Warner, James—Gunsmith of Springfield, Mass. Born in 1818. Inventor of the Warner revolver, patent of January 7, 1851 ; July 15, 1851 and June, 1856. Patented the Warner breech-loader February 23, 1864, #41,732. During the Civil War the government purchased 4,001 Warner carbines at $79,310.54. Warner was company manager to the Springfield Arms Company. Died in 1870.
Warner & Love—Gunmakers of Syracuse, N. Y., 1879-80.
Washburn Iron Works—Nathan Washburn, Worcester, Mass. Produced 5,000 gun barrels per month during the Civil War.
Washington Arms Co.—Location unknown. Produced single-shot pistols like the Allen ; 4, 5 and 6-barrel double-action, bar-hammer pepperboxes, and rifles.
Washington Steel & Ordnance Co.—Giesboro Manor, Washington, D. C. Organized 1911 and produced Wheeler-Sterling armor piercing projectiles exclusively. Continued through the World Wrar but discontinued thereafter.
Waters—A Committee of Safetv gunsmith of Dutchess County, N. Y., 1775-76.
Waters, Asa—A Committee of Safety gunsmith at Sutton, Mass., 1775- Continued active here until 1812 thence to Millburv in 1813 and after. Father of Asa H. and Elijah Waters.
Waters & Son, A.—Asa H., the son of Asa the elder, worked with his father at Sutton, Mass., from 1790 until 1812 thence to Millbury, Mass. where he was active until 1852. The Waters received the following government contracts:' August 13, 1816, 5,oooi stands of arms. October 16, 1818, 10,000 stands of arms at $14.00. October 16 1823, 10,000 stands of arms at $12.25. September 22, 1836, 4,000 Model 1836 pistols at $9.00. February 7, 1840, 15,000 Model 1836 pistols at $7.50, deliveries within five years or 3,000 per annum.
Waters & Co., A.—Millbury, Mass., 1833-52. Also used the firm name of A. Waters & Son during this period as the contract for pistols on February 7, 1840 is made by and between the government and the firm of that name.
Waters, Andrus—A Committee of Safety gunsmith of Sutton, Mass., 1775. Died 1778.
Waters, Elijah—Gunsmith of Sutton, Mass., 1785. Son of Asa.
Water» & Whittemore—Gunsmiths of Massachusetts. Secured a government contract September 8th, 1808. A report dated October 7, 1812, indicates that 3,000 arms had been delivered and that, a balance of 2,000 arms was due.
Watertown Arsenal—Watertown, Mass. Government arms factory, established in 1816 and operating to date.
Here, in addition to the famed testing laboratory, the activies include the production of seacoast gun carriages, railway mounts, high explosive and armor-piercing projectiles; steel, iron and non-ferrous castings. A capital investment of more than $20,000,000 is represented, in land, buildings and equipment.
Watervliet Arsenal—Watervliet, N. Y. (Formerly West Troy.) Established in 1813. Prior to 1890 it was an issuing point and ammunition manufactory. Heavy gun-making machinery was provided for by Act of March 3, 1883 and the heavy gun lathes of the South Boston Iron Works were secured in 1887.
Here the manufacture of light and heavy guns—37mm to 16-inch, is carried on. The reservation embraces an area of 108 acres with 30 permanent brick and stone buildings, and has a nominal value of $18,000,000.
Watkeys, Henry—Gunsmith of New Windsor, Ulster County, N. Y., 1772-76. According to the proceedings of the Provincial Congress, New York, June 13th, 1775, "the Congress took into consideration the Letter from Robert Boyd (of New Windsor, Ulster County) and the proposals of Henry Watkeys relating to the making of muskets and bayonets and after some time spent therein, Resolved that this congress will agree with Robert Boyd and Henry Watkeys, that they shall make one thousand good muskets with steel ramrods and bayonets with scabbards at the price of three pounds fifteen shillings New York Money for each, including the bounty agreed to be allowed by this congress."
Watrons, J. J.—Produced target guns at Cincinnati, Ohio, 1891-93.
Watson, Jonathan—Riflemaker of Chester, New Hampshire, about 1800.
Waiters, John—Riflemaker of Carlisle, Pa., 1778-85.
Weaver, Crypret—Riflemaker of Pennsylvania, 1818.
Weaver, Hugh—Gunmaker of Pleasant Ridge, Ashland County, Ohio, 1869-70.
Weber Arms Co.—Gunmakers of Denver, Colo., 1909-1915, before and after. M. J. Weber.
Weiser, G. W.—Riflemaker of northeastern Pennsylvania, 1839.
Welch, James—Gunsmith of Philadelphia. No record of arms pro-. duction. Active 1779-83.
Welch, W. W*—Contracted with the government for 17,000 rifled muskets during the Civil War. Location unknown.
Weller, Jesse—Riflemaker of South Olive, Noble County, Ohio. Active 1858-61, before and after.
Welshantz, David—Gunsmith of York County, Pa., 1780-83.
Welshantz, Jacob—Gunsmith of York County, Pa., 1777-83. Employed by the state 1777-80 inclusive.
Welshantz, Joseph—Riflemaker of York County, Pa., 1779-83. David, Jacob, and Joseph were members of the same family, Jacob appears to have been the elder.
Welton, Ard—Musket maker of Waterbury, Conn., 1773-78. Commissioned a lieutenant in the Continental army.
Werner, O. F.—Gutimakcr of 22 South Saint Paul Street, Rochester. N. Y., 1869-75.
Wesson, Daniel Baird—Of the firm of Smith & Wesson. Born 1825. Located at Worcester, Taunton, and after 1856 in Springfield, Mass. Brother of Edwin and Frank, uncle to Edward. Died 1906.
Wesson, Edward—Grafton, Mass., 1834 to about 1840, thence to Northboro where he is found until 1843 or later.
Wesson, Edwin—Northboro, Mass., 1845-49, Hartford, Conn,, 1850-55.
Wesson, Frank—At Worcester, Mass., 1854. Later at 2 Manchester Street, Springfield, 1865-75. Brother to Daniel and Edwin, uncle to Edward. Patented a breech-loading carbine, October, 1859, used in the service 1861-70.
Wesson Firearms Co.—Springfield, Mass., 1864-68, before and after. Manufactured breech-loading shotguns.
Wesson & Harrington—Worcester, Mass., prior to 1875. Harrington & Richardson successors, 1875 to date.
Wesson, Stevens & Miller—Ilartford, Conn., 1840-55, and after. Made Daniel Leavitt's patent April 29, 1837, revolvers. The Wesson-Leavitt revolver of 1855 was. also known as the "Massachusetts Pistol" and "Stevens" as there were four distinct patents incorporated in the design.
Western Arms Co.—Shotguns made by, or for, the Simmons Hardware Company, St. Louis, 1900-05 bear this name.
Western Arms Corp.—Ithaca, N. Y. Produce double, hammerless shotguns, 1928 to dale.
Westham Iron Works—A Virginia state-owned cannon foundry, active during the revolution.
West Point Foundry—Cold Springs, N. Y., opposite West Point on the Hudson. Established 1817, Paulding, Keniblc & Co., proprietors. Gouveneur Kcmble became sole owner prior to 1825. Robert Parker Parrot was associated with this firm from 1858 until 1871. The plant was closed the last mentioned year but soon thereafter it was revived under control, of the West Point Foundry Association to continue until 1895.
Immediately upon securing control in 1825, Kcmble sought and secured a government contract for cannon. This was successfully completed with the result that during the period 1825-32 nine contracts totalling 265 24-pounders and 172 32-pounders were secured.
Parrot, who had acted as agent for the company, became president about i860. During the Civil War he supplied Federal Government with several hundred heavy pieces of ordnance the design of which he had patented in i860. Following the end of hostilities, the company made every effort to cope with the changing business conditions brought about by the development of forged steel cannon. In 1887-88 they produced 5 6-inch and 2 8-inch forged steel naval guns which successfully passed the proof tests, but their story as cannon founders had been written and they fought a losing fight. Ordnance was discontinued prior to 1890 and the foundry closed down in 1895.
cf. Pgs. 150-51, "Iron Manufactuers Guide," J. P. I^esley, N. Y., 1859. Pg. 17, "History of Manufactures in the United States," V. S. Clark, N. Y., Vol. I.
"Gun Making in the United States," Rogers Birmie, Washington, 1887, many references.
Weyerman, Isaac—Riflemaker of Le Sueur County, Minn., 1863-65, before and after.
Whail, William, Jr.—Riflemaker of Boston, Mass., 1813-19.
Wheeler, A. G.—Riflemaker of Farmington, Maine, 1865-68, before and after.
Wheeler, G. E.—Gtmmaker of Farmington, Maine, 1877, before and after.
Wheeler <5r Morrison—Gunsmiths of Virginia. Secured a government contract, October 21st, 1808 for 2,500 muskets "for arming the Militia." A report dated October 7, 1812 indicates but 125 stands had been delivered.
Wheeler & Brant—Gunsmiths of Maryland. They appear to have made arms for the State of Virginia in 1800-01. A notation is found among the records of the state assembly which is dated December 20th, 1800 and states, "George Wheeler asks advance of $4,000 on contract for arms being manufactured by him." The proposal of Wheeler and John Brant of Maryland "to manufacture 4,000 stand by June 1: rifles $17.50 : with bayonets $18.00; pistols $14.50 per pair". (Several references Vol. 9, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Flourney, Richmond, 1893.)
Whetcroft, William—A Committee of Safety musket maker of Annapolis, Md. Produced fifty muskets per week during the spring of 1776.
White, Horace—A Committee of Safety gunsmith of Springfield, Mass., 1775-76. Doubtful as to production.
White, J. A,—Riflemaker of Jackson, Ohio, 1854-58.
White, H. W.—Riflemaker of Jackson, Ohio, 1851-65. A fine workman.
White Arms Co., Rollin—Lowell, Mass. 1854-65. White sccurcd eight patents during the period 1855-65 but every effort on his part to apply them seems to have ended disastrously for him. He invented a system of loading the revolver cylinder-from the rear and produced such arms only to be sued for infringement by Smith & Wesson and losing the suit.
Whiting, William—See Salisbury Furnace.
Whitmore, Andrew E.—Gunmaker of Somerville, Mass., 1868-77. He was awarded the following patents: August 8, 1871, Breech-loading, #117,843. April 16, 1872, Breech-loading, #122,775. January 2, 1877, Revolver, #185,881.
Whitmore, N. G.—Gunmaker of Boston, Mass., beginning about 1850.
Whitmore, N.—Riflemaker of Pottsdam, N. Y., 1856. Produced heavy "40 rod" guns.
Whitmore, Nathan—Riflemaker of Marshfield, Mass., about 1836-72.
Whitney Arms Co.—New Haven and Whitneyville, Conn. Eli Whitney Jr., President. Established 1835 or before and ceased operations in'1888.
From 1836 to 1842, Whitney produced flintlock muskets for the government. Later he received a contract for Model 1841 muskets, date and number being unknown.
During the Civil War, Whitney received two contracts for rifled Springfield muskets. The first contract, dated December 24th, 1861 for 40,000 muskets and the second, dated October 17, 1863 for 15,000 additional. Late in 1863 deliveries were made of 10,000 "Whitneyville" or "Plymouth" navy rifles. These were muzzle-loading, .69 caliber and designed to receive the Dahlgren knife bayonet. During the same period, the Whitney-Beal revolver was being manufactured. (Patent of September 14, 1858.)
Whitney's patent June, 1871, breech-loader was submitted to the experimental tests in 1872. Exhibited military and sporting rifles and carbines shotguns and revolvers at the International Exposition, Philadelphia, 1876.
Produced Kennedy's magazine rifles, patent of January 7, 1873 and May 13, 1879, and Phoenix rifles also.
Whitney, Eli—Inventor of the cotton gin. Born 1763 and established a gun factory in Hamden, Conn., in 1798. On January 14th of the same year he received a government contract for 10,000 muskets, deliveries within two years. To assist him in financing his enterprise, the government advanced him a substantial amount.
He received the following additional government contracts: July 18, 1812, $15,000 muskets at $12.00. 3,000 muskets at $12.00, added to above. August 15, 1822, 15,000 muskets at $12.00.
Whitney died at Hamden, January 8, 1825.
Whitney, John—Gunmaker of Independence, Iowa, 1867-68, before and after.
Whitney Safety Gun Co.—Florence, Mass. Shotgun makers, 1893-94.
Whittemore, Amos—A Committee of Safety gunsmith at Boston,
Mass., 1775. Active until 1785.
Whittemore, D.—Riflemaker of Cambridge, Mass., before and after i860.
Wickham, Marine T.—Gunsmith of Philadelphia, 1811-36. During the War of 1812, Wickham was Inspector of Arms for the U. S. at Philadelphia. Two government contracts are on record: July 19, 1822, 5,000 muskets at $12.00. December 6, 1823, 10,000 muskets at $12.25.
Wigfal, Samuel—Cutler and gunloc.k maker oi Philadelphia. Contracted with the Committee of Safety December 5, 1775, for 200 gunlocks according to pattern at 22's:6p each; deliveries within five months. He was active 1770-76. (American Archives, 4th Series, Vol. VI, 1776, #495-)
Wigjt, Dominick—Born in 1832. At Alton, III., prior to 1857, thence to Highland, 111., until about 1884. Located in Saint Louis, Mo., 1885-1900. Made about 200 Schutzen rifles by hand which sold for upward to $400.00.
Wigle, Peter—Gunsmith of York Countv, Pa. Employed by the state, 1777-80.
Wilcocks, Capt. John—Paid 950 pounds at sundry times, 1776, to carry on the State Gun-lock Factory of Pennsylvania.
Willie, Theodore or Wiley—A Committee of Safety gunsmith of Pennsylvania, 1775-76. Contracted with the U. S. for bayonets in 1797.
Wilkes-Barre Gun Co.—Wilkcs-Barre, Pa. Shotgun manufacturers. Taken over by the Ithaca Gun Co.
Williams, Abraham—Riflemaker of Covington, Ky., 1845.
Williams & Son, E. A.—Jersey City, N. Y. Made yacht cannon, 1888-90.
Williamson, David—New York. Granted eight patents, 1864-73, on pistols and revolvers. His revolver patents of January 5, 1864, #41,184; May 17, 1864, #42,823, were assigned to the Moore's Patent Fire Arms Co., Brooklyn, N. Y. This firm also produced his derringer, patent of October 2, 1866, barrel slides forward to load; .41 caliber; brass trigger guard and barrel bed.
Willis, John—With Benjamin Town, contracted with the Committee of Safety at Philadelphia to make 200 muskets at ¿4;5's each, December 6, 1775. (American Archives, 4th Series, Vol. VI, 1776.)
Wilmot, Nathaniel N.—According to Sawyer, Wilmot operated in Boston, Mass., for a time. lie is found at 362 3rd St., St. Paul, Minn., 1862-64, but had departed the scene before 1867.
Wilshire, W. H.—Los Angeles, Calif. Gunsmith active from 1900 to date. Made or assembled a few shotguns.
Wilt, J.—Barrel maker, Upper Hydraulic, Dayton, Ohio, 1850-54.
Winchester Repeating Arms Co.—Organized by Oliver F. Winchester (t8io-i88o) and B. Tyler Henry in 1866 at Bridgeport, Conn. The plant was moved to New Haven in 1870 and continues there to date.
Winchester, a man of many interests, first secured control of the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in 1854. In 1857 he organized the New Haven Arms Company which specialized in the manufacture of the Henry repeating rifle. This company was dissolved in 1866 to be reorganized as the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
Henry had been brought to New Haven during the operation of the Volcanic Company and, quick to realize that the failure of this arm was due to the ammunition and not to faulty mcchanism, he redesigned the arm to use rim-fire cartridges. The improved model was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co. As a sort of memorial to Henry, all rim-fire cartridges of Winchester manufacture bear the letter H upon the heads of the shells.
Winchester purchased and absorbed the Fogcrty Repeating Rifle Co., 1869, American Repeating Rifle Co., 1869, Adirondack Arms Co., 1874 and the Spencer Repeating Arms Company in 1870.
Manufactured 2,500 U. S. Model 1876 carbines for the Royal Canadian Northwest Mounted Police. These bear British proof marks and are now rare. During the Russo-Turk War produced 300,000,000 cartridges for the Martini-Henry for the Turkish government. Produced Hotchkiss 6-shot, magazine carbine U. S. Model 1883 for the government.
During the World War, supplied 47,123 Browning automatic rifles; 458,689 U. S. Model 1918 bayonets; 545,511 service rifles, Model 1917; 19,196 Winchester trench guns and many other ord-nancc items.
The company is now contolled by the Western Cartridge Company, East Alton, Illinois.
Windsor Mfg. Co.—Windsor, Vt. Successors to E. G. Lamson & Co. Established 1864, capital $275,000. E. G. Lamson, President.
Produced A. Balls patent January, 1863, magazine rifle used in the sendee 1864-67. Active 1869 or later.
Winger, Richard—Gunsmith of Lancaster County, Pa., 1775-77. Served the Committee of Safety, 1775.
Wingert, William—Detroit, Mich., about 1856-64. Produced combination rifles and shotguns, over and under type, plains rifles, etc.
Winner, Nippes & Co.—Philadelphia, Pa. Secured a government contract June 20th, 1808 for 9,000 muskets. A report dated October 7, 1812 indicates 3,900 arms had been delivered, 5,100 being due. (Probably Daniel Nippes.)
Winter», Elisha—Gunsmith of Chester Town, Kent County, Md. Contracted with Maryland Council of Safety for 600 muskets at 4*.5's each, in 1776. On Juy 27th, 1776 he addressed a letter to the Council which ran as follows:
Gentlemen: 1 gladly embrace this opportunity to inform you I shall have twenty-eight muskets ready to your order by Monday, 3rd August, making up forty muskets per month, agreeable to my contract.
I remain, &c., Elisha Winters.
He subsequently increased production up to fifty muskets per week and continued to serve the State through 1778.
cf. American Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. I, #614.
Archives of Maryland, Brown. Baltimore, 1893, Pg- 544» Vol. XXI and many references in Vols. XX and XVT.
Wirt & Clarke—Cannon founders at Bellona Foundry on the James River, Virginia, 1815-18. William Wirt and John Clarke. See Clarke.
- Wisconsin Gun Co.—Milwaukee, Wis. New works erected in 1917. Produced six 75-mm guns per day in 1918.
Withers, Michael—Born March 4, 1733. lie had established a prosperous gunmaking business at Lancaster, Penna., prior to the Revolution.
On November 10, 1775 he agreed "to set to work and make muskets and bayonets for this county, (Committee of Safety) at the Philadelphia prices: that he will confine himself and his workmen to that work and carry on as expeditiously as he can."
After the war he returned to his practice and continued until about 1805. Became an influential and prosperous citizen and died at Lancaster on August 18, 1821.
(Pg. 623, "History of Lancaster County," Harris, Lancaster, 1872. See also, Index to 3rd Series, Pennsylvania Archives.)
Woctenholm & Son, C—Washington Works. Signature found on a Bowie knife carried across the plains in 1853 Marked "IXL" also.
Wolf, L. P.—Riflemaker of Ithaca, Darke County, Ohio, 1849-54, before and after.
Wood, John—A Committee of Safety gunsmith of Roxbury, Mass.,
Wood, Johnr^Riflemaker of Boston, 1800. Perhaps the same as above.
Wood, Josiah—A Committee of Safety musket maker of Norrington, Pennsylvania, 1775-76.
Woodbury, Crayton A.—Gunmakcr of Woodstock, Vt., 1865-68, before and after.
Woods, John—Gunsmith of New York, 1770-75, He was induced to quit the Colonies for London by Governor Try on in 1775. One condition of his leaving was that he was to be employed at the Tower of London "or other the King's Armory."
Wright Arms Co.—Lawrence, Mass. Manufactured "Little Allright" palm pistols, patent January, 1876.
Wright & Son, John—818 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City, Mo. Guns to order at the present time.
Wrisley, Loren H.—Riflemaker of Norway, Maine, 1834-51.
Wuerke, F.—Gunmaker of Alton, 111., 1869-75, before and after.
Wundhammer, Ludwig—153 N. Main St., Los Angeles, Calif. Produced a few modern rifles about 1908-19. Succeeded by Ross King.
Wurfflein, Andrew—Gunsmith of Philadelphia about 1835. Father to William.
Wurfflein, William—Son of the above. Philadelphia, 1874-1910. Produced parlor or gallery rifles, muzzle and breech-loading, single and double, shotguns, etc. His gallery rifle was patented November 20,
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