|For more information on Richard Gatling, see Richard Jordan Gatling on Wikipedia.|
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Richard Jordan Gatling
Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling (September 12, 1818 – February 26, 1903) was an American inventor.
Background[edit | edit source]
Richard Gatling distinguished himself as an inventor in the mid-1800's, creating and improving upon mechanical innovations. After surviving a case of smallpox, Gatling became interested in medicine and became a doctor. Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, he dedicated his innovations to perfecting firearms.
He felt that if he could perfect a firearm "which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred", the need for large armies would become obsolete, which would diminish exposure to battle and disease. This resulted in the invention of the Gatling gun in 1861, which was the first efficient rapid-fire weapon and ten-barreled forerunner of modern machine guns. Gatling's design was later innovated into the modern "Gatling" conventional and energy based machine guns.