Bullets and Shrapnel

November 27, 2015

Today as surgeons work 24/24  using highly sophisticated CT Scans and X-Rays to locate and extract terrorists’ bullets and shrapnel from innocent victims  one thinks back to the 1870’s when Trouvé’s explorer-extractors, an indispensable part of doctors’ kit bags in both the Army and Navy, were in constant use during the bloody Franco-Prussian and Russo-Turkish wars.


It had taken Trouvé only three weeks to assemble this ingenious device. It was composed of one of his mini batteries, an exploratory probe and a revealer equipped with supple or rigid styluses. When the revealer vibrated, it indicated that the metal body had been located. In fact, this was the world’s first metal detector. Trouvé himself also knew about the effects of terrorist bombs. In 1893, an anarchist called Vaillant threw a bomb from the Tribune of the House of Deputies in Paris; it was loaded with nails, shards of zinc and lead which hit both the Deputies and the spectators taking part in the debate. Fifty people were wounded and the metal had to be extracted from each of them.



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