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Gila141
April 20, 2007, 10:07 PM
Harley:
I have been told that you are the master in knowing firearms. I have an old double barrel that was off a Montana reservation from the 1800's, and the only markings I have been able to find are the letters S. H. Co. Do you know who was the manufacturer of this firearm. I would like to research this gun.
Thanks in advance for any help you may have.
Gila141

James K
April 20, 2007, 10:34 PM
It sounds like one of the millions of "hardware store" or "brand name" guns turned out in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Crescent and other U.S. and foreign makers. It is a fair bet that the "H" stands for "hardware", as in "S----- Hardware Co.", but it could mean something else.

If you know that Montana area, or can research it, you might find an "S.H. Co.", since it is possible the gun was bought and used in that area. I have tracked some old markings and found the company still in business, though they usually knew nothing about the stuff they sold over 100 years ago.

I am giving you a link to an article that may interest you. Even though your particular gun is not mentioned, you will get an idea of the huge quantities of guns made and the literally hundreds of names put on them. (At that time, anyone ordering as few as 10 guns could have them marked with any name he chose.)

http://www.briley.com/articles/grampas_shotgun.html

Jim

johnbt
April 21, 2007, 11:19 AM
Could be the Simmons Hardware Co. of St. Louis.

I did a little googling and found an ebay ad for "Antique Oil Lantern Liberty SH Co St. Louis". A little later I turned up references for Crescent guns made for Simmons Hardware. www.thckk.org/simmons-hdwe.html

"He successfully developed the Simmons Hardware Company into one of the most extensive corporations of its kind with divisions in Wichita ,Sioux City ,Ogden ,Toledo ,New York, Minneapolis and St. Louis. By the turn of the century warehouse space occupied over 1,500,000 sq feet. The company's tool plants were in New Hampshire, and its pocket knife plant in New York was the largest in the U. S. They had their own saddlery factories as well. Mr. Simmons retired from active participation in 1898, but he still took a great interest in the business."

http://www.thckk.org/shotgun.jpg

John

Gila141
April 21, 2007, 08:41 PM
Jim Keenan and Johnbt:
Thanks for the insights into the possible manufacturer of this firearm. Your information provides a starting point that will allow me to check further into the manufacturer. I really appreciate your help,
Gila141

Harley Nolden
April 22, 2007, 02:58 AM
H S Could stand for Hibbert & Spencer, which was a trade name used by Hibbert Spencer & Bartlet. In any event, as previously stated, Crescent Firearms, H&D Folam made or imported the gun for that company

HKN

James K
April 22, 2007, 02:04 PM
I had thought of Simmons, but their guns that I have seen had the name spelled out, not abbreviated. HSB&Co. used either those initials, or their Cruso trademark, or sometimes both. (Neither made guns, of course, they almost all came from Crescent.)

Jim

RJay
April 22, 2007, 04:17 PM
Jim is right, Trade guns as a rule will have the trade name spelled out. I've never seen a Hibbert & Spencer or Simmons that the trade names was not spelled out completely, otherwise what's the use of having a trade name? Have you pulled the forearm wood and looked for proof marks? No proofmarks, then U.S. made, if perchance you find proof marks such as a ELG in an oval then you have a Belgium import. There are a lot of Belgium imports that bear no markings at all other than proof marks.