Unlike my last entry about Louis Rota — which inspired a lot of controversy — this time in an issue of 1915’s The Square Deal I’ve found a real engineer who is actually listed in Wikipedia and has a true pedigree.
John Hays Hammond, Jr. is known as “The Father of Radio Control” and here is 1915’s news of his deadly invention. Note that this is four years earlier than the first example listing that Wikipedia has for him.
A WAR INVENTION
It is told as a fact that John Hayes Hammond, Jr., has invented a torpedo so effective that Congress is likely to pay him three-quarters of a million dollars for it.
This torpedo, according to well-authenticated accounts, is an exceedingly vicious instrument. It can be started on its way and then directed in its course from shore, from a boat or from an airship as far out to sea as sight will carry. It can be aimed so accurately that it will hit a bamboo pole upright in the water and it is said there is not the slightest difficulty in sending it with its explosives against the hull of an invading vessel.
The inventive faculties of Yankee genius is being aroused as never before in the history of the world to create great engines of destruction and doubtless the evolution of Mr. Hammond’s invention will bring another change in the battle lines of the future, because with our wireless inventions and the inventions to guide and direct engines of destruction by this force there is no limit to where that engine may be sent. The future may not mean armies at all but simply flying machines with their tons of explosives being sent from one country to another, under their own power to destroy and ravage the enemy’s land and fortifications. When that time comes perhaps war will stop because there will be little of martial glory to maintain it. However, before that time has been reached it is hoped that humanity will have realized that nothing good will come out of war and will apply the same common sense to international affairs they do to community and state affairs.
If half the stories which are told of John Hayes Hammond’s invention are true the great preparedness program of today will become obsolete before it even becomes partially effective, and armies and navies be useless as either defensive or offensive forces.
Here are the source pages: