Commander Moorsom’s director

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    Aldo Antonicelli

    Both in Sir Howard Douglas’s “A treatise on Naval Gunnery”, 5th ed., 1860, p. 454, and “The Seaman Catechism and Instructor in Gunnery”, Hearle, Plymouth, 1868, p. 46, references are to be found to the Moorsom’s Director, which was a portable instrument used for directing the fire of the ships of the line and frigates’ guns in concentrated broadsides.

    It was invented in about 1850 by commander W. Moorsom, R.N., who also invented the first satisfactory metal percussion fuze to be used with spherical shells for the Navy’s smoothbore shell-guns and guns; The Moorsom’s director was used by the R.N. as late as 1877 (H. Garbett, Naval Gunnery, 1897, republished by S.R. Publishers, Ltd, 1971, p. 30.) 

    Unfortunately neither publication offers a drawing of this long forgotten instrument and consequently it is not easy to understand neither how it was like nor the instructions for its use.

    Please, do any member knows where a drawing of the Moorsom’s director is to be located?


    Aldo Antonicelli



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