Dreyse, Johann Xikolaus von (1787-1867), the inventor of the needle gun, was born near Erfurt in Prussia. The son of a locksmith, he was apprenticed to his father, and then after his Wanderjalir he was employed in an arms factory in Paris (1809-14). He then went home and opened a factory, where he manufactured percussion caps. In 1827 he invented a muzzle-loading needle-gun, and in 1836 the breech-loader, which weis adopted in 1840, but did not come greatly into notice till the war of 1866. He was ennobled in 1864.