In 1862, Richard Gatling (USA) produced the first workable, hand-cranked, multiple barrel machine gun. Loose cartridges were fed under gravity into the open breach from a top-mounted hopper. It was this feature rather than the multi rotating barrels that permitted unskilled operators to achieve high rates of fire. It was first used in warfare during the American Civil War 1861-1865. Although capable of continuous fire, it was not a true automatic weapon, as it required human power to turn it.
First machine gun