Many are familiar with the popular PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) show "History Detectives". The objective here is to find out as much information as possible about specific guns.
It is first necessary to determine the maker of a gun. Books are available that provide information about gun makers and gunsmiths. The list that follows indicates sources that have been used by the author:
Gun Maker Identification
1. SMALL ARMS MAKERS by Col. Robert Gardner
2. Early American Gunsmiths 1650-1850 by Henry J. Kauffman
3. AMERICAN FIREARMS by Stephen Van Rensselaer
4. American Firearms Makers by A. Merwyn Carey
5. THE NEW ENGLAND GUN The First Two Hundred Years by Merrill Lindsay
6. Ohio Gunsmiths & Allied Tradesman, Volumes 1-5, by Donald A. Hutslar
7. American Gun Makers by L.D. Satterlee and Arcadi Gluckman
8. THE OFFICIAL IDENTIFICATION GUIDE TO GUNMARKS by Thomas E. Hudgeons III
9.THE GREENHILL DICTIONARY OF GUNS AND GUNMAKERS by John Walter
10.UNDERHAMMER GUNS by Herschel C. Logan
The list that follows indicates specific American guns for which the history has been determined:
Gun History Detection
1. "P. POWELL & SON" from Zane Wilson's Collection.
Interest: Gun for Son from Zane Wilson's Collection, Flask is from Clarence Cathers' Collection
2. "M.SMITH" from William Shellhorn's Collection.
Interest: Gun from Greenfield, Massachusetts
3. "Wm. McClellan" from Clarence Cathers' Collection.
Interest: Over/Under Rifle/Shotgun having silver inlay of a Lambert Map Projection of a globe with lines of latitude and longitude given
4. "JOHN REIN" from Clarence Cathers' Collection.
Interest: Side by Side Shotgun/Rifle having tripple triggers
5. "STANDING ROCK INDIAN AGENCY POLICE" from John M. Parker's Collection.
Interest: Indian Shotgun
Speaking of History Detectives, the photo below is of the author (left) and Wes Cowan (right). Wes stars in the PBS television series History Detectives and is a featured appraiser on Antiques Roadshow. He writes an antiques column for the Cincinnati Enquirer and is a frequently requested speaker at antiques events around the country. You may visit Wes's Web Site at: http://CowanAuctions.com/
Authentic History Detective
The author and his son attended Wes's auction to bid on a double barrel side by side percussion pistol. They had the opportunity to inspect several fine guns including the sword and set of flintlock pistols below that sold for $41,400.00: