Hotchkiss, Benjamin Berkeley

Hotchkiss, Benjamin Berkeley

(1826–85) inventor; born in Watertown, Conn. He worked with his brother, Andrew Hotchkiss, to develop an improved type of cannon shell. He manufactured the shells in New York City and received more orders from the Union army (1861–65) than all other manufacturers combined. He invented the Hotchkiss revolving-barrel machine gun (1872). He spent the final years of his life in France (1871–85) where he organized Hotchkiss and Company (1882). He was the most expert artillery engineer in the world and his magazine rifle (1875) became the standard in both the British and French armies.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.