Richard Gatling was born in 1818. He is an American inventor who is most noted for creating the Gatling Gun, which was his least favorite invention. While in his teens he help his father invent a machine for sowing cotton and another for thinning cotton plants. In 1839, at the age of 21, he invented a seed-sowing rice planter, which he later adapted it into a wheat drill. With a smallpox outbreak in the 1840's he became interested in medicine. Gatling graduated from Ohio Medical College in 1850. In 1857, Gatling invented and patented a steam driven plow. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Gatling turned his attention to firearms. Gatling had completed and patented the Gatling Gun by 1862. The gun was a hand-cranked rapid firing weapon. He spent the rest of his life working on the Gatling Gun. It was able to sustain loading and firing.
After the Civil War, he started the Gatling Gun Company. Eventually his company was merged with the Colt Patent and Fire Arms Manufacturing Company. He died in 1903.