Mr. Gregory Gerdom was born in 1847 in Germany and came to the United States in 1857.
Sometime after 1883, he went as a machinist to Watervliet Arsenal, New York. This was shortly after the Arsenal was converted to a gun factory. He worked 9 years at Watervliet Arsenal, then went to Sandy Hook Proving Ground, New Jersey, where he worked for 16 years.
Mr. Gerdom was an outstanding inventor and designer of tools and materiel for Ordnance during the period 1885 through 1910. At the time when breech-loading guns were in their infancy, he devised tools to facilitate the manufacture of the guns. Of many tools he designed, he patented only one: a reamer for finishing the bores of guns. He invented the split rings used with the breech mechanism in high-powered guns both here and abroad. Mr. Gerdom also invented the lanyard pull, which permits the gun to be fired from the cradle of the carriage.
His other inventions included firing attachments, a retracting attachment for firing pins, a breechblock operating lever, a carrier ring, a rotary breech-piece, and a tool for boring breech-loading ordnance. He had much to do with the design of a 3-inch field gun, especially with its breech mechanism. After his retirement with 25 years of service, he invented an indestructible gas check pad for high-powered guns.
Mr. Gerdom died on April 16, 1914.