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Richard Jordan Gatling is born

Today in Masonic history Richard Jordan Gatling is born in 1818.

Richard Jordan Gatling is an American Inventor who most notably invented the Gatling Gun, the first successful machine gun.

Gatling actually had several other invention, in fact the Gatling Gun was based on a previous invention a seed planter. Along with the gun and the seed planter, Gatling invented a screw propeller and wheat drill for planting, a hemp break machine, a steam plow (a form of tractor), a marine steam ram and a motor driven plow (tractor).

Gatling's motivation for creating the Gatling Gun came from him noticing that a majority of soldiers in the Civil War died from disease rather than gunshots. Of that he wrote in 1877:

"It occurred to me that if I could invent a machine – a gun – which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a large extent supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease [would] be greatly diminished."

Gatling was an active member of his lodge in Indiana. He was a member of Center Lodge #23 in Indianapolis.