Richard Gatling started with a cotton seed sowing machine and graduated to a weapon that rotated 10 barrels of 0.45 in bullets at a rate of 1000 rounds a minute. The Confederacy didn't purchase the thing 'til after the Civil War. But in the next several decades it was bought and used by powerful armies around the globe. Finally it proved its battle merit in Africa where it mowed down thousands of unsuspecting Zulus. The Gatling Gun was the first weapon of mass destruction. Moreover, it spawned the ongoing, if clumsy, debate about weapons being banned for the sake of mankind.
Film director and writer-producer