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David Bushnell

Thu Oct 19, 2006 4:37 pm

David Bushnell
(°1742, Saybrook, Connecticut, +1824, Warrenton, Georgia)

He was graduated at Yale in 1775. He had previously given some attention to submarine warfare, and during his College course he matured plans that led to the production of what may be called the earliest of torpedoes. His intention was to fix a small powder-magazine to the bottom of a vessel, and to explode it by a clock-work apparatus. In order to do this, he contrived a tortoise-shaped diving-boat of iron plate, which contained air enough to supply a man for half an hour. This boat, called the "American Turtle," was propelled by a sort of screw, and guided by means of a compass made visible by phosphorus. The torpedo was carried outside of the boat, but could be detached by the concealed operator contained within. A line to a screw connected it, which was to be driven into the bottom of the hostile ship. As soon as this was effected, the torpedo was to be cast off when it floated against the vessel's side. The action of casting off set the clock-work going, and then the operator had time to retire to a safe distance before the catastrophe. A detailed account of this machine is given in the "Transactions of the American Philosophical Society" and in Silliman's " American Journal of Science" in 1820. A machine capable of conveying an operator with 100 pounds of powder was tested on "The Eagle," a British 64-gun-ship lying in New York harbor, but the attempt proved unsuccessful. In 1777, in an attack on the frigate "Cerberus" at anchor off New London, he blew up a schooner astern of the frigate, and killed several men on board. This was the first vessel ever destroyed in such a manner. Mr. Bushnell invented several other machines for the annoyance of the British shipping; but from accidents, not militating against the philosophical principles on which their success depended, they but partially succeeded. In January, 1778, he sent a fleet of kegs down the Delaware, to destroy the British ships that held possession of the river, against which fire-ships had been ineffectually employed. Owing to the darkness, they were left at too great a distance from the shipping, and were dispersed by the ice, but during the following day exploded and blew up a boat, occasioning no little alarm to the British seamen. This incident gave rise to the humorous poem by Francis Hopkinson, entitled "The Battle of the Kegs." Mr. Bushnell served continuously during the war, attaining the rank of captain in the corps of sappers and miners, and was on duty at New York, Hudson Highlands, Philadelphia, Yorktown, and elsewhere. Later he went to France, and was supposed to have died there, but he appeared to have been subsequently at the head of one of the most important schools in Georgia, after which he settled in Warrenton, where he practiced medicine as Dr. Bush.
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Sun May 15, 2011 2:12 am

I know one or two people in the justice system, these two days I'm going to ask their views. "Miss Peach of course, grateful mother,wow gold, profuse in her acknowledgments. Jiang cold to know if you want to prevent people from causing trouble, you have to go ahead, grab opportunities. He first thought of course, is the forest. But recently Sanfanliangci the trouble he has embarrassed the cold river everything to him speak. whatever the outcome of previous things of their own or their friends do, strictly speaking,
this time a stranger thing. But thinking about the cold river, forest The really good on their own, but he considered a more practical person, not the kind of idealism heavy people. Jiang cold hesitated for a long time, do not know whether to call him, finally decided to go there, Father Take an idea, after all, is to look after all forests are the relationship between the fishes in the Father himself is quite affectionate, and Father Yang Han river there is a growing feeling of their loved ones. This evening, Jiang went to cold Father's home, told him in detail the circumstances surrounding this matter, and do their own thing these days.
Yang, after listening to Father, a rare recognition of the cold river, said: "Road see injustice, his help, but the true chivalry that is . How good boxing, how high arts, not as a German word. You can have a world stars reported uneven heart beat, is not simple. I long ago where you come and talents, not for anything else, mainly Chinese and you have this heart. "Young Father thought for a moment and said:" The first thing do not go to Kobayashi. He recently very busy, but this child was not his jurisdiction of the matter, his hand can not stretch for too long. Well, the Interpol team captain Zhang also played some of my dealings,

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