Marcian Rossi's Invention (Part 1)

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Marcian Rossi's claim to fame was that he held a collection of maps from the Marco Polo era. He was also a local merchant and tailor. During WW I, he also decide to become an inventor and filed a patent on a projectile to defeat barbed wire fencing.




In the patent, the device is described as such:


This invention relates to a projectile for ordnance purposes and has for its object to provide a hollow projectile in which is mounted a movable device that includes a plurality of cutters adapted to be forced out of a projectile after the latter has been discharged from the gun and which serve the purpose of cutting through and destroying wire entanglements that are erected at the present time in advance of an attacking army to prevent surprises and sudden attack by the enemy.

Profile of the projectile in the patent
Profile of the projectile in the patent

Profile of the projectile with blades deployed
Profile of the projectile with blades deployed

 

Besides destroying barbed wire and other wired enttanglements, Rossi describes other applications.


It is also to be understood that this projectile may be used for the destruction of aeroplanes, buildings and other objects.

The San Jose Mercury in 1918 did a profile of his invention with a somewhat faded illustration of usage.



Illustration of the tethered projectile destroying a fleet
Illustration of the tethered projectile destroying a fleet
 

Rossi's invention was never commissioned as a weapon but it does add an interesting layer to his life story.


Sources:

  • San Jose Mercury News, 21 May 1918

  • US Patent 1,222,142

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