Henry Shrapnel was an English artillery officer who invented an antipersonnel projectile for cannons. Shrapnel invented this new type of projectile in 1784. The shell was first used by the British against the French in 1808, but it wasn't until 1852 that the invention was named after Henry Shrapnel.
Though there were many preceding scatter shot projectiles, Shrapnel's scatter shot invention was unique for its air-bursting technology and the way it could give its contents directional velocity. While Shrapnel originally invented the shrapnel shell for usage in cannons, the British adapted it for use with rifles and cannons in 1803.