JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
Well, this is the detached and blatant title on Willliam Congreve's rockets hides its purpose, unlike the original article written a year earlier by Congreve which lays out the intent of the rockets straight away: "Application of Rockets to the Destruction and Capture of Whales" (1821). William Congreve and James N. Colquhoun developed this idea of a rocket and twisted it into an exploding harpoon, something that could be fired at a whale, embed itself, and then explode, all to maim or kill the whale. (The idea for this application seems to have lived through the entire century, evidently reaching its zenith/nadir with the work of Capt. Thomas Roys in his bomb-harpoon (1861).
See: Mike Gruntman, Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, pp 85-6.
Article source: Thomas Thomson. Annals of Philosophy; or, Magazine of Chemistry, Mineralogy, Mechanics, Natural History, Agriculture, and the Arts. Volume III (and the 19th since the start of the series), January to June, 1822. Printed in London, for Baldwin, Craddock, and Joy; v, 480pp,