Aug 17, 2012

Wordology, Taser

Few people, including police know that Taser stands for Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle.

"Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle; or, Daring Adventures in Elephant Land" was a young adult novel published in 1911. It was one of a series of more than a hundred books about Tom Swift, with the most recent series in 2007.

In the novel, Swift's invention of the electric rifle, which fires bolts of electricity can be calibrated to different levels of range, intensity and lethality. It can shoot through solid walls without leaving a hole, and is powerful enough to kill a rampaging whale. With the electric rifle, Tom and friends bring down elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffalo, while he saves their lives several times in pitched battle with the red pygmies.

In one book, written in 1912, Tom develops a telephone that can actually send pictures.

The Taser was really invented by Jack Cover, completed in 1974, and marketed by Taser International.