Friday, June 24, 2011

150 Years Ago: the World's First Machine Gun Salesman

Ager "Coffee Mill" GunImage via Wikipedia

On June 24, 1863, J. D. Mills became the world's first machine gun salesman, demonstrating Wilson Agur's Union Repeating Gun for Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln dubbed it the "coffee mill gun."

The demonstration was held in the hayloft of Hall's carriage shop on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.  Lincoln, a lover of gadgets, fired the gun.

The next day Mills was at the Washington Arsenal, demonstrating the gun for three cabinet members, five generals, and other dignitaries.  Major General Joseph Mansfield, commanding the Washington defenses, requested a number of the guns, but the request got lost in the bureaucracy.

Mills would be back in October to finally complete the world's first machine gun sale.


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