Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Sidney Gilchrist Thomas


IN 1856, an Englishman who had recently invented a rotating projectile was witnessing guntrials with it on a French artillery practice ground near Paris. At that time, both gun and projectile were made of cast iron. These trials were a failure because of the frequency with which the gun burst, and the French commandant, who was in charge, said to him: “This invention of yours will require a better gun than one made of cast iron.” So Henry Bessemer, for it was he, returned to England to make a gun tube that would not burst on firing.

Sidney Gilchrist Thomas

An Invention and its Consequences. By Lilian Gilchrist Thompson. Pp. 328 + 8 plates. (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1940.) 12s. 6d. net.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

CARPENTER, H. Sidney Gilchrist Thomas. Nature 146, 245–246 (1940).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing