I recently noticed that the word 挺 (which I know mainly as an intensifier) also is the measure word for 機槍, machine guns. Now machine guns are a fairly recent invention, so I am wondering: Is it known who chose this measure word for them and why?
As a measure word, 挺 refers to something that is long.
In《太平御览》卷八三五，it says 壶中大钱一千，以通九泉之路，蜡烛一挺，以照七尺之尸。
In modern Chinese, 一挺蜡烛 is no longer commonly used.