Drebbel produced torpedo’s and sea mines and a detonator with Batavian tears. He used fulminating mercury -aurum fulminarum- as an explosive.
Samuel Pepys describing a conversation on the subject in 1663:
Up and to my office all the morning, and at noon to the Coffee- house, where with Dr. Allen some good discourse about physique and chymistry. And among other things, I telling him what Dribble the German Doctor do offer of an instrument to sink ships; he tells me that which is more strange, that something made of gold, which they call in chymistry Aurum fulminans, a grain, I think he said, of it put into a silver spoon and fired, will give a blow like a musquett, and strike a hole through the spoon downward, without the least force upward; and this he can make a cheaper experiment of, he says, with iron prepared.
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