Gabriel James Rains, US soldier

Gabriel James Rains, US soldier

H418/0228

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Caption

Gabriel James Rains (1803-1881), US soldier and inventor of the landmine. Rains was educated at West Point, and graduated in 1827. He fought in many areas of the USA, including Florida, Texas and California. In the US Civil War, he was a brigadier-general in the Confederate armies (from 1861). Later in the war, he organised torpedo protection for the Confederate ports. From 1862, Rains worked on tripwires and pressure sensors (such as the Rains fuse) for artillery shells. These were buried in the ground, and came to be known as landmines. Photographed between 1860 and 1870.

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