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Gatling photographs

 Collection — Folder: SP070
Identifier: SP070

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photographs of Richard Jordan Gatling's tomb in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana and his invention the Gatling gun taken by the Indiana Department of Conservation in March 1964. There is also the front page of the February 7, 1874 issue of Scientific American, which features the Gatling gun.


  • 1874/02/07; 1964

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The Gatling gun is the first machine gun, containing rapid-firing multiple barrels. It was invented in 1861 and patented a year later by Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903), who solved the problems of loading, reliability, and the firing of sustained bursts, while living in Indianapolis, Indiana. The gun was first used in the U.S. Civil War to devastating effect.

Inventor Richard Jordan Gatling was born in Hertford County, North Carolina on September 12, 1818. He lived in St. Louis, Missouri, inventing agricultural machinery, before going to Ohio to earn a medical degree from Ohio Medical College in 1850. He later moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where he met and married his wife, Jemima Taylor Sanders (1837-1908), the older sister of Indiana's first lady Zerelda Sanders Wallace. The couple had at least 5 children: Mary S., Ida, Willie S., Robert Henry, and Robert B. The family was still living in Indianapolis when the U.S. Civil War broke out in 1861 and Gatling turned his attention to weapons. After the war, he improved upon bicycles, pneumatic power, toilets, steam-cleaning for wool, pneumatic power, and much more. He spent his last years in St. Louis, working on steam plows (tractors), before he died visiting his daughter in New York, New York on February 26, 1903.


Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "The Gatling Gun." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Last edited February 14, 2017. Accessed October 13, 2021.

Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Richard Jordan Gatling." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Last edited September 8, 2021. Accessed October 13, 2021. "Richard Jordan Gatling." Find A Grave Memorial. Accessed October 13, 2021.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/10/13 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid 2021/10/13 by Brittany Kropf.
Gatling photographs
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.