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Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Nov 10, 1868
I was so much interested in Prof Farrar’s lecture this morning that I want to give you the pleasure also.
When people first used rifles they found that the space there must be in the barrel around the ball in order that it would drop in, allowed the ball to bounce about & not go in a perfect straight line so would not always hit. In the [first?] of the 17th century some one put a piece of oiled cloth around the ball to fill the space, but if it was not put around just
In 1828 & from then for a few years 2 Frenchmen invented a “chambered” gun & this was the result of their improvements on each others ideas.
The little shoulders kept the ball from the powder & the air space, but it [exp..d?] with greater force - the ramrod was rimmed and to fit the foil so that it did not flatten it - so badly - but there was a protruding into the smaller chamber which made the ball bad shape - and the fire was (always had been) applied at one end men said the perfect
the powder had to do the forcing. All was tied up in a bag and put in at the breech so saved the dangerous position at the mouth of a gun. it was put in with no loss of strength and quicker. 3 great advantages - When they placed a percussion cap at C- the center of the powder and had a steel needle the size of a knitting needle (at least at the point it was as small - ) drawn back to P & held by a spring till the charge was in - then letting it go it went thro powder bog and all in the cap
Thus was perfected the gun - nothing surpasses it in accuracy -
Is it plain? It seemed so to me - Millions & Billions of money have been spent on this one machine more than on all the colleges in the world -
Americans have been devoting their ingenuity to getting guns that wont bur[st?] & have done it - we were disturbed by the stroke of the bell & got no further.
I thought you & uncle Joseph would be interested in this - and will gossip a little about eatables for Aunt Emilys benefit, & perhaps she will like the picture - to keep till she gets a catalog with my name in it. - It is quite accurate - my home is back of the place I’ve marked I go out of the door indicated recite two lessons in the room back of the one marked on the first floor the other two where shown on the second
an arch & by means of
a curtain can make a
where I am now
with pitcher [...]
b [...] Rome
a about 15- ft square
2 gas jets
4 dormit[..]s instead of 5 being a [...] [...]