The Illustrated London News

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[An Infernal Machine]

The Illustrated London News, vol. 39, no. 1118, p. 520.

November 23, 1861

An Infernal Machine, used by the Secessionists, was recently described at a meeting of the Franklin Institute of Pennsylvania, and photographs of it were exhibited. It consisted of an iron cylinder, about six feet long, and two feet in diameter, and perfectly watertight. This is filled with 300lb. of gunpowder. It is attached by ropes six feet long to an empty hogshead, which supports it in the water, the side of the hogshead being exposed. An elastic tube is fitted watertight, and connects the interiors of the magazine and barrel. Through this tube the fuse runs, which is lighted through an aperture in the exposed side of the hogshead, and which, burning down till it reaches the cylinder, explodes it. The fuse would burn two hours. After being lighted and set loose, it was intended to float with the tide till it reached a vessel, and there remain, finally exploding. It was a very uncertain arrangement. There were two of these machines fastened by a rope several hundred feet long but the other was lost. These photographs were taken by the photographer of the Ordnance Department at the Washington Navy-yard.

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