Military commission to Europe in 1855 and 1856: Report of Major Alfred Mordecai, of the Ordnance department

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Page 65 - SIR : I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to send you herewith, for the information of Earl Russell, a copy of a letter from...
Page 125 - ... ball between two screens placed at a short distance from each other on the path of the projectile. For this purpose the observer is provided with a revolving cylinder, moved by clock-work at the rate of at least ten turns in a second, and of which the convex surface is divided into a hundred equal parts, each part therefore indicating in the revolution the thousandth part of a second. Close to the surface of this cylinder, which revolves horizontally, are placed two galvanometers, one at each...
Page 125 - The plan proposed for this purpose consisted in the application of the instantaneous transmission of the electrical action to determine the time of the passage of the ball between two screens, placed at a short distance from each other in the path of the projectile. For this purpose the observer is provided with a revolving cylinder moving by clock-work at a uniform rate, and of which the convex surface is divided into equal parts indicating a fractional part of a second. The passage of the ball...
Page 125 - ... ink on the revolving surface. To give motion to the needles at the proper 'moment, each galvanometer is made to form a part of the circuit of a galvanic current, which is completed by a long copper wire passing to one of the screens, and crossing it several times, so as to form a grating, through which the ball cannot pass without breaking the wire, and thus stopping the current. During the continuance of the galvanic action, the marking end of the needle is turned from the revolving cylinder...
Page 205 - ... Norwegian breechloading gun it may be briefly remarked, now, that the barrel is open at the rear, and there is a separate chamber for the charge, with a caliber somewhat larger than that of the barrel. The ball is cylindro-conical. In the Prussian needle gun the cartridge is inserted at the rear ; the ignition is produced by the intrusion of a needle into the fulminate attached to the cartridge, and the closing of the open barrel is effected by the fitting of the front end of the chamber to the...
Page ii - WAR DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON, April 2, 1855. "GENTLEMEN: — You have been selected to form a commission to visit Europe, for the purpose of obtaining information with regard to the military service in general, and especially the practical working of the changes which have been introduced of late years into the military systems of the principal nations of Europe. "Some of the subjects to which it is peculiarly desirable to direct your attention may be indicated as follows : — " The organization of...
Page 44 - The candidate must be not less than sixteen years of age, and must be able to pass an examination in...
Page 172 - ... in the gases, was introduced. Arms experts recognized the limitations of the breech-loader which used nonmetallic ammunition, as is shown in the report of an Ordnance officer, made after a visit to Europe in 1855 and 1856: But notwithstanding the acknowledged advantages of this [the breechloading] principle, it is remarkable that no method of making a practical application of it has yet been suggested which can command general, or even extensive, approbation; mechanical ingenuity seems to have...
Page 125 - After the discharge these needles were found to be magnetized in different directions, according to their size and hardness. In one of his numerous communications presented to the Philosophical Society he appears as one of the inventors of the electrochronograph. On May 30, 1843, he presented and read a communication on a new method of determining the velocity of projectiles. It -was in its essential parts identical with that now generally adopted. It consisted, he says, in applying the instantaneous...

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