Robert Parker Parrott

Robert Parker Parrott

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Robert Parker Parrott

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Robert Parker Parrott (October 5, 1804 – December 24, 1877) was an American soldier and inventor of military ordnance.


Born in Lee, New Hampshire, he was the son of John Fabyan Parrott. He graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy, third in the Class of 1824. Parrott was assigned to the Third Regiment of Artillery as a second lieutenant. He remained at West Point as an instructor until 1829, then saw garrison duty and served as a staff officer in operations against the Creek Indians early in 1836 before moving to Washington, D.C. in July as Captain of Ordnance. He resigned from the army four months later to become the superintendent the West Point Iron and Cannon Foundry in Cold Spring, New York, with which he would be associated for the remainder of his life. In 1839 he married Mary Kemble, niece of Gouverneur Kemble, founder of the ironworks.

While employed at West Point, he and his brother Peter Parrott also took over in the operation of the Kemble-owned furnaces in Orange County, New York. The brothers purchased a 1/3 interest in Greenwood Furnace from a minority holder in 1837, and bought it entirely from the Kembles in 1839.

In 1860, he produced the Parrott rifle, an innovative rifled gun which was manufactured in several sizes. The largest, the 300-pounder version weighed 26,000 lb (11,800 kg), and its projectile weighed 300 lb (140 kg). Parrott rifles were extensively employed in the......
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