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Who's a good dog?  Who's a good dog?  You are!  Yes, you are!  Yes, you are!

Designed by John Hays Hammond Jr and built by Benjamin Miessner (which resulted in years of bickering over who actually invented the thing), "Seleno", as it was known to its friends, was built during World War I to demonstrate the directional apparatus that Hammond'd had been developing for use in self-directing torpedoes.  Shine a torch at this electric dog and it will follow you anywhere.  Presumably, a torpedo caught in a searchlight would do likewise.

When someone pointed out to Hammond that it was highly unlikely that anyone was going to say, "I know that torpedo's following the searchlight straight in, Fritz.  Just keep shining on it until...  BOOM!", he decided that maybe acoustic direction was more practical.

It was, however, a very good doggie.

 

One inventor and his dog

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