Richard Jordan Gatling

Richard Jordan Gatling

Richard Jordan Gatling was born in Money's Neck, North Carolina. He studied medicine and dentistry but never practised. In 1862 Gatling took out a patent for a mechanical gun that he developed. The Gatling Gun consisted of six barrels mounted in a revolving frame. A later version with ten barrels, fired 320 rounds a minute. The United States Army purchased these guns in 1865 and over the next few years most major armies in Europe purchased the gun.

In 1870 Gatling opened a new factory in Hartford, Connecticut to produce his gun. He continued to improve the Gatling Gun and by 1882 it could fire up to 1,200 rounds per minute. However, sales of the gun declined after Hiram Maxim began producing his automatic Maxim Machine Gun.

As well as guns, Gatling manufactured machines for sowing and breaking hemp, a steam power and a marine steam ram.

Richard Jordan Gatling died in 1903.

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