View Full Version : Baker Black Beauty

Bwana Earl
June 22, 2002, 01:18 AM
She was passed on to me. Originally she belonged to my wife's grandmother's brother (great uncle?). I have seen the gun in old photos with the owner and my wife's grandfather standing alongside a Model T Ford literally covered with mallards. That was "back in the day" when rice farmers around Stuttgart, Arkansas provided shotshells for hunters to protect the shocked rice drying in the fields. Meat marketers from Memphis, Little Rock, St. Louis and Pine Bluff would buy what you and your neighbors couldn't eat as there were no freezers. They never made a dent in the duck population, as the breeding grounds were not yet farmed. Without the hunters, rice farmers could have lost their entire crop overnight. I even have the story about the freezing rain that produced the slight "dog-nut" in the left barrel. But all the family is passed away, so there is no one to consult.
Anyway, I want to know more about the gun and the Baker Gun Company. She would have been purchased new around 1920, plus or minus 5 years. Uncle Harry was "well to do" but somewhat of a tightwad according to family lore, so I imagine this is a mid-priced shotgun for the time. She is tight and appears well made, but I am not a shotgun expert by any means. I have shot many "field load" shells through her with great pleasure, but I've always preferred a pump or semi-auto.
I will appreciate ANY help here as I want to provide a write up for my grandson who will eventually enjoy her.
Serial Number is 44xxx. She is a hammerless side by side double barrel with extractors, two triggers, and the rib has wavy lines to reduce glare. There is no engraving, but the checkering is very nicely cut.
Thanks in advance,
Bwana Earl

Harley Nolden
June 22, 2002, 04:04 AM
Baker Gun Company: From Side by Sides of the World 2K

Was a trade name of the H&D Folsom Arms Co on shotguns the retailed. This is if there are no foreign proof marks.

Black Beauty:
this was a trade name used by Sears Roebuck and Company of Chicago on shotguns they imported. Foreign proof marks.

Black Beauty:
Was also a trade name used By Crescent Arms on shotguns they made for the Shapleigh Hardware Co of St Louis.

Your shotgun is termed a Hardware Gun, as it was made by a major mfg. importer, for Hardware stores and the like. As Black Beauty is directly identified here is the story of the Major Mfg:


This Company mfg’d good quality, inexpensive side by side and single Bbl shotguns and was founded in 1883. They were bought by the H&D Folsom Arms Company of New York, importers and distributors of firearms and sporting goods.

After the purchase of Crescent, the Folsom Company was able to offer a complete range of shotguns, imported English French, Belgium and American made Crescents. By the turn of the century Crescent Arms produced huge quantities of “Hardware Guns” it produced guns under direct contract to distributors, mail order housed and hardware distributors with any brand name the customer requested. Crescent also produced guns for its parent company, as Folsom house brands that were sold to customers that did not want their own brand name.

By the lat 1890's Crescent was producing basically five grade of dbl bbl shotguns offering a model for most tastes. The Crescent /Folsom Arms Company continued this type of business until 1930 when it merged with Davis Warner Arms Corp and became the Crescent-Davis Arms Corp. In 1932 it assets and machinery were bought by Stevens Arms Company, a victim of changing tastes and the depression.


Harley Nolden
June 22, 2002, 04:18 PM
This is the Baker Story from SXS's of the World by Charles Carder

Harley Nolden
June 22, 2002, 04:21 PM
Segment #2 the Baker Story


Bwana Earl
June 23, 2002, 02:27 PM
Thanks so much for your research and comments. I was only familiar with the fact that there was a factory in Batavia, and price data from "Gun Traders Guide". Like Paul Harvey, you gave me "The Rest of the Story". A copy of your post and attachments will be in the box when my grandson reaches that responsible age.

Harley Nolden
June 23, 2002, 02:48 PM
It was my pleasure "suh":D