Published Resources Details Letters Patent

Willoughby, J. D.
Improved device for steering boats from another boat
United States Patent Office., 1865

Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 48,124. Dated June 6, 1865; antedated November 25, 1864

Accession No.1290


"The object aimed at is to send a small boat without any person in it to points of danger to accomplish some end, such as blowing up an enemy's vessels, or to drag a grappling-iron through the water to remove torpedoes; and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof…

The nature of my invention consists in steering a boat by two lines or cords, or their equivalent. These cords being each some miles long are wound on two reels that work independently of each other. The reels are placed on land or any boat where the steersman wishes to stand. The loose end of each cord is attached to each end of the cross-tiller and then passes around some pulley or point on the boat… or each end may pass around a pulley and be fastened directly to the rudder…"