1876 U.S. Centennial Mystery Gun

Discussion in 'General Firearm Forum' started by SHOOTER13, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    A buddy of mine stopped over Christmas Eve and we had a few beers together...we hadn't seen each other for at least six months as his DoD job has him on the road and as the conversation turned to our favorite subject ( ;) )...he pulls a small pouch out of his pocket and says Merry Christmas...


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    Well...research turned up a little about it, as the only words on it is "Centennial 1876" on top of the barrel and a serial number that can be found on the major parts ( underneath the barrel, trigger, even the wood stocks are numbered ). It is a 7 shot revolver chambered for the .22 short rimfire cartridge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1876_Centennial_Exposition

    Back in 1876, ( which is when the home I presently live in was built ), Philadelphia hosted the very first International Expo in Fairmount Park, to celebrate the Centennial of the United States by inviting the world to come and showcase all the newest inventions of that time...and even though there is lots of documentation on this expo, I'm still trying to find the name of the manufacturer of this firearm and exactly how many were produced. A lot of major manufacturers made similar looking firearms...Colt, Smith & Wesson, Whitneyville, Iver & Johnson...to name a few...but this one has nothing to indicate it's producer...

    POSTCARD OF ORIGINAL FAIRGROUNDS CIRCA 1876...

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    Examples of the original packaging of the gun...

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    Moved to correct subforum...
     

  3. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    The serial number is 253...on the trigger, under the barrel, on the cylinder release,

    even etched on the inside of the wood grips...so it's a first production run.




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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  4. artbrownsr

    artbrownsr New Member

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    Shooter, check this site it might be http://www.antiquearmsinc.com/cente...x-antique-philadelphia-international-expo.htm
    ( there is no "l" after the htm. you will get a failed link if you add it.) here is a quote in the middle of the text that may help to identify your piece.

    There is no maker's name to be found although the box with its two tone green label and red sides is similar to another box we had with a Hopkins and Allen revolver. The original box is in good shape marked "Centennial Revolver" with a fantastic pictured label of the 1876 International Exposition held in Philiadelphia, PA.
     
  5. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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  6. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

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    Hood firearms company...

    Well, with the help of my buddy Ben Hale, it looks like the mystery is solved.

    While some major manufacturers like Colt and Smith & Wesson made similar designs with minor differences in appearance and function...and others like Iver Johnson, Whitney Arms, Merwin Hubert, and Hopkins & Allen went with their own similar designs and clones, a lone gentlemen by the name of Freeman W. Hood was the designer of the Centennial pistol I now own.

    His design ( Patent #160,192 ) was approved on February 23rd, 1875, and the blueprints and patent claim below are proof positive that his Hood Firearms Company design was showcased at the Philadelphia Centennial World Expo of 1876. He went on to make minor changes in this design in later months/years...then he was soon lost in the annuals of history.


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