Perkins, Jacob, an American inventor; born in Newburyport, Mass., in 1766. He early became distinguished for his ingenuity, and when 21 years of age, he was employed by the commonwealth of this State to make new dies for copper coinage. Becoming interested in the subject of steam artillery, Perkins constructed a gun in which steam generated at an enormous pressure operated as the propelling power instead of gunpowder. His invention was satisfactorily tested in the presence of the Duke of Wellington and a number of artillery officers, but was finally condemned as being inapplicable to modern warfare. He died in London, in 1849.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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