H.&D. Folsom Arms Co., Crescent Fire Arms Co. & Tradename Guns
"The Tiffany of Sporting Goods"
Additional information and images may be found here http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/20091267
In 1888, George W. Cilley bought the assets of the defunct Bacon Arms Co. of Norwich, CT and formed an alliance with Frank A. Foster. Cilley and Foster each held several firearms patents, and both were experienced in firearms design and manufacture. Production under Cilley began with single shot tip-up shotguns that had an external side hammer. The Crescent Fire Arms Co. was incorporated in Connecticut on March 4, 1892.
THE CRESCENT FIRE ARMS COMPANY
Articles of Association of The Crescent Fire Arms Company
The undersigned hereby associate as a joint stock corporation under the Laws of this State by Articles of Agreement as follows:
ARTICLE I. The name by which this corporation shall be known is The Crescent Fire Arms Company
ARTICLE II. The purpose for which it is constituted is to manufacture and sell guns, rifles and pistols and all kinds of fire arms and to purchase and, hold and sell any property necessary or convenient for the prosecution of said business, and generally do all things incidental to said business
ARTICLE III. The corporation is to be located in the Town of Norwich, County of New London, and State of Connecticut.
ARTICLE IV. The amount of its capital stock is $27,900 divided into 1,116 shares of the par value of $25.00 each.
ARTICLE V. Each of the Incorporators agrees to take the number of shares of said capital stock annexed to his name, each share to be of the par value of $25.00 each and to pay 25% thereof in cash at the time of said subscription and the balance thereof as called for by the Directors.
Dated at Norwich this 23rd day of February 1892.
(There follows the list of stockholders.)
To all persons to whom these presents come: The undersigned being a majority of the directors of The Crescent Fire Arms Company, a corporation organized under the Laws of the State of Connecticut regulating the formation of joint stock corporations and located in the Town of Norwich, County of New London in said State of Connecticut in pursuance of said statute laws hereby certify as follows:
1. The foregoing is a true and accurate copy of the Articles of Association of said corporation, of the names and (not legible:author) residence of the subscribers to its capital stock and the amount of stock taken by each.
2. Said Articles of Association were on this 26th day of February 1892 published at full length in the Norwich Morning Bulletin, a newspaper published in New London County, the same being the county in which said corporation is located.
3. The amount of capital stock actually paid for in cash is $5,580, being 20% thereof.
4. The amount of said capital stock paid for in property is $14,000 and consists of stock, tools, machinery and fixtures and is of actual value of $14,000.
5. And in further pursuance of such statute laws we cause this certificate to be posted with the Secretary of State and a duplicate thereof with the Town Clerk of the Town of Norwich in which said corporation is to transact its business. Dated at Norwich, Connecticut this 2nd day of March A.D. 1902
H.H. Gallup, E.R. Thompson, George W. Cilley, Frank A. Foster; a majority of the Directors.
Rec'd and filed by Willis A. Briscoe, Notary Public, March 4, 1892.
In 1893, the majority of Crescent stock was acquired by H.&D. Folsom 314 Broadway New York City. Both the 1905 and 1915 Norwich City Directories listed H.H. Gallup as President of Crescent Fire Arms Co
Folsom acquired the W.H. Davenport Arms Co. in 1909 and Baker Gun & Forging Co. in 1919
Henry T. Folsom, David Folsom, Anna R. Folsom, & Eleanor T. Folsom, 1916
According to an article in the July 3, 1900 New York Times, the previous day Henry T. was examining a pile of second hand revolvers, picked up a .38 and pulled the trigger shooting and killing a 22 year employee/salesman of Folsom Co. named Peter Koller. Henry was arrested but the shooting was determined to have been an accident.
Henry Titus Folsom (1859-1937) was President of the company, and was succeeded by his son, H. Lloyd (1888-1954) who led the company through the depression and World War II. Lloyd may have designed a pump shotgun marketed by Folsom c. 1920. Marlin made a pump shotgun (Model 16) marked 'National Fire Arms Co' for Folsom. Lloyd's son, Henry T. (Hank) Folsom, born 1927, wrote Rendezvous In the Bush about his father's and his hunts in East Africa.
Other ‘Folsoms’ of that era include Charles Folsom, Est. 1852 and in 1884 at 106 Chambers St., New York, E.A. Folsom, and N.D. Folsom & Co., New Haven, Conn.
Any relationship between the companies is unknown
Courtesy of Jeff Kuss
H.& D. Folsom was established in 1849 and distributed Birmingham and Belgian made firearms (including some marked W. Richards and T. Barker) under many trade names from 1880 until about 1932.
1902 - 1904 A.J. Aubrey was living in Norwich, Connecticut and Assistant Superintendent at the Crescent Fire Arms Co. factory. At the end of 1904 he was in Hopkinton, MA, the location of the Andrew Fyrberg & Sons plant which shortly thereafter had its assets moved to Meriden, Connecticut to form Meriden Fire Arms Company. In 1906 A.J was the V.P. and General Manager of Meriden and in 1908 was President.
Sale of Crescent Fire Arms
The N.R. Davis Arms Co. was located in Assonet, MA starting in 1853 and from 1917 to 1930 operated under the name Davis-Warner Arms Corp. Brooklyn, NY and Norwich, CT.
J. Stevens Arms (owned by Savage Arms Corp. since 1920) purchased Davis-Warner in 1930 and a Stevens memo dated December 15, 1930 announced the purchase from H&D Folsom Arms Company of the assets of Crescent Fire Arms Company of Norwich, Connecticut. The Connecticut Industrial Census done in 1930 listed 100 Crescent employees. The assets of Crescent were to be merged with those of Davis-Warner Arms Corporation and that the newly formed firm would be known as The Crescent-Davis Arms Corporation, Norwich, Conn.
Catalogs thereafter carried the statement
“Today’s Greatest Value Among Popular Priced Guns”
On November 4, 1935, an order of dissolution was filed with the New York Secretary of State and the remains were moved to the J. Stevens Arms Co. plant in Chicopee Falls, MA. After the move, Stevens continued to manufacture a few models of Crescent-Davis shotguns until 1943.
In 1954 Folsom was purchased by Universal Tackle and Sporting Goods Co.
The Folsom “Parker Trap Gun”
From 1882 until at least 1892, Folsom contracted with Parker Brothers to create "The Parker Trap Gun"; 10g & 12g Grade 0 - 2 hammer and hammerless with Laminated Steel and Twist barrels and a special buttplate.
The Parker order books include Folsom 12g guns with 36", 38", and 40" barrels; and four 16g with 38” barrels! Order 14744 in 1882 were Grade 2 guns; 12g listed for $80 (net $50.01 after discount) and 10g for $85 (net $53.14).
In orders 47641 – 47645 there were five 12 gauge at 40 inches, twenty 12 gauge at 38 inches, seven 12 gauge at 36 inches and five 12 gauge at 34 inches. The stocks on the 40 inch guns were to have a length of 14 ¼ to 14½ inches and a drop of 3 to 3 ½ inches. All were to have trap butt plates.
Order 49457 May 11, 1892 was for eight hammer guns with twist barrels, four hammer guns with laminated barrels, and three hammerless guns with twist barrels. Seven were 38" and eight were 40".
Orders 53623 – 53627 was for four 12 gauge at 40 inches, two 12 gauge at 38 inches; all to have trap butt plates.
Orders 80371 – 80375 had five 12 gauge at 40 inches and ten 12 gauge at 38 inches, but no mention of the trap butt plates.
(Courtesy of Mark Conrad and the PGCA)
Crescent Fire Arms Guns
The earliest shotgun made by Crescent was a side hammer single that was a continuation of the shotguns the Bacon Arms Co. made during the last few years it was in business.
This shotgun, as made by Crescent, was made in three types:
First Type: Shotguns assembled from old Bacon parts and not marked with the Crescent name. These shotguns were made until late 1892 or early 1893.
Second Type: Model 4 Sidehammer by Crescent. It was a Bacon shotgun assembled from new Crescent made parts and marked CRESCENT F.A. CO. NORWICH, CONN. This shotgun was made until the end of 1895 or early 1896 with Twist barrels.
Third Type: Model 1896. This gun was a slightly altered version of the Model 4 and was made until 1901, initially with Twist but late Decarbonized barrels. Variants were still listed in the 1902 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog No. 112.
Crescent Fire Arms “New Trap Hammerless Single Gun” first appeared in the 1898 Sears catalog with Twist barrels
In the 1900 catalog, it was still listed with Twist barrels but carried the label “Bored For Nitro Powder”.
It was still included in 1902 catalog as the “New Improved Trap Hammerless Single Barrel Gun With Genuine Twist Barrel for $6.25.”
1900 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog “Our Club Hammerless” with Decarbonized Steel barrels.
In 1902 it was listed with “rolled steel blued barrel...the best grade of Wilson’s steel”.
The 1902 Sears catalog also lists “Our New Crescent Genuine Twist Barrel Take Down Gun” made by Crescent Fire Arms Co. which is a top hammer single
Crescent also produced a reproduction of the Remington Rolling Block No. 4 single shots for .32 caliber rimfire shotshells starting in 1891.
1901 Sears catalog
In early 1895 Crescent introduced it’s first hammerless double, the Triumph Hammerless, made in 12 gauge with either 30" or 32" Damascus or Twist barrels. The gun was based on patents issued to William Beesley and controlled by Charles Lancaster and was the only boxlock hammerless double ever made by Crescent.
They were made on order for Sears Roebuck & Co. and probably less than 750 were manufactured. It was listed in the Folsom catalog for $22 with Twist barrels, $25 with Damascus, and in the 1897 Sears catalog for $27.50
1898 Sears catalog No. 107 - https://archive.org/stream/consumersguideno00sear#page/354/mode/2up
Left side of the receiver is stamped “Triumph Hammerless Pat. June 16, 1885”
The gun was dropped from the Crescent line in 1898 and Crescent would not produce another hammerless double until 1904 when the sidelock Model 6 was introduced.
Single Barrel Guns
No. 1 - Bacon sidehammer made by Bacon Arms Co. 1887-88
No. 2 - Bacon sidehammer assembled by Crescent from Bacon parts 1889-1893.
No. 4 - Bacon sidehammer. Made entirely by Crescent 1893-1895
No. 5 - Model 1896 sidehammer. Made 1896-1901
No. 7 - Raised Frame Victor. 12, 16 or 20 gauge and (later) .410. Made
No. 8 - Same as Model 7 except auto ejector. Made 1902-1915
No. 10 - Flat Frame Victor same as Model 7. Made 1901-1932
No. 11 - Same as Model 10 except auto ejector. Made 1902-1928
No. 12 - Empire State Goose Gun (Davenport Model) 10 gauge. Made 1910-1915
No. 13 - New Field. Cheaper version of Model 11. Made 1910-1920
No. 14 - Ejector No. 2. Cheaper version of Model 11. Made 1910-1920
No. 15 - Cheaper version of Model 10/11. Made 1928-1932
Handy Gun .410 folding shotgun and pistol (pistol made 1928 to 1932) .
The Model O Hammer Double was introduced in 1897 and remained in production until about 1931 with serial numbers from 001 to 630,001. Originally made only in 12 and 16 gauge, the 20 gauge version appeared about 1905. The total production appears to have been over 600,000.
In 1897 Folsom listed five hammer models:
#2641 - Top lever hammer gun with Armory Steel barrels (Belgian made) in 12g only for $14.
#2650 - With damascus barrels for $15. The Fall 1902 catalog listed Twist barrels.
#2660 - Similar gun but claimed to be “all American made” for $18 (likely the Model O).
#2655 - Twist barrels and Deeley & Edge snap forend with engraving on locks and trigger guard for $18.
#2665 - Damascus barrels and more extensive engraving for $20
1900 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog #110 “High Grade American Gun”
“Special Made American Gun”
1902 Sears catalog No. 112 Crescent hammer guns
1912 Sears catalog No. 124 Crescent hammer guns
In 1904 Crescent resumed the manufacture of hammerless doubles with the introduction of the Model 6 sidelock hammerless double. This gun was an immediate success and it was offered in 12, 16 and later, 20 gauge. The Model 6 was offered initially only with Armory Steel barrels; but Damascus No. 8 and Twist No. 7 models were quickly added. It appears that the bulk of the Twist and Damascus barrel shotguns were sold through Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs.
“The Berkshire Hammerless” No. 6 with Armory Steel blued barrels was listed in the 1912 Sears catalog for $11.90
Crescent Knickerbocker No. 8 Damascus in 1915 Folsom Catalog No. 11
Courtesy of David Noreen
The Crescent made Folsom Arms Co./American Gun Co. “Knickerbocker” Hammerless was listed from 1904 to about 1910, then the “Knickerbocker Improved” with coil spring locks until about 1916.
Catalog No. 18 c. 1921 listed the "American Gun Co. No. 6 Knickerbocker" with the earlier 'V-shaped main springs'. The name was changed in Catalog No. 20 to Crescent Gun No. 6 “Peerless” (without cocking indicators).
The “Empire” No. 60 appeared in Catalog No. 23 c. 1925.
The “New Empire” No. 88 and No. 9 were listed in Catalog No. 27 in 1929.
1910 to 1915 were strong years for Crescent as its three basic models all sold well. By 1915, however, both Crescent and Folsom were starting to suffer a declining sales. Wages were increasing related to production for the war in Europe, and other U.S. makers were producing “utility grade” guns that were perceived to be of higher quality.
In an apparent attempt to address the public’s perception of quality, or the lack thereof, a slogan appeared about 1918 and was used on almost all advertising until 1935: “CRESCENT GUNS ARE GOOD GUNS”
1915 Iver Johnson Sporting Goods, Successors to John P. Lovell, Boston
Parker Trojan - $27.50
Fox Sterlingworth - $25.00
Ithaca Field - $19.00
Torkelson B Grade - $25.00
Stevens 335 - $16.50
Fulton - $17.50
Baker Black Beauty - $18.00
Lefever Durston Special - $25.00
Knox-All Hammerless (American Gun Co/Crescent) - $15.00
Iver Johnson - $18.00
Riverside Arms Co. (J. Stevens) - $15
1927 Schoverling, Daly & Gales Trade Price List for Catalogue No. 102
American Gun Co..........................................................Folsom catalog list
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector........$48.40.............$40
Sidehammer Model single - less than 20,000
All other single barrel guns - 900,000 +
Triumph Model hammerless double - less than 750
Sidelock Hammerless (except Empire and Quail Model) - 450,000
Empire, New Empire and Quail Model Hammerless double - 120,000
Hammer Double (except small gauge) - 630,000
Small gauge hammer double - 40,000
This adds up to more than 2 million shotguns over 43 years, not counting Rolling Block singles, Davenport marked guns, and Baker guns.
PLEASE NOTE: Production dates are an estimate based on Folsom catalogs which, for the most part, were numbered but not dated.
No. 0 - 12, 16 or 20 gauge (introduced in 1905) made 1897 to about 1931.
Early models were marked “H&D FOLSOM ARMS CO. N.Y.U.S.A., and had “Laminated Steel” (Twist) barrels.
Catalog No. 11 c. 1915 labeled the hammer double “American Gun Co., Machine Made Hammer Gun”.
In 1924 they were called “Crescent Fire Arms Co.” guns.
1 - Same as Model 0, made for Sears 1904 to 1908. Marked AMERICAN GUN CO. NEW YORK or only N.Y.
Sears 1905 catalogue No. 114
"Made by the American Gun Company, New York"
2 - Same as Model 0 except Twist barrels. Made 1901 to 1915,
3 - Same as Model 0 except Damascus barrels. Made 1901 to 1915,
4 - Same as Model 1 except “Liege Damascus” barrels. Made 1904 to 1908,
5 - Same as Model 1 except Damascus barrels. Made 1904 to 1908
In addition to the full sized models, three small bore hammer doubles were made between 1910 and 1932:
Model 28 28 gauge - 1910 to 1927,
Model 44 44/40 & .44XL c. 1910 - 1915
Model 44 “Midget Field” .410 - 1915 until 1927,
Model 44 Improved .410 bore - 1927 - 1932.
No. 2 - Probably versions of Triumph Model,
No. 6 - 12, 16 or 20 gauge sidelock. The “Knickerbocker” was listed from 1904 to about 1910, then the “Knickerbocker Improved” with coil spring locks until 1916. Catalog No. 18 c. 1921 again listed the American Gun Co. No. 6 Knickerbocker.
Catalog No. 13 1916 listed the “Knickerbocker Hammerless No. 6 Engraved”
The illustration on c. 1920 Folsom letterhead shows an American Gun Co. marked No. 6 labeled “Manufactured by The Folsom Arms Co.”
“Crescent Gun No. 6 Peerless” (without cocking indicators) was made c. 1916 to 1925.
6E - The 1920 catalog listed a “Crescent Fire Arms Co. No. 6E Peerless
7 - Same as Model 6 except 12 or 16 gauge only with Twist barrels. Made 1904
8 - Same as Model 7 except Damascus barrels. Made 1904 to 1915,
60 - 12, 16 and 20 gauge “Empire” introduced in 1925.
The “New Empire” No. 88 and No. 9 appeared in Catalog No. 27 in 1929.
66 - 410 bore “Quail Model” made 1920 to 1932.
Crescent Fire Arms Co. Shotgun Dates of Production
Crescent Fire Arms Co. production records do not exist, and are believed to have been destroyed as part of World War II paper drives following the dissolution of Crescent-Davis Arms Corporation, Norwich, Conn. by J. Stevens Arms Co. in 1935.
Joseph T. Vorisek’s estimated Dates of Manufacture were published in The Breech Loading Shotgun In America 1865 to 1940, but appears to contains errors in the production dates for the various named Hammerless Double models based on available H&D Folsom catalogs which, for the most part, were numbered but not dated.
Total production numbers are based on Vorisek’s estimates, and the yearly production numbers do not take into account the fluctuations in production after the “Panic of 1907”, the flood of cheap Belgian imports after repeal of the McKinley Tariff in 1912, during the First World War, or after the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
These numbers also apply to the hundreds of Tradename guns produced by Crescent and sold by Folsom.
Single Barrel Date of Manufacture
Estimating DOM for the “Victor” variants (both raised and flat frame models) is problematic. Joseph Vorisek based his numbers on the belief that more than 900,000 were produced between 1897 and 1932. The serial numbers for the Davenport Model Empire State Goose Guns may also be part of the series. The output from the Crescent factory (both Victor and tradename) would then be about 26,000 guns yearly over 35 years. Vorisek used 21,000.
As a rough guide, one could divide a single barrel serial number by 26,000 (or 21,000) and add that number to 1897. For example, serial number 70,000 divided by 26,000 = 2.7 + 1897 = the later part of 1899.
The Model 0 Hammer Double was introduced in 1897 and remained in production until about 1931 with serial numbers from 001 to 630,000 or about 18,500 per year.
Early models were marked “H&D FOLSOM ARMS CO. N.Y.U.S.A.
Catalog No. 11 c. 1915 labeled the hammer double “American Gun Co., Machine Made Hammer Gun”. In 1924 they were called “Crescent Fire Arms Co.” guns.
It is likely that production was less during and immediately after World War I, and much less toward the end of the series.
1897 – 001 to 18,500
1898 – 18,501 to 37,000
1899 – 37,001 to 55,500
1900 – 55,501 to 74,000
1901 – 74,001 to 92,500
1902 – 92,501 to 111,000
1903 – 111,001 to 129,500
1904 – 129,501 to 148,000
1905 – 148,001 to 166,500
1906 – 166,501 to 185,000
1907 – 185,001 to 203,500
1908 – 203,501 to 222,000
1909 – 222,001 to 240,500
1910 – 240,501 to 259,000
1911 – 259,001 to 277,500
1912 – 277,501 to 296,000
1913 – 296,001 to 314,500
1914 – 314,501 to 333,000
1915 – 333,001 to 351,500
1916 – 351,501 to 370,000
1917 – 370,001 to 388,500
1918 – 388,501 to 390,350
1919 – 390,351 to 408,850
1920 – 408,851 to 427,350
1921 – 427,351 to 445,850
1922 – 445,851 to 464,350
1923 – 464,351 to 482,850
1924 – 482,851 to 501,350
1925 – 501,351 to 519,850
1926 – 519,851 to 538,350
1927 – 538,351 to 556,850
1928 – 556,851 to 573,350
1929 – 573,351 to 593,850
1930 – 593,851 to 612,350
1931 – 612,351 to 630,000
Small bore hammer doubles were made between 1910 and 1932:
Model 28 28 gauge - 1910 to 1927,
Model 44 44/40 & .44XL c. 1910 to 1915,
Model 44 “Midget Field” .410 - 1915 to 1927,
Model 44 Improved .410 bore - 1927 to 1932.
Estimated production 36,000 or about 1,600 yearly.
1910 – 001 to 1,600
1911 – 1,601 to 3,200
1912 – 3,201 to 4,800
1913 – 4,801 to 6,400
1914 – 6,401 to 8,000
1915 – 8,001 to 9,600
1916 – 9,601 to 11,200
1917 – 11,201 to 12,800
1918 – 12,801 to 14,400
1919 – 14,401 to 16,000
1920 – 16,001 to 17,600
1921 – 17,601 to 19,200
1922 – 19,201 to 20,800
1923 – 20,801 to 22,400
1924 – 22,401 to 24,000
1925 – 24,001 to 25,600
1926 – 25,601 to 27,200
1927 – 27,201 to 28,800
1928 – 28,801 to 30,400
1929 – 30,401 to 32,000
1930 – 32,001 to 33,600
1931 – 33,601 to 35,200
1932 – 35,200 to 36,000
The Crescent made Folsom Arms Co. “Knickerbocker” Hammerless No. 6 was listed from 1904 to about 1910, then the “Knickerbocker Improved” with coil spring locks until about 1916.
“No. 6 Peerless (The Old Knickerbocker Improved)” without cocking indicators were made c. 1916-1925.
Catalog No. 18 c. 1921 listed the “American Gun Co. No. 6 Knickerbocker” with the earlier 'V-shaped main springs'.
The serial numbers for the “Knickerbocker” and “Peerless” hammerless doubles starts with serial number 001 in 1904 and runs up to 448,000 through 1925 at a rate of about 20,400 guns a year. It is likely that production numbers were less during and immediately after World War I, and after the “Empire” hammerless was introduced in 1925.
1904 - 001 to 20,400
1905 - 20,401 to 40,800
1906 - 40,801 to 61,200
1907 – 61,201 to 81,600
1908 – 81,601 to 102,000
1909 – 102,001 to 122,400
1910 – 122,401 to 142,800
1911 – 142,801 to 163,200
1912 – 163,201 to 183,600
1913 – 183,601 to 204,000
1914 – 204,001 to 224,400
1915 – 224,401 to 244,800
1916 – 244,800 to 265,200
1917 – 265,201 to 285,600
1918 – 285,601 to 306,000
1919 – 306,001 to 326,400
1920 – 326,401 to 346,800
1921 – 346,801 to 367,200
1922 – 367,201 to 387,600
1923 – 387,601 to 408,000
1924 through 1925 – 408,001 to 448,000
In 1925 the “Empire” No. 60 appeared in Catalog No. 23. The “New Empire” No. 88 and No. 9 were listed in Catalog No. 27 in 1929.
The “Empire” and “New Empire” serial numbers were 001 in 1925 to 112,000 in 1933, or about 14,000 guns/year.
Existing stock of “Empire” doubles may have been sold as late as 1935. Guns stamped “Springfield by J. Stevens Arms Co.” exist and are thought to have been made using remaining parts after the assets of Crescent-Davis Arms Corp. were moved from Norwich to Chicopee Falls in late 1935.
Production was likely much less toward the end of the series.
1925 – 001 to 14,000
1926 – 14,001 to 28,000
1927 – 28,001 to 42,000
1928 – 42,001 to 56,000
1929 – 56,001 to 70,000
1930 – 70,001 to 84,000
1931 – 84,001 to 98,000
1932 through 1935 – 98,001 to 112,000
The No. 66 - 410 bore “Quail Model” was made about 1920 to 1932 and Vorisek included the SNs with the “Empire” hammerless.
Another means employed to attempt to date a Crescent Hammerless double is the type of lock springs.
1. From 1904 to 1910 V shaped springs were used,
2, Coil springs were introduced on the “Knickerbocker Improved”.
c. 1910 catalog showing the “Improved” coil spring lock courtesy of Dave Noreen
3. Catalog No. 18 c. 1921 again listed the "No. 6 Knickerbocker" with the earlier 'V-shaped main springs'.
4. “Peerless” U shaped spring
then c. 1927 crude U shaped springs used on the Model 6 and Model 60 “Empire” and No. 9 “New Empire”.
Unfortunately, guns returned to Norwich for repairs might have parts were substituted depending upon availability; new parts were substituted for old, or old for new. Sideplates were replaced without regard to the trade brand on the originals; and sometimes guns were rebuilt using parts that the gun did not come with originally. Guns were repaired by the cheapest and quickest methods possible even if that meant replacing undamaged parts.
Almost every U.S. gunmaker produced guns marked with the trade name of distributors, sporting goods companies and hardware stores. None came close to the production numbers of Folsom/Crescent. It is believed that to have a shotgun trade named, all that was necessary was to pay for the stamping die and order a minimum of 12 guns.
The 1898 Folsom catalog listed the following Crescent and somewhat deceptively named imported guns:
Crescent Single Gun the NEW Victor
Crescent New Field Twist Barrel
Crescent Breech Loader
New York Arms Ejector #1 and #2
Crescent 'The Club' Hammerless Single
J. Cooper DB Patent Fore-End
Thomas Barker Top Snap
The Celebrated Sam Holt Arms Co.
S. H. Harrington DB Top Snap
Thomas Barker Left Barrel Choked
Barker Special, Highly Engraved, Circular Hammer
Greener Action Breech Loading
Barker Bored for Nitro Powder
Folsom New American
Barker New American
Catalog No. 31 courtesy of David Noreen
The Folsom agent in Belgium, at least through 1914, was Louis Muller of Liege. Muller may have actually been in the employ of Folsom as he registered the Crescent trademarks in Belgium.
He was also a gun maker and registered twelve trademarks 1889 to 1894 including:
Acme, Club, Climax, Star, Rival, Standard, Meteor, and I.X.L.
TRADE NAMES (confirmed or possible) used by Folsom imported guns (mostly Belgian sidelocks and identified by proof marks), Crescent (sidelocks), Crescent-Davis (boxlocks), and other U.S. distributors.
THE SAME TRADE NAMES may be found on single and double barrel shotguns manufactured by Savage Arms, Harrington & Richardson, W.H. Davenport, Hopkins and Allen, J. Stevens, Iver Johnson or in Belgium (but will carry Belgian proof marks).
Crescent made single barrel guns may be marked with the gauge followed by a G in a diamond.
Crescent barrels are usually stamped "GENUINE ARMORY STEEL" and "CHOKED BORE."
American Bar Lock Wonder for Sears, Roebuck & Co.,
American Boy for Townley Metal & Hdw. Co. Kansas City,
American Gun Co. New York or N.Y.,
The Model 2 Hammer Double with Twist barrels and the early rounded breech balls is listed as the "Improved 1908 Model New England Wonder" in Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalog No. 117 1908
It is likely that American Gun Co. New York guns were only marketed by Sears
Later conical breech balls, “Armory Steel” barrels, and a different lockplate
Aristocrat for Supplee-Biddle Hdw. Philadelphia,
Armory Gun Co.,
Baker Gun Co.,
Baklmann Hardware Co.,
A. Baldwin & Co. Ltd. New Orleans, LA (Belgian maker),
Barker Gun Co.,
Barrett Gun Co.,
Bartlett & Co.,
Bellmore Gun Co.,
Berkshire No. 3000,
Bluegrass Arms Co.,
B.M.&S.H. for Blish, Mizet and Silliman Hardware Co. Atchison KS,
Bridge Gun Co., Bridge Gun Works, and Bridge Black Prince for Shapleigh Hdw. Co. St. Louis,
Bridgeport Arms Co.,
Bright Arms Co.,
Burack Special for Burhans & Black Inc. Syracuse NY,
Carolina Arms Co. for Smith-Wadsworth Hdw. Co. Charlotte N.C.,
Carter's Premier for Garnet-Carter Co. Chattanooga TN,
Central Arms Co. for Shapleigh (boxlock guns by Stevens),
Champion of Birmingham, English made hammer gun sold by Henry C. Squires
New York c. 1880s,
Chatham Arms Co. (Belgian hammergun marked ‘DP’),
Cherokee Arms Co. for C.M. McClung & Co., Knoxville TN,
Chesapeake Gun Co.,
Chicago Long Range Wonder (in addition to an Andrew Fyrberg & Sons manufactured boxlock),
Columbian New York Arms Co.,
Compeer Gun Co. (and Rival and New Rival) for Van Camp Hdw Indianapolis
The Continental was made by Simonis, Janssen & Dumoulin and may be marked ‘Pat. June 20, 1883’
Connecticut Arms Co.,
Cumberland Arms Co. for Gray & Dudley Hdw Co. Nashville TN,
Crancer’s Field Gun,
Cruso for Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co.,
Daniel Boone Gun Co. for Belknap Hdw. & Mfg. Co. Louisville KY,
Daniel Boone Squirrel Gun for C.M. McClung & Co. Hdw. Knoxville,
(Daniel Boone, a N.R. Davis hammerless)
Delphian Arms Co. for Supplee-Biddle Hdw. Co. Phila. PA,
Delphian Manufacturing Co.,
Diamond Arms Co. for Shapleigh,
Dunlap Special by Davis-Warner for Dunlap Hdw. Co. Macon GA,
E.C.M.A.Co, Eclipse Beauty, Eclipse Beaver, Eclipse Company, Eclipse Gun Co., Patent 488316 Dec 20 1892, Meteor, Giant, Giant Gun Co., GunCo, Leader Belgium, Hercules, and Star.
All are Aciens Establissment Pieper / Henri Pieper guns made for E.C. Meacham Co. St. Louis.
It is possible that Crescent produced guns have the same tradenames also.
Other Pieper Trade Names registered in Belgium included: Bayard (June 9, 1892) and Bayard Arms Co., Oscar A. Baer Baltimore MD, Eagle Gun Works, E. Leroy, H. Pieper, Diana & Modified Diana, The Leader, First Arms Co, Pieper Arms Co, Premier Arms Co, National Arms Co, Henry Arms Co, A. Richards, Royal Gun Works, Le Rationnel, Schutz Marke, E-K, Metropole, and Monarch Arms Co.
Several Pieper guns are listed in the 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog
Elgin Arms Co. for Fred Biffar & Co. Chicago and Strauss & Schram Chicago,
Elmira Arms Co. Elmira NY,
Empire Arms Co.,
Empire State Arms Co.,
No. 60 Empire Hammerless
Wm. Enders Oak Leaf, Enders Royal Service, Royal Field, Royal Western, Royal American, and Special Service for Shapleigh Hdw. Co. St. Louis,
Essex for Belknap,
Farwell Arms Co. for Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk & Co. St. Paul,
Faultless for John M. Smythe Hdw. Co. Chicago
Featherlight (not -lite and only 20g guns reported, possibly for Sears),
The Field (10 & 12g single barrel),
S. O. Fisher Lynchburg Virginia,
Folsom Arms Co. New York,
Forever and H.S. Brown Machine Gun,
Fort Pit Arms Co.,
Fremont Arms Co.,
General Arms Co. and General Arms Co. St. Louis,
Gold Hibbard The Interchangable for H.S.B. Co.,
Gold Medal Wonder for Sears,
W.H. Hamilton for C.M. McClung & Co. Hdw. Knoxville and Wiebusch and Hilger Co. New York,
Hanover Arms Co. made by Janssen Fils & Co.,
Harrison Arms Co. for Sickles & Preston Davenport Iowa,
Hartford Arms.Co. for Simmons Hdw. and Shapleigh Hdw. St Louis,
J.C. Henry Arms Co. St. Paul for C.W. Hackett Hdw. (Hopkins & Allen single and hammer double),
Henry Arms Co. by Henri Pieper
Hermitage Arms Co. for Gray & Dudley,
Hermitage Gun Co.,
H.S.B. Co., Hibbard, HibSpeBar, Gold Hibbard (The Interchangeable by Neumann Freres and Modified Diana by Henri Pieper), Greenfield, Liege Arms Co., Newport, Pittsfield, Rev-O-Noc (Charles Conover was a Director and later President), RUSO, H.J. Sterling Arms Co., Whippet, Victor and Victor Special all for Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., Chicago.
In 1962 Cotter & Company purchased the assets of H.S.B.&Co. acquiring the True Value trademark.
1923 H.S.B.& Co. Catalog
Howard Arms Co. for Fred Biffar,
Hudson possibly for Hudson Sporting Goods Co. New York,
Hummer for Lee Hdw Co Salina KS,
Hunter (and Nitro Hunter) for Belknap,
Indiana Gun Co. (Belgian double for unknown dealer),
Infallible by Davis-Warner,
Interstate Arms Co. for Townley,
The Interchangeable and The International for E.C. Meacham St. Louis, Gus Habich Indianapolis, H.S.B. & Co., and others made by Simonis, Janssen & Dumoulin and Neumann Freres.
Syndicat des Pieces Interchangables was formed in 1898.
C.G. Bonehill of Birmingham made the Belmont Interchangeable,
Jackson Arms Co. for C.M. McClung,
J.H. Lau & Co.,
J. Manton & Co. (hammerguns by Lambert Dumoulin but used by Birmingham and other makers),
J.W. Stake by Neumann Freres,
John M. Smyth Merchandise Co.,
Joseph Arms Co.,
KK and Keen Kutter for E.C. Simmons Company St. Louis,
Kingsland Special and Kingsland 10 Star for Geller, Ward & Hasner St. Louis,
Kirk Gun Co. for Farwell, Ozmun, Kirk & Co. St. Paul,
Knickerbocker and Knickerbocker Improved Hammerless,
Knox-All (also Iver Johnson),
Laclede Gun Co. (both Crescent and Belgian hammerguns),
Lakeside for Montgomery Ward & Co.,
Leader, C.F. Leader, and Leader Gun Co. for Chas. Williams Stores Inc. New York,
Lee's Special and Lee's Munner Special for Lee Hdw. Co. Salina KS,
Liege Arms Co. for Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett (Belgian made 10 & 12g doubles selling for $45 in 1884),
Long Range Marvel,
Long Range Winner and Long Range Wonder for Sears,
Manhattan Arms Co. was a trade name used on hammer and hammerless side by sides imported by Schoverling, Daly & Gales, Kirtland Bros. Co., and Von Lengerke & Detmold, all of New York City. The guns were made in Belgium by Neumann Freres and Fabrique d'Armes Fs. Dumoulin & Cie, and in Germany by J.P. Sauer.
(A Hunter Arms Co. Fulton named Manhattan Arms was also sold by S,D&G.)
Marshwood for Chas. Williams,
Massachusetts Arms Co. for Blish, Mize & Silliman Hdw. Atchison KS,
Metal & Hardware Co.,
Metropolitan Arms Co. for Siegel Cooper Co. N.Y.,
Milwaukee Gun Co. (sideplate Hopkins & Allen hammerless double),
Minnesota Arms Co. for Farwell, Ozmun & Kirk Co.,
Mississippi Arms Co.,
Mississippi Valley Arms Co. for Shapleigh,
Mohawk for Blish, Mize & Silliman,
Mohawk Gun Co. for Janney, Semple, Hill & Co., Minn.,
Monitor for Paxton & Gallagher Omaha Neb.,
Wm. Moore & Co.,
Moorland (Belgian hammergun for William Galloway, Waterloo Iowa)
Mt. Vernon Arms Co.,
R. Murdock National Firearms Co.,
National Arms Co. (not the Marlin branded pump gun) possibly for William Read & Sons, Boston,
New Britain Arms Co.,
New Elgin Arms Co.,
New Empire No. 88 and No. 9 appeared in Catalog No. 27 in 1929
New England Arms Co. for Chas. J. Godfrey N.Y., Rohde Spencer Co. Chicago, and Simmons Hardware.
(Some are marked “Ptd. June 30, 1883” on the right sideplate and are by Simonis, Janssen & Dumoulin.)
New England Wonder for Sears,
New Haven Arms Co. for E.K.Tryon and Great Western Gun Works Pittsburgh (also Belgian unknown maker hammer guns. New Haven FIRE Arms Co. was a Hunter Arms Fulton tradename boxlock),
New Rival for Van Camp Hdw. & Iron Co.,
New York Arms Co. for Garnet Carter Co. Chattanooga TN.,
New York Machine Made,
New York Match Gun,
New York Nitro Hammerless,
Newport for H.S.B. (Newport Model CN by Stevens),
Nitro Bird for Richards & Conover Hdw. Co. K.C.,
Nitro Hunter for Belknap,
Nitro King for Shapleigh,
Norwich Arms Co. for Marshall Wells Hdw. Co. Duluth,
Not-Nac Manufacturing Co. for Canton Hdw. Co. Canton Ohio and Belknap,
J.H. Obold & Co. Reading PA,
Osprey for Lou J. Eppinger Detroit,
Oxford Arms Co. for Belknap,
Pagoma for Paxton, Gallagher Hdw Co.,
Palmetto and Palmetto Arms Model 11 single barrels for E.K. Tryon & Co. by J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co.,
Palmetto Arms Philadelphia PA by Crescent, Davenport Arms, Hopkins & Allen, and Stevens.
Paragon Model W.S. and C.S. on J. Stevens single barrels,
“Parkers” made in Belgium including Parker-Smith-Williams, T. Parker, Thomas Parker (possibly by Pieper), and C. Parker & Co.,
T. Parker New York were made by Crescent,
E.D. Parker shotguns with English proofmarks were listed in the 1895 Clabrough & Golcher catalog,
William Parker was a gunmaker from 1790 until 1840 and one of the forerunners of Parker, Field & Sons, High Holborn, London, 1841-1876,
The lowest grade guns marketed by P. Webley were sold under the name of Thomas Parker, London c. 1900-1920
Also see T. Barker below
Crescent Firearms Co. No. 6 Peerless (without cocking indicators) c. 1916-1925 and No. 6E Peerless Engraved c. 1920
Perfection for H.G. Lipscomb & Co., Nashville,
Piedmont Arms Co. for Piedmont Hdw. Co. Danville, PA,
Pioneer Arms for Kruse Hdw. Co., Cincinnati,
Pittsfield for H.S.B.,
Pontiac Arms Co. Chicago,
Prize Machine Gun for Belknap,
Queen City for Elmira Arms Co. Elmira N.Y.,
J.T. Randall (Lefaucheux action hammer doubles made by Lambert Dumoulin and Charles Clement. J.T. Randall listed as a merchant in Conway, New Hampshire in the late 1800s.)
Red Chieftan for Supplee-Biddle,
Rev-O-Noc for Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co.,
Richards, A. Richards, W. Richards & W. Richards Norwich, Conn
Additional confusion exists related to W. Richards (Liverpool)
The Sept. 26 1889 issue of Forest and Stream reported a test of H & D Folsom's cheapest doubles and observed... “W. Richards” that nonentity in the gun trade, was stamped on the plate, but they were really only those cheap bits of ordnance which come through our custom houses, pay a duty of 40 per cent., and yet may be placed on the counters of the gun shop at $5 a piece. Forest and Stream has already in past times expressed its opinion about these pestiferous products of the penurious population clustered on Belgian soil.
It has been the custom of manufacturers to stamp fictitious names of individuals and other trade words, such as "Richards," "Western," "U.S. Armes Co.," etc., upon the lock plates or on the ribs connecting double-barrel guns imported at your port from Belgium; that in a number of recent importations of guns from Belgium there is a conspicuous absence of any words to indicate the country of origin, but on the contrary words have been found which represent to consumers that the guns are either of English or American manufacture, thus nullifying the object and intent of section 6 above referred to, and under these circumstances you request further instructions from the Department as to the marking of guns imported not only by Boker & Co., but by all others, whether in store or en route.
As it appears that it is practicable to stamp the name of the country of origin on the guns, you are hereby authorized, under and in pursuance of Department's decision of March 18. 1891 (Synopsis 10832) to deliver the guns covered by this and subsequent importations only upon such stamping, the language of said decision being that "where articles of foreign manufacture required to be marked under the provisions above referred to were ordinarily stamped at the time of the passage of said act, the name of the country of origin should be stamped thereon.
A. Richards may have been a Pieper tradename.
W. Richards marked guns made by J.P. Clabrough were sold in the U.S.
W. H. Davenport Arms Co. made an H. Richards New York single barrel,
Rich-Con possibly for Richards & Conover Steel Co. Kansas City,
Richmond Hardware Co.,
Charles Richter for New York Sporting Goods Co. N.Y.,
Rickard Arms Co. for Jay A. Rickard Co. Schenectady N.Y.,
Rival and New Rival for Van Camp Hdw. Indianapolis (mainly by Louis Muller. A sideplated Hopkins & Allen c.1912 with "drop forged, reinforced, one pieced breech and lug" marked Rival has also been identified ),
Rodgers Arms Co. by Henri Pieper,
Royal Service for Shapleigh,
Rummel Arms Co. for A.J. Rummel Arms Co. Toledo,
RUSO inside a rooster for H.S.B.,
Russell Arms Co. made by Joseph Cap and H. Pieper for Wiebusch & Hilger,
Salem G. Le Valley Buffalo NY,
St. Louis Arms Co. for Shapleigh and Sears Roebuck,
Sheffield Arms Co.,
Shue's Special for Ira M. Shue Hanover PA,
Sickel's Arms Co. for Robert-Sickels & Preston Co. Davenport Iowa,
Southern Arms Co. made by Joseph Janssen,
Spencer Gun Co. for Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co.
Early Batavia Leaders with Twist barrels, R.T. Torkelson & Co. “The New America Hammerless”, Hopkins and Allen hammer doubles, and single barrel shotguns by Crescent Fire Arms Co. all were marked Spencer Gun Co.
Spencer Machine Gun ‘Pat. June 20, 1883’
was made by by Simonis, Janssen & Dumoulin
The Sportsman for W. Bingham Co. Cleveland (also Stevens Model 315),
Springfield Arms Co. (also Stevens),
Square Deal for Stratton-Warren Hdw. Co. Memphis,
Stauffer Eshlemen and Co. New Orleans (Belgian),
Stanley, Stanley Double Gun & Stanley Arms Co. (for Wiebusch & Hilger Co. New York) by Francois Dumoulin and Simonis, Janssen & Dumoulin,
State Arms Co. for J.H. Lau & Co.,
H.J. Sterling Arms Co. (Belgian) for H.S.B.,
St. Louis Arms Co.,
Sullivan Arms Co.,
Syco for Wyeth Hdw Co. St. Joseph MO,
Thomas Barker, T. Barker, and T. Barker New York,
1908 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue No. 117
Ten Star and Ten Star Heavy Duty for Geller, Ward & Hasner,
Tiger for J.H. Hall Co. Nashville,
Townley's Pal and Townley's American Boy for Townley Metal,
Trap's Best for Watkins-Cottrell Co. Richmond VA,
Triumph - Charles Lancaster patent guns made by Crescent for Sears,
Triumph by Manufactuer Liegeoise D'Arms Feu for Schuyler, Hartley & Graham,
Tryon Special for E.K. Tryon Co.,
U.S. Arms Co. for Supplee-Biddle and Charles Godfrey,
Union Machine Co. by Pieper and Union Machine Co. New York by S.J.& D. (Albert Simonis, J. Janssen and Demoulin Brothers) and imported by S.D.&G.,
Victor & Victor Special for H.S.B.,
Virginia Arms Co. for Virginia Caroline Co. Richmond VA,
Volunteer for Belknap,
Vulcan Arms Co. for E.K. Tryon,
Walters and Son,
Warren Arms Co.,
Washington Arms Co. for E.K. Tryon,
Wautauga for Wallace Hdw Co. Morristown TN,
Whippet for H.S.B.,
Wilkinson Arms Co. for Richmond Hdw. Co., Richmond VA,
William Moore & Co.,
Wilmont Arms Co.,
Wiltshire Arms Co. for Stauffer, Eshleman & Co. New Orleans (by N.R. Davis & Sons and Stevens Arms & Tool Co.),
Wiltshire Arms Co.,
Winfield Arms Co.,
Winoca Arms Co. for N. Jacobi Hdw. Co. Philadelphia (or possibly Wilmington NC),
Witte Hardware Co., St. Louis
Wm. Parkhurst by S.J.&D. for Schoverling, Daly & Gales,
Wolverine Arms Co. for Fletcher Hdw. Co. Wilmington NC,
Worthington Arms Co. for Geo. Worthington Co. Cleveland
(Worthington Special is a Stevens 330),
The Wyco for Wyeth Hdw. & Mfg. St. Joseph MO
XLCR Crescent-Davis boxlock for W. Bingham Cleveland.
There are also Crescent made shotguns with Spanish names as Folsom had salesmen in Central and South America from 1890 to 1920 and Crescent guns were likely sold long after that.
Bob Hinman The Golden Age of Shotgunning; Wolfe Publishing Co. 1982 & 2nd edition 1988
Joseph T Vorisek http://www.cornellpubs.com/old-guns/historic-vorisek.php
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