Jerah Stones’s Steam Gun (1820s)

A news article in The Album (Rochester, NY) for July 4, 1826 notes that “… Mr. Jerah Stone, of the Elizabethtown, Essex County, N{ew} Jersey, has constructed a Steam Gun which has discharged two hundred times in a minute, throwing a ball at each discharge, with much greater force than a common rifle.  The gun is easily directed, and with that apparatus, (weighing only five cwt.) it is easily transported on wheels.  The expense of constructing the gun is not great, and the principle of it is applicable to one of any desirable caliber.  It is believed that guns on the same principle might be rendered highly efficient in the defensive operation of war.  It is supposed that Mr. Stone does not claim entire originality in this application of steam power, but only very great improvement.  Mr. Stone has constructed a fowling piece, which with powder and ball, he discharged fifteen times a minute.”

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