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The pepper-box, or pepper-box revolver, was an older type of revolver invented in the 1830s, that was popular in North America during the times around the American Civil War; it also made its way into the European areas. It lost popularity during the 1850s, when better, more true revolvers were invented by different companies. It was similar to the modern revolver, in that each chamber contained a bullet, though the differences were that each chamber had its own barrel, and most models had to have the barrels rotated by hand.
Mark Twain is quoted as saying that when being shot at by a Pepperbox, the safest place to be was behind it.