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[4] several foreign countries and our own, and have not yet seen any material improvement or development of the 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 art in combining those which are known, is the only test by which we can be governed in awarding a patent entitling one to an invention. If not, where shall we draw the line of distinction? How shall we proceed with a patent office?

In the year 1860, Congress adopted by an almost unanimous vote my invention for “lowering, detaching, attaching, and securing boats at sea,” and directed the Secretary of the Navy to purchase the patent right for the use of the navy, which was done. The marine world had probably seen the necessity for such an invention since the days of Noah, and there is not one original mechanical principle in it. It is simply a combination. The invention was several years before the country, in scientific journals; was carefully examined and tested at sea in several ships by some of the best officers in the navy, and discussed during two sessions in Congress, yet I have never known any one to dispute my claim thereto.

The efficiency of electrical torpedo defences is so universally recognized at this day and they appear so simple to the initiated, that many of the “I know it” kind may exclaim, “Why I don't see any invention in the matter, for it has been long known that if a chance was got at a ship with so much powder under her, she was bound to go up.”

But then if so simple, why did not Fulton or Bushnell, in the early history of our country, or the Russians during the Crimean

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