The Gun That Was Known as “Orban’s Folly”
In the middle of the sixteenth century one of the strangest military weapons was developed. It was a huge cannon with a 25-inch bore that could be fired only seven times a day because it took so long to reload it. Huge piles of powder were required for each shot; the barrel had to be greased each time. It could shoot only one mile, but could be heard for twelve miles. Over 650 men were needed to operate it. There were no wheels; it had to be dragged over the ground on rollers and weights. Another 250 carpenters went on ahead to strengthen bridges and roads. The gun was cast by a Hungarian founder at the directions of its inventor, a man named Orban, who presented the unwieldy weapon to Mohammed II to use in the siege of Constantinople. The giant gun did not last long, however. After a few days it blew up, blowing the body of its own creator into bits. Hence it was known as Orban’s Folly. (Encyclopedia of Illustrations).