In 1861 an American seed-drill designer named Richard Jordan Gatling created a super-weapon that he believed would bring an end to war. With his hand-cranked, ten-barrel machine-gun, Gatling did for warfare what his contemporary Isaac Singer had done for sewing, bringing mechanisation to a former handcraft. Gatling’s gun fired more than 200 rounds a minute – as much as an entire battalion of soldiers with muzzle-loading muskets.
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