John A. Dahlgren

John A. Dahlgren: Civil War naval commander’s signed copy of engineering journal

Issue of Appletons’ Mechanics’ Magazine and Engineers’ Journal from February 1851 signed on the cover by Civil War naval commander John A. Dahlgren as “Jno A Dahlgren.” 64 pp., 6.25" x 10". With affixed stamp of “Taylor & Maury, Booksellers & Stationers” on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. In very good condition overall. Cover with a few corner and edge tears and chipped bottom edges. Minor foxing found within pages.

This issue of a monthly engineering journal includes more than a dozen articles, many with illustrations, such as “Marine Engines on the Upper Danube” and “On Anhydrous Steam and the Prevention of Boiler Explosions.”

As an ordnance officer at the Washington Navy Yard, John A. Dahlgren established the U.S. Navy’s Ordnance Department and became an ordnance expert. He wrote several books on armaments and weaponry.  Under his command, the Navy established its own foundry to manufacture new equipment. While at the Navy Yard, Dahlgren developed a smoothbore howitzer and a cast-iron, muzzle-loading cannon with much improved range and accuracy, known as the Dahlgren gun, which played a major role in the Civil War.

John A. Dahlgren (1809-1870) was born in Philadelphia to the Swedish consul in the city and joined the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1826. After working on the coastal survey from 1834, he was promoted to ordnance officer in 1847 and stationed at the Washington Navy Yard. He founded the U.S. Navy’s ordnance department and made major advances in gunnery. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln promoted Dahlgren to captain and made him chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. Promoted to Rear Admiral in February 1863, Dahlgren took command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, where he worked with General Quincy A. Gillmore on the siege of Charleston and with General William T. Sherman on the capture of Savannah in December 1864. After the war, he commanded the South Pacific Squadron from 1867 to 1869, before returning to the Washington Navy Yard.

Appletons’ Mechanics’ Magazine and Engineers’ Journal (1851-1853) was edited by Julius W. Adams in New York, and published by D. Appleton & Co. Devoted to “the spread of scientific knowledge”, the journal published “descriptions of machines, or valuable inventions, foreign and American,” as well as “scientific papers, practical views, reports or contributions, or queries in any branch of mechanical science or art.” Each issue also included a list of American patents issued by the U.S. Patent Office. Appleton published the journal for three volumes.

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Item: 63658

Price: $2,000.00
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John A. Dahlgren
John A. Dahlgren
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