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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 2. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Electrical torpedoes as a system of defence. (search)
e original system, and if we were at war with any great naval power to-morrow, I should prefer to rely upon it when the hour of trial came. There are several beautiful and ingenious methods devised by those who have had no practice in war, but my experience will not permit me to give them approval. Now, if we are to consider practical success as the test of an invention, have I not a right to this? Am I not as much entitled to it as Morse to the telegraph? Howe to the sewing machine? Colt to the revolver? And as many other men to their inventions whose success did not carry with it the original conception of the necessity for the invention, nor the first attempts to carry out the idea, nor in whose inventions as patented is there one original scientific principle? It is the effect produced by art in combination, and this is the basis of ninety-nine out of a hundred patents. And the first successful attempt to achieve an important physical object by original principles or