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  • 5/31/2004

Henry Shrapnel

henry shrapnel

(1761 -March 13,1842)

      Henry Shrapnel,

British Army officer and inventor, was born inWiltshire, England. In1784, while a lieutenant in theRoyal Artillery, he perfected his invention of what he called "spherical case" ammunition: a hollow cannon ball filled with shot which burst in mid-air. When it was finally adopted by the British Army in1803, it immediately acquired the inventor"s name: theshrapnel shell.

     Shrapnel was promoted to major on

November 1,1803 after eight years as a captain. After his invention"s success in battle onApril 30,1804, Shrapnel was promoted to lieutenant colonel onJuly 20,1804, less than nine months later.

    In recognition of Shrapnel"s contribution, the British Government in

1814 awarded him £1200 a year for life. He was appointed to the office of Colonel-Commandant, Royal Artillery, onMarch 6,1827. He rose to the rank of lieutenant-general onJanuary 10,1837.

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