Captain Warners’ Experiment


Lithograph by Day & Haghe after Richard Henry Nibbs.

Published by W H Mason, 81 King’s Road, and Ackermann & Co, London, 27 July 1844. The print has five lines of detailed text describing the event. The ‘John O’Gaunt’, the victim vessel of 300 tons, was towed out to sea opposite the West Battery, and the Captain, with his secret apparatus was on board the ‘Sir William Wallace’, positioned several hundred yards away. On the given signal from the Battery the Captain used his secret explosive device to destroy the ‘John O’Gaunt’. The text reads: ‘Within three minutes, by means of this awful discovery was the work of devastation silently and surely completed’. When the delight and amazement of the crowd, many of whom had come down from London to watch, passed, a hoax was widely suspected. Correctly as it turned out, Warner was a charlatan trying to sell his military ‘inventions’ to the British government.

Images of Brighton 158 and illustrated on page 58.

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