Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The War of 1812 Witnessed the Invention of Sea Mines

Niles Register, August 7 1813: Naval Torpedo
We are happy to inform the public (says a writer in the New York Evening Post) that a torpedo has been invented by a gentleman of New York, simple in its mechanicism and powerful in its effect, and which upon trial has been found to exceed the most sanguine expectations of the inventor. The experiment was made by placing the torpedo in the river, and by letting a raft float over it covered with stones of various magnitude. The instant the raft came in contact with the torpedo, a most dreadful explosion took place throwing the raft and stones in various directions, and some of the stones at a very great distance. As a harbor defence nothing can be more efficient or useful. The expense of constructing a thousand would be but trifling, and with a tenth part of that number the city of New York might be effectually secured from any attack of an invading fleet-- government will doubtless take the subject into consideration, and individuals are already preparing to expel a cruel and ferocious enemy from our coasts.