22. Charles Hinton and the Early Mechanical Pitcher    


Charles Howard “Bull” Hinton was a mathematics instructor at Princeton from 1893 to 1897.  His theories on non-Euclidean geometry and a fourth dimension of space drew him some acclaim, but at the College he was most famous among the students for his invention of the first baseball-pitching machine, called a “baseball gun,” which could throw a ball at a range of speeds and angles.  The Princeton baseball team practiced with the device for a time, but then abandoned it because the cannon-like muzzle and gunpowder charge frightened the batter.  Hinton later worked as an examiner for the U.S. Patent Office.