The catapult was the first weapon of mass destruction other than the plague and angel of death. Allow for a correction; it was the first reliable weapon of mass destruction. Plagues can quickly turn on you and angel’s of death seldom show up when most needed.
Anyway, it seems the Greeks invented them; a sling shot maker in Athens’ industrial district, Nick Catapultakus. Huge rocks and stones could now be hurled long distances. He made a fortune with his invention as long as there was a war. No war, no catapults.
He was desperate to find a peace time application. He sold them to amusement parks all over the Mediterranean. However, no passengers survived long enough to describe the exhilaration of the ride. In fact, the entire experience gave way to the word “catastrophe.” The similarities of of “catapult” and “catastrophe” are undeniable.
Anyway, what Nick lacked in his inability to predict future market forces, he more than made up for in imagination. During a downward market trend in Athens many entrepreneurial Greeks applied themselves to making all sorts of tonics and elixirs to cure whatever ails you.
Several problems existed in the industry at that time, mainly shelf life and just in time delivery. Enter, Nick Catpultakus. His contraption could fling a bottle of elixir or tonic half way across Athens. Soon a network of catapults stretched the entire Greek empire with timely deliveries of tonics with the speed of locking down, loading, and flinging. In fact this entire industry of flinging tonics with a catapult gave birth to the term “catatonic.”