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"I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander."
- Isaac Asimov

Passenger-Carrying Mortar  
  A unique way of crossing a river, without a boat or a bridge.  

"...batteries of passenger-carrying mortars had been set up on both shores to make the crossing. An operator opened the breach of the largest one, and helped our three travelers inside, where they sat themselves down in the middle of a well-padded bomb. Martha could not help feeling some emotion at finding herself ensconced like a projectile deep inside of Canaan; but the academic launched into an explanation of the advantages of crossing rivers in this way. He was still in the middle of his exposition when Martha heard the cry:

"Fire!"


(Passenger-carrying Mortar)

At the same instant, she felt the blast off, and after streaking through the air like lightning, she found herself on the other shore, surrounded by 20 or so smoking projectiles, which had just arrived in similar fashion.

Technovelgy from Le Monde Tel Qu'il Sera (The World As It Shall Be), by Emile Souvestre.
Published by Michel LÚvy Brothers in 1846
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Additional resources:
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  Tech news articles related to works by Emile Souvestre

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