MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sir William Palliser (1830-82), Irish-born politician and inventor. Palliser was born in Dublin and attended Rugby School, Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Hall Cambridge. He trained in law, being admitted to Inner Temple in 1854, but in the same year he was granted a patent for an improved type of projectile for large guns. In 1855 he was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade and saw active service in the Crimean War. He retired from military service as a major in 1871. He patented 21 ordnance-related inventions including the 'Palliser shot', an iron cast shot which used brass projections to engage with the rifling of the barrel. He also designed a method for converting large smooth-bore guns to rifled barrels, dramatically increasing accuracy. He was knighted in 1873 and in 1880 became a Member of Parliament.
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