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A Magic Quick Gun 快枪述奇
Year: ca. 1891 Volume: 23 Page Number: 2

Caption Translation: The engineering bureau is located outside the south gate of Jinling, and Guo Yuelou, the circuit intendant, serves as its chief and Xu Zhonghu, another circuit intendant, the associate chief. Tang Lütang, the foreman in the bureau, is a man of extreme meticulousness and, with his hair turning grey while not yet in his thirties, is addressed by everyone as “Mr. Tang the white head.” All the instruments he made are so innovative and convenient that they are beyond comparison. The year before last, he showed his ingenuity again by making a quick gun, which is of one-meter length, twenty-centimeter girth diameter, and only fifty-kilogram weight, and can be carried by two people on foot. The gun has a tank containing cold water, an iron plate for avoiding bullet attack, a small hole for distance calibration, a wooden box storing the bullets, and other various devices carefully installed. The following are operational instructions: one sits on the leather seat with one hand holding the iron bar at the rear of the gun and presses against the machinery with two fingers, a whole barrage of bullets would then be shot off; fire for hundreds of thousands of times notwithstanding, the gun barrel will not crack—this must be the effect of the cold water.

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Mr. Tang’s intelligence and dexterity are indeed superior to other people. I already learned the news about the quick gun last year, but did not have an opportunity to have a look at it until recently when a friend of mine returning from Jinling showed me the layout Mr. Tang had drafted for the gun. I obtained the design drawing and copied it, in order to celebrate the achievement in engineering, on the one hand, and to emphasize the painstaking efforts the superb workers had made, on the other.

Translator: Guojun (Alec) Wong

金陵南門外有機器製造局焉, 總局務者為郭月樓觀察, 而以徐仲虎觀察副之。 局中工首唐履堂心思入細, 年未三十而髮已白, 人皆以唐白頭呼之。 其所製各器皆新奇靈捷, 莫與倫比。 前年匠心運用, 造成快鎗。 鎗身共長三尺, 围徑六寸, 重僅百斤, 能以兩人[負?]之而行。 其間注冷水, 有大筒避敵彈, 有鐵板度遠近, 有小孔盛子袋, 有木盒, 其餘各式機器皆佈置周密。 用法以一人坐皮座, 工一手握定鎗後鐵桿, 以兩指將小機?一項, 鎗子即聯珠而出。 雖放至數百出數千出而鎗筒亦不至炸裂, 得水故也。 唐君之心靈手敏誠加人一等哉。 予去年聞快鎗名, 欲圖其樣, 未果。 >今有友自甯回, 出示唐君手繪之圖, 取而摹之, 一以慶製造之得人, 一以表良工之苦心云而。
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illustrations from the 1898 edition of the
Dianshizhai huabao, generously provided by
the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
© 2015 Visualizing Cultures

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A Magic Quick Gun 快枪述奇 ca. 1891 (page 2)

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