6. Electrically Guided Torpedoes Were Developed at Fort Totten (Thomas Edison worked on this)

Fort Totten

Fort Totten was fertile ground for military technology advancement. After the failed construction of the Water Battery, improvements were made and new technologies developed throughout the years. One of the most significant military technologies to be developed at Fort Totten was electrically guided torpedoes.

The Engineer Depot for the eastern United States was established at Willets Point in 1870, and a torpedo school was set up in 1873. The first structure you see when you arrive at the Visitor’s Center for the batteries is the torpedo battery built into the hill, constructed in 1886. In that same year, Building 611, which was used as a torpedo laboratory was built. Thomas Edison worked on this technology and developed an electrically controlled torpedo that could be maneuvered on a wire from miles away.