Detail of a Gatling gun

19th Century

Mass production

The early years of the 19th century heralded an industrial age the like of which had never before been witnessed and an extraordinarily rapid advance in weapons technology, which continues to this day.

Formerly a labour-intensive and expensive industry, the mass production of military firearms had become mechanised by the late 1850s, using technology perfected in the United States by a number of gunmakers including Whitney, North, Colt, Robbins & Lawrence. This technology was first adopted in Britain by the Royal Small Arms Manufactory at Enfield.



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Did you know?

Sticky-backed plastic?

Armour is not just made from iron and steel, but also from bronze, silver, gold, wood, leather, bone, and can be decorated with precious stones and even shells. Modern armours use ceramics and plastics.