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The Billionaire Collection

Rare Richard J. Gatling Signed 1892 Letter with Historic Gatling Gun Content

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“When you have an idea, and you feel compelled, you must build it.”
-Richard J. Gatling

Richard Jordan Gatling, was born September 12, 1818, in Maney’s Neck, North Carolina. Gatling is an American inventor who is best known for his invention of the crank-operated, multibarrel machine gun, famously called the Gatling Gun.

Gatling’s early exposure to problem solving through invention, started as a teenager helping his father work on the construction of a machine for sowing cotton seeds. His contribution to that process excited him and drove him to start on his own ideas and in 1839 he perfected a practical screw propeller for steamboats, only to find that a patent had been granted for a similar invention a few months earlier.

Disappointed but not detoured he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1844, and, using the cotton-sowing machine idea, he adapted it for sowing rice, wheat, and other grains. The introduction of these machines helped revolutionize the agricultural system in this country.
Gatling completed a course at the Ohio Medical College in 1850. Later in that year, he invented a hemp-breaking machine, and in 1857 a steam plow.

When the American Civil War broke out he was aware of the importance of the Union winning the war and he devoted himself at once to the perfecting of firearms. In 1861 he conceived the idea of a rapid-fire machine gun that the world would come to know as the Gatling Gun. In 1862 he received a patent and succeeded in building a weapon that was without equal, with the ability to fire an incredible 3,000 rounds per minute, unfathomable at that time.

The Gatling Gun was used during the end of the Civil War, and later in the Spanish-American War, but soon after became outdated by advanced weaponry. Years later, the technology behind the gun was re-introduced by the U.S. military, and new versions of the gun are still being used by the U.S. Military today.

This beautiful letter, is dated October 10, 1862, on Gatling Gun Company letterhead, and is addressed to John Gilmer Speed of Harper & Brothers Editorial, what would later become today’s billion dollar publishing company Harper Collins. In this letter Gatling is confirming his future meeting in New York with John Gilmer Speed, and mentioning his sending a picture of part of his famous Gatling gun. This historic article published December 10, 1892, exactly two months from the time of this letter, would later help historians more clearly understand the story and the struggles of the birth of the Gatling Gun. At the conclusion of this historic letter it is signed “R.J. Gatling”, in his famous bold lavish style.

Next to this letter we’ve included a copy photo of Richard J. Gatling standing next to the invention that he is most remembered for, his Gatling Gun.

Below and centered on the frame, is a quote from Gatling that speaks to what probably drove him to build his most notable invention.

“When you have an idea, and you feel compelled, you must build it.”
-Richard J. Gatling

All of this is beautifully framed in our hand built, contemporary, wide frame, enhanced with professional white matting.

As with all of our works, every piece is original.  Only the highest quality materials have been used in the assembly of this item.  Sourced from the best manufacturers around the world, we build every frame tailored specifically for the item it will hold.  Protected with 99% UV museum quality glass, and carefully crafted with acid free paper whenever possible.  Our premium wood moldings are cut using the newest technology and every single piece is assembled and inspected by our team here in Los Angeles.

All autographs have been authenticated by third party experts from the top authenticators in the country, and notarized certificates of authenticity are included in a black leather portfolio.  Copies of the original authentications are kept on file with The Billionaire Collection and can be retrieved by the original purchaser.

We stand 100% behind all of our works of art, and offer a lifetime guarantee on every piece, for as long as you own it.
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