By the time I was a young lad in love with books, it was the Hardy Boys Adventures that captured my imagination. My grandfather was a master story-teller and he loved to relate to me stories he read to my father. I think he knew every one of the Tom Swift Adventures. My favorite was the “Daring Adventures in Elephant Land.” (Written in 1911, the year before my father was born)
Every Tom Swift book had a plot that needed Tom inventing some wild fantasy machine or tool to allow him to escape certain doom. (Think of a turn-of-the-century-Macgyver)
In the Daring Adventures in Elephant Land, Tom had invented an incredible electric rifle that shot bolts of electricity. He could dial-in the range, intensity and lethalness. Even shoot it through walls without leaving a hole.
When Tom and his friends head to Africa to do battle with the dreaded “Red Pygmies” they are confronted with wild rhinos, buffalos and giant elephants. Tom’s electric rifle brought them all down.
I loved that story.
Sixty years after that story was written a man named Jack Cover patented his own electric rifle. Like me, he grew up listening to the stories about Tom Swift. In his honor he named his electric rifle after him. The Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle. He just used the initials.
I wish police would go to their electric rifle first— instead of instant bullet-death.