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Tales of the Gun - Early Machine Guns ()
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From the very first rapid-fire gun to World War I, trace the development of one of the deadliest weapons on earth.

The machine gun is one of the most devastating, efficient killing machines ever developed. Pushed by the need to fire more bullets faster, weapons innovators started developing an automatic firing weapon as far back as the 14th century. But it was not until World War I that the machine gun came into its own.

EARLY MACHINE GUNS is a fascinating chronicle of the development of these weapons, introducing innovators like Richard Gatling and Hiram Maxim and examining their inventions in detail. William Atwater, Director of the Army Ordnance Museum, shows off some of his collection's rare guns and details the technological advances that eventually transformed the machine gun from a dangerous curiosity to a devastating killing machine. See rare footage from World War I, when they proved their worth in some of the bloodiest battles in history. In one day alone during that terrible conflict, the machine gun was responsible for cutting down nearly 60,000 men!

This is a story of triumph and tragedy; of remarkable technological innovation which put into the hands of one man the power of many.

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