Derek Roberts, Mystery, Novelty and Fantasy Clocks, Schiffer, 1999, p.256, fig.22-4; Sotheby's New York, The Joseph M. Meraux
Collection of Rare and Unusual Clocks, 28 June 1993, lot 14.
The development of well-protected iron-clad battleships in the latter part of the 19th Century led in turn to the evolution of small, fast ships which could attack them. The introduction of the torpedo by Robert Whitehead in 1868 provided a weapon that could cripple, or sink, any battleship. The first boat designed to fire the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was HMS Lightning, completed in 1877 and the French Navy followed with Torpeilleur No 1, launched in 1878. See also lot 73.