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I have lamented the deterioration of the “collector gene” fro the last few generations several times in past columns. Part of the blame, in my mind, is attributed to video games and the lack of real world experience as we might have experienced it in our youths.
JIM BUCHANAN ALWAYS FINDS UNUSUAL ITEMS FOR THIS COLUMN. FOR THIS ISSUE HE HAS UNEARTHED A GROUPING OF CHITS AND TOKENS FROM VARIOUS BRITISH ARMS MAKERS. THEY WERE USED FOR A VARIETY OF PURPOSES—DINING ROOM VOUCHERS, IDENTIFICATION BADGES, TOOL CHITS, PAY CHITS. WHATEVER THEIR PURPOSE, THEY ARE INTERESTING AND HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE.
Miniature weapons and related paraphernalia have been around for nearly as long as have the originals after which they are modeled. Incredible craftsmen, like the famous Swiss watchmakers, have been drawn to the challenge of miniaturization of firearms, blades, artillery and virtually anything else that represents the level of quality and complexity found in weaponry. In this column we will periodically look at the fine examples of this craft and the men who made them.
Sixty years ago John Parsons, one of the best authors we’ve ever had on collectable small arms, published a booklet that is still referenced today. The booklet was titled “New Light on Old Colts” and it described in detail four Civil War period Colt ledgers that had been recently discovered. Until that discovery it had been thought that all the shipping records from the Civil War years had been lost in the February 1864 fire that destroyed the old armory and the office that held Colt’s...
We have collected and studied early 1 English firearms for decades, but we continue to be amazed by the surprises that the world presents. In this piece, we offer you a group of highly unusual 18th century pistols. As always, we hope to entertain, but also to remind you of the remarkable feats of design and construction the firearms trade of that era was capable of.
Parabellum is a Latin phrase meaning “If you wish for peace, prepare for war.” The telegraph code name for Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken was “Parabellum” (4:58). The Parabellum (Luger) pistole was produced at eight distinctive facilities between 1898 and 1947. Some facilities were government arsenals and others were well-established private companies.
Eli Whitney, Jr was 21 years old in 1841 when he took control of the Whitney Arms Company. The Whitneyville Armory, as it was known, had been established by his father in 1800 and was located in New Haven, Connecticut. The senior Eli Whitney, famous for his invention of the Cotton Gin, was manufacturing muskets for the Army at the time of his death in 1825. Since Eli Whitney, Jr was only 5 years old at that time, the company was temporarily managed by Philos and Eli Whitney Blake, who were...