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Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Lot 1271: Signed Correspondence from Richard Jordan Gat

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Signed Correspondence from Richard Jordan Gatling, Inventor of the Gatling Gun, on the Subject of His Patents
Estimated Price: $1,200 - $1,600
Item Views 191 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Signed Correspondence from Richard Jordan Gat ManufacturerNone ModelNone
TypeOther Gauge Catalog Page148
Barrel Finish Grip
Stock ClassOther RatingSee Condition
DescriptionMeasuring 5 3/4 wide and 8 7/8 inches long, this letter is fully hand-written, with a dateline of Hartford, Connecticut, July 3rd 1893, and addressed to a Charles W. Fee of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The letter reads "Dear Sir,/In reply to your favor of/May 4th (which was mislaid for/a time) I would say that I conceived/the idea of my machine gun in/1861. The first gun was made in 1862. Since which time I have/taken out six (6) different patents/for various improvements I have/made in the gun./ Yours Respectfully R.J. Gatling". Born in 1821, Gatling was chiefly an inventor of agricultural equipment, his main focus in life despite years spent as a dry goods merchant and the acquisition of a medical degree. He developed his signature gun at the beginning of the Civil War, believing that a machine that could do the job of a volley-firing infantry unit would reduce the number of men sent into the field, and in turn reduce the number of casualties from infectious diseases. Among the six patents mentioned in the letter is one covering a Gatling Gun with an electric drive motor; this combination never caught on in Gatling's lifetime, but would become the de-facto standard for anti-aircraft machine guns following the rise of the jet aeroplane.

ConditionFine. The letter has been cleanly mounted to a cardstock backing, with a few creases running down the center, minor edge wear and a few light stains.
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