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August 9, 2012

"Grave Torpedoes."


Borrowing Civil War technology, Howell's device weighed 8-pounds and carried a charge of more than .75-pound of black powder ignited by a percussion cap.
Buried atop the coffin with a protective plate above the torpedo, if disturbed the metal plate would help serve as a shape charge directed right at the would-be grave robber. An advertisement for the weapon declared that it would allow one to, “sleep well sweet angel, let no fears of ghouls disturb thy rest, for above thy shrouded form lies a torpedo, ready to make minced meat of anyone who attempts to convey you to the pickling vat.” -- Cemetery Guns and Grave Torpedoes - Gun News at Guns.com

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 9, 2012 10:49 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

This is even "better" than the anti-poacher guns used in 16th and 17th Century England (and possibly on the Continent). In these, a large wheel-lock or early flintlock blunderbuss (matchlocks, for reasons which will become obvious, were unsuited to the task) was loaded, mounted on a 360 degree swivel, cocked, and left to do its job. The gun was rigged so that if someone, i.e., a poacher, tripped on one of the wires strung from the mount, the gun would pivot and fire along that wire. Since a blunderbuss was often loaded with lovely little items like nails, chopped lead, and broken glass, and the range point-blank, the wound thus received could be downright gruesome, but likely not immediately fatal. That would come later from shock or infection.

Posted by: waltj at August 9, 2012 12:23 PM

Somewhere in there is a joke about Chicago voting....anyone?

Posted by: Greg at August 9, 2012 6:33 PM

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