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Old September 12, 2018, 02:07 PM   #1
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Bannerman's Island & His Army-Navy Surplus Empire

These articles are about Bannerman's Island and Frank Bannerman, the man who bought US military surplus by the ton and then sold it to the public and nations around the world.
His father started and ran the business until he signed up to join the civil war, after which 13 year old Frank took it over.
By 1905, his warehouse & showroom took up a whole city block in Manhatten and he still didn't have enough storage space.
At the end of the Spanish American War, he had bought 90% of all the captured goods including a huge storehouse of black powder.
It's estimated that 50% of all publicly displayed cannons were bought from Bannerman's.
He was still selling kepi's and surplus civil war guns throughout the 1930's and into the 1940's, as well as other items that were being stored in their original crates.
Read more about it below:

Bannerman’s Castle: The ultimate Army-Navy store--->>>

Bannerman Island: A Mystery Island on the Hudson--->>>
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Old September 12, 2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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Some time in the 1990s, a member of my muzzle loading club told us a story about how he was a tractor-trailer driver for the US Army.
He said that he was ordered to pick up a load from a warehouse in New York that was being closed down, and that the truck was filled with all kinds of surplus civil war era items.
He said that if he had realized its value at the time, that he would have grabbed some of it and buried it, to keep for himself.
After reading the end of the 1st article about how the Army and NYPD destroyed Bannerman's left over goods, I can't help but to think
that he was actually involved in disposing of Bannerman's stuff.
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Old September 12, 2018, 02:19 PM   #3
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Here's an M-1841 6-pounder cannon that was used by both sides during the early part of the civil war.
It was made in Chicopee, MA. & sold by Bannerman's in 1959.--->>>

Last edited by arcticap; September 12, 2018 at 02:24 PM.
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Old September 13, 2018, 07:56 AM   #4
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I have a "relic" that came from Bannerman's Island. A number of years ago, a friend of mine who lives in New Yourk visited the island. The large cement piers were crumbling and he cabbage on to a couple of the pieces of "re-rod" they used when pouring the piers. The re-rods? They used 45-70 gun barrels. He gave me one and I still have it. Rather rusty and crusty but still has remains of the sights as well as the breech. What would be treasured things today were just "surplus" then.
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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Old September 13, 2018, 11:16 AM   #5
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Long story short: In 1957-58 i trucked native flowering shrubs and trees to a landscaper in Yonkers, NY. We visited the Bannerman store on Broadway numerous times. That place was huge and had everything: It was also unorganized.

Brother bought a few guns, including a really nice Springfield trapdoor officers carbine found in a huge clutter of old guns.
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Old September 13, 2018, 06:02 PM   #6
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If I could dive, i’d Do it there.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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Old September 14, 2018, 12:59 PM   #7
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An absolute legend, Banneman made surplus what it is today, a wonderful historic hobby. I'd LOVE to have been around in the early 20th. Instead od Mosins and Makarovs, you could have gotten Springfield muskets and stuff! So cool!!!
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Old October 16, 2018, 02:19 AM   #8
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Good Ol' Uncle Sam

FWIW, this is 3rd hand info.:

Only about 800 Rogers & Spencer's went into the civilian market in 1864 or 1865.
The entire production batch of 5,000 for the government went directly from factory to storage starting in January 1865 and the next nine months.
There they sat until sold as surplus at auction in June 1901. 4,982 were bought by Bannerman 25.27 cents each.
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