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Livens Projector


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#1 Old Tom

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:15 PM

This gas delivery system was devised by Capt Livens RE and after first use in 1916 was manufactured in large numbers. A reference in the History of the Ministry of Munitions credits the design to Capt Livens and his father. Can anyone tell me about the part played by Mr Livens senior?

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#2 gem22

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:58 PM

OT

I'm no expert on this so I went back to Richter's book 'Chemical Soldiers'. No mention is made of Livens senior but one sentence on the subject may be of interest: " Though called the Livens projector, the weapon was clearly the result of brainstorming and experimentation by several Z company engineers, Harry Strange in particular.
I suspect that this quote could leave you with more questions than answers so I hope someone can give you a straight answer to your query.

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#3 centurion

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:29 PM

Liven's father was chairman of Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln. I believe that he was instrumental in providing the manufacturing capacity for the Livens Large Gallery Flame Projectors which are nothing to do with the later Livens Projector.

With the relative failure of the above device Livens and Strange together improvised various means of hurling drums of inflamable material into the enemy trenches. Livens then went on to refine a means of projecting such drums. This device was then adopted as a means of projecting gas canisters. I don't think Livens senior had anything to do with this. Once again there seems to have been confusion between different Livens devices.

#4 J Banning

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:41 PM

Liven's father was chairman of Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln. I believe that he was instrumental in providing the manufacturing capacity for the Livens Large Gallery Flame Projectors which are nothing to do with the later Livens Projector.


Whilst they were different in many ways there is a very strong link between the two weapons - Livens successfully tried Flame Projector firing tubes as the 'barrel' of his new 'mortar' for the prototype Livens Projector.

#5 centurion

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

Whilst they were different in many ways there is a very strong link between the two weapons - Livens successfully tried Flame Projector firing tubes as the 'barrel' of his new 'mortar' for the prototype Livens Projector.

Whilst this may be true what has it got to do with his dad?

#6 J Banning

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

It has nothing to do with his dad at all but I don't think it is veering from the subject too much. I thought it was an interesting fact that many may not know. I also thought it worth pointing out that your claim that the Livens Large Gallery Flame Projector had nothing to do with the later Livens Projector to be misleading. Indeed, the latter is a direct descendant of the former.
There is an exhibition at the Historial running from June December on Livens and the Flame Projector which will give a lot more information. Details of this can be found on this thread: http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=160240

#7 centurion

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:32 PM

It has nothing to do with his dad at all but I don't think it is veering from the subject too much. I thought it was an interesting fact that many may not know. I also thought it worth pointing out that your claim that the Livens Large Gallery Flame Projector had nothing to do with the later Livens Projector to be misleading. Indeed, the latter is a direct descendant of the former.
There is an exhibition at the Historial running from June December on Livens and the Flame Projector which will give a lot more information. Details of this can be found on this thread: http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=160240

My apologies, as you used the 'reply' button rather than the 'add reply' one you included my previous posting as a quote and I, erroneously, assumed you were making a more specific point.

#8 Tom W.

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:09 AM

This gas delivery system was devised by Capt Livens RE and after first use in 1916 was manufactured in large numbers. A reference in the History of the Ministry of Munitions credits the design to Capt Livens and his father. Can anyone tell me about the part played by Mr Livens senior?

Old Tom

Frederick Howard Livens and William Howard Livens are co-inventors of a projector gas shell patented in the U.S. in 1920.

http://www.google.co...rederick Livens

The British patent number for the same device is GB129759, filed in 1918. Clearly father and son worked together on the gas projector as well as the flame projector.

#9 centurion

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:23 PM

Whilst they were different in many ways there is a very strong link between the two weapons - Livens successfully tried Flame Projector firing tubes as the 'barrel' of his new 'mortar' for the prototype Livens Projector.

This is incorrect, Livens used the flame oil containers as barrels for his prototype/improvised projectors - not the 'firing tubes' I believe that these wee originally pressurised containers.

#10 centurion

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 06:48 PM

The precursor of the Livens projector used for gas attacks was the Livens oil drum projector. These consisted of the 12 gallon tanks from the Large Gallery Flame Projector with the top sliced off and buried at 45 degrees. This provided some 36 barrels of 12 inch calibre. They were loaded with black powder on top of which sat a wooden sabot supporting an ASC 3 gallon drum filled with "an inflammable distallate" to which oily rags had been attached. The latter were ignited by the flash from the firing. Maximum range was about 600 feet. The drum burst on impact and the the contents were ignited by the burning rags (in essence a large, mortar fired, 'Molotov cocktail'). They were said to be very effective.

#11 Old Tom

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

It has occured to me that Mr Livens as chairman of Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln was in a similar position to Mr Stokes at a similar firm in Ipswich -later Ransome and Rapier - and later something else if still in existence. Perhaps these two chaps had some contact and perhaps Mr Livens should have been remembered as well as Mr Stokes.

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#12 centurion

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:11 PM

It has occured to me that Mr Livens as chairman of Ruston and Hornsby of Lincoln was in a similar position to Mr Stokes at a similar firm in Ipswich -later Ransome and Rapier - and later something else if still in existence. Perhaps these two chaps had some contact and perhaps Mr Livens should have been remembered as well as Mr Stokes.

Old Tom

And Mr Newton of Derby? (the 6 inch mortar (and various fuses) man's brother who also ran an engineering company).

#13 YvanFrance

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:39 AM

It has nothing to do with his dad at all but I don't think it is veering from the subject too much. I thought it was an interesting fact that many may not know. I also thought it worth pointing out that your claim that the Livens Large Gallery Flame Projector had nothing to do with the later Livens Projector to be misleading. Indeed, the latter is a direct descendant of the former.
There is an exhibition at the Historial running from June December on Livens and the Flame Projector which will give a lot more information. Details of this can be found on this thread: http://1914-1918.inv...howtopic=160240


There's a video
http://www.historial...?Yves=webmaster

Be patient, :whistle: it load slowly. (the end of the video is a short view in the tunnel.