Cardigan Dann, Chief Torpedo Gunner in the Victorian Navy, was paid £500 by the British naval authorities for his Torpedo Dropping Gear that was invented locally and first used in the Victorian Navy.
As well as her bow torpedo tubes, Childers also carried four sets of Dann's Torpedo Dropping Gear.
The second class torpedo boats, Nepean and Lonsdale, the torpedo launch Gordon and the armed launches, Commissioner, Spray and Customs Boat No. 1 carried two sets of Dann's Torpedo Dropping Gear.
It appears that the Dropping Gear could hold a torpedo in three positions. The first position was when retracted for travelling to the target (as in the photo of Lonsdale or Nepean below). The gear could be extended for firing. In the case of the second class boats there were two extended positions, one for fine weather and one, presumably higher, for rough weather.
The Dropping Gear came in a heavy pattern as used on Childers, which could hold 14 inch and 15 inch torpedoes. The light pattern was used on the other torpedo boats and launches and could only hold the 14 inch torpedoes.
A secondary benefit of the Dropping Gear was the ease of retrieving torpedoes. Whereas previously a second boat and six men were needed to retrieve a torpedo from the water, Dann's gear enabled two men to retrieve the torpedo directly onto the torpedo boat.
NAMES OF PRINCIPAL PARTS OF DROPPING GEAR
Applications For Patents For Inventions.
No. 4048. Cardigan Dann, of the naval dockyard, Williamstown, chief torpedo gunner of the Victorian Naval Force, for "An improved universal torpedo dropping-gear"; 22nd February 1887.
Mr. Cardigan Dann, chief torpedo gunner of the Victorian Naval Forces, for an improved universal torpedo dropping gear.The Argus, 16 February 1888
U.S. Patent Application
Patent number: 455742
Filing date: May 13, 1890
Issue date: Jul 14, 1891
Courtesy of Google Books.