Civil War Machine Gun - Scarce large albumen photograph of a "Volley Gun" Ca. 1862. Depicts Civil War officer on the right, enlisted man in center and civilian inventor on the left., surrounding a unique, double barrel, lever or crank operated, multi-fire machine gun on a two iron wheel mount. The "feed" or long flat horizontal bar holding the rounds of ammunition (somewhat like the horizontal bar of a "harmonica rifle") is on the left side at breech. Cranking the handle caused the bar to move laterally from left to right, each chamber firing as comes in line with the two side-by-side mounted barrels. A most remarkable and complicated mechanism. Frame measures 19 1/8" h x 17 1/2w.
Two notable artillery-sized volley guns were developed in the mid-19th century. Developed in the 1860s and based on an 1850s design by a captain Fafschamps, the French mitrailleuse is an example of a multi-barreled volley gun that could fire all of its barrels simultaneously or sequentially over a short period of time. Also developed in the 1860s, General Origen Vandenburgh of the New York State Militia designed a weapon that had eighty five parallel .50 caliber rifle barrels. After failing to sell the weapon to the United Kingdom, he reportedly sold a small number to the Confederate States of America, although there is no record that they were actually used. One Vandenburgh gun was located at Fort Fisher, North Carolina, and another reportedly at Salisbury, NC.
An exceptional addition to any collection!
Inventory Number: CDV 246