1876 U.S. Centennial Mystery Gun

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by SHOOTER13, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    7,473
    13
    38
    A buddy of mine stopped over Christmas Eve and we had a few beers together...we hadn't seen each other for at least six months as his DoD job has him on the road and as the conversation turned to our favorite subject ( ;) )...he pulls a small pouch out of his pocket and says Merry Christmas...


    [​IMG]


    Well...research turned up a little about it, as the only words on it is "Centennial 1876" on top of the barrel and a serial number that can be found on the major parts ( underneath the barrel, trigger, even the wood stocks are numbered ). It is a 7 shot revolver chambered for the .22 short rimfire cartridge.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1876_Centennial_Exposition



    Back in 1876, ( which is when the home I presently live in was built ), Philadelphia hosted the very first International Expo in Fairmount Park, to celebrate the Centennial of the United States by inviting the world to come and showcase all the newest inventions of that time...and even though there is lots of documentation on this expo, I'm still trying to find the name of the manufacturer of this firearm and exactly how many were produced. A lot of major manufacturers made similar looking firearms...Colt, Smith & Wesson, Whitneyville, Iver & Johnson...to name a few...but this one has nothing to indicate it's producer...



    POSTCARD OF ORIGINAL FAIRGROUNDS CIRCA 1876...


    [​IMG]



    Example of the original packaging of the gun...


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    7,473
    13
    38
    Opposite side view...

    The serial number is 253...on the trigger, under the barrel, on the cylinder release, even etched on the inside of the wood grips...so it's a first production run.


    [​IMG]
     

  3. Birddogyz

    Birddogyz In the army now..

    2,848
    0
    0
    Very nice find. That is a nice addition to your collection.
     
  4. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    7,473
    13
    38
  5. RRoss

    RRoss New Member

    68
    0
    0
    THAT is a great find! congrats on the new addition to the collection.
     
  6. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    7,473
    13
    38
    Thanks RR...still researching the manufacturer.
     
  7. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    7,473
    13
    38
    Hood firearms company

    Well, with the help of my buddy Ben Hale, it looks like the mystery is solved.

    While some major manufacturers like Colt and Smith & Wesson made similar designs with minor differences in appearance and function...and others like Iver Johnson, Whitney Arms, Merwin Hubert, and Hopkins & Allen went with their own similar designs and clones, a lone gentlemen by the name of Freeman W. Hood was the designer of the Centennial pistol I now own.

    His design ( Patent #160,192 ) was approved on February 23rd, 1875, and the blueprints and patent claim below are proof positive that his Hood Firearms Company design was showcased at the Philadelphia Centennial World Expo of 1876. He went on to make minor changes in this design in later months/years...then he was soon lost in the annuals of history.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Birddogyz

    Birddogyz In the army now..

    2,848
    0
    0
    Glad you found more information.
     
  9. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporter

    7,473
    13
    38
    Yea...bhale187 really came through with this info...I didn't see the Hood Firearm Co. name on any of the searches I ran...and it is an exact match down to the little screw in the grip area.

    Really makes me curious as to why a basically new company, doing this for an International Expo, wouldn't have it's name somewhere on the firearm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  10. jmohme

    jmohme Member

    986
    1
    18
    A true piece of history!
    I am envious.
     
  11. eastbank

    eastbank New Member

    14
    0
    0
    here,s my win. 76 centennial in 45-60, with special order 30"barrel.,i shot 300-350gr bullets with 27grs h-4198. eastbank.
     

    Attached Files: