Benjamin B. Hotchkiss
|Benjamin Berkeley Hotchkiss|
|Born||Benjamin Berkeley Hotchkiss
October 1, 1826
Watertown, Connecticut, USA
|Died||February 14, 1885
|Spouse(s)||Maria Bissell Hotchkiss|
Hotchkiss was born in Watertown, Connecticut, and moved to Sharon, Connecticut in childhood; his early experiments were made there in his father's hardware factory. Starting in the 1850s, he was employed as a gunmaker in Hartford, working on Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles.
After the American Civil War, the U.S. government showed little interest in funding new weapons. In 1867, Hotchkiss moved to France and set up a munitions factory, first in Viviez, near Rodez, then in Saint-Denis, near Paris, named Hotchkiss et Cie. At about this time, he developed a revolving barrel machine gun (in French: "canon-revolver") known as the Hotchkiss gun; the gun was made in four sizes from 37 mm to 57 mm, the largest intended for naval use. After his death, the Hotchkiss company also developed in 1897 and later manufactured in large numbers an air cooled, gas actuated infantry machine gun which was widely used by several countries, particularly France and the United States during World War One.
- Hotchkiss' patent application for Improvement in Projectiles for Rifled Ordnance
- Brief biography of Benjamin Hotchkiss
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