority.

Next, if you want the Civil War Between the States with steam guns (and other interesting ideas), permit me to recommend Cherie Priest's Dreadnought.

Anonymous said...

Hat Trick beat me to it. Given the propensity of warship designers during the pre-dreadnought ere to pile just about anything that would shoot onto their warships*, the steam gun seems a no-brainer.


(*) For example, USS Connecticut (1906):

4 x 12" L45
8 x 8" L45
12 x 7" L45
20 x 3" L50
12 x 3pdr
6 x 1pdr automatic
2 x 1pdr semiautomatic
2 x 30-cal MG
4 x 21" torpedo tubes

Tam said...

Boggstown and other parts of Shelby county, IN, seceeded from the Union in 1861.

But the state was unanimously loyal (or so they apparently teach in elementary school...)