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The Ball Repeating Carbine



found the arm lying out on the prairie. furnished the following background: "A sketchy chronological history of the above firearm as told to me by Mrs. Young Beal took it . Windsor. while other metallic parts were casehardened. Like the better-known Spencer carbine. they were not delivered until May. and manufactured by E. As in the Palmer carbine. 1865. the donor of the Lamson Carbine displayed here. G. This seven-shot .Although the Federal government issued a contract for these arms in 1864. after the war had ended. It has a two-piece walnut stock.000 of these seven-shot breechloaders were produced. 1865. cartridges are fed through an opening in the right side of the receiver frame and into a tubular magazine located under the barrel. Approximately 1. Lamson & Company. Approximately 1. and total length is 37 inches. Lowering the trigger guard lever opens the receiver and feeds a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber. then a 6 year old son of homesteaders in Shoshone County Wyoming. The 20-inch barrel was blued. Mr.000 were delivered in May. From its condition. which was chambered for the .5650 Spencer rimfire cartridge. To load. it had been there a long time. the hammer features a projecting lip that strikes the cartridge rim. Massachusetts. they were operated through the use of a lever-action trigger guard. Hook. in 1864.50 caliber carbine. after the close of the Civil War. Emmy Mae Binns Beal. Vermont. Circa 1910: Fred Beal. Garner D. This carbine was patented by Albert Ball of Worcester. operated on the same principle as the later Winchester repeating rifle.

Their bid of $11. Subsequently. After his c. The expanding Industrial Revolution made this period a watershed in American industrial history. which was located at the state prison in Windsor. where his skills came to Kendall's attention. and his guns featured interchangeable parts that could be produced by a combination of skilled and unskilled workers. Kendall produced his arms using Hubbard's machinery and unskilled prison labor for which he paid compensation to the state. One of the first large orders for Kendall's products came in 1836 from the citizens of Texas. Asahel Hubbard. polished and reblued it the best I could. and building additional manufacturing facilities and lodging for the growing workforce. which was both safer and more reliable than other types. brought the pieces to me hoping I could restore it to some semblance of its original condition. At some indeterminate time he placed the arm in a crotch of an apple tree. Beal cut it out of the tree and took it home to Washington state. who were seeking their independence from Mexico." Nicanor Kendall was born in Windsor. and hiring skilled workers to perform fine work. Springfield Armory. The age of hand-made arms produced by skilled craftsmen was rapidly yielding to mass-produced rifles with interchangeable parts. cleaned. Circa 1940: Fred Beal. I carved a new buttstock from a piece of black walnut left over from some other project. In addition. These operations being unsuccessful. By 1843. I dismantled it. All . both recruiting skilled workers from the shops of Eli Whitney. Circa 1988: Emmy Mae Beal. the homestead was abandoned and the family moved on. There he found the arm still in the apple tree. The son of a blacksmith. and Lawrence to bid on a government contract for production of 10. The trio began to expand operations. Here. Lawrence relocated to Windsor. his design was much simpler than other percussion designs and therefore easier to produce. taking advantage of the water power produced by a local dam. he began to manufacture underhammer pistols and rifles at a pump manufactory operated by his father-in-law. the arm was stored away and forgotten. Robbins. they manufactured both underhammer and sidehammer percussion rifles and shotguns. drawfiled the barrel to remove the hammer nicks. Kendall had received a patent for his underhammer percussion lock.S. 1835 marriage. now a logger and timber owner. As a youth.000 military long arms patterned after the U.90 per rifle was ten cents lower than those of competing companies. Fred tried to put the butt stock back together (with nails). Kendall had entered into a partnership with Richard Smith Lawrence. he worked in his uncle's carpentry tool-making shop. Kendall served an apprenticeship under gunsmith Asa Story. a retired lumber dealer./Harpers Ferry Armory Model 1841 Rifle. both in the local area and in other parts of the growing nation and surrounding territories. Vermont in 1807. After working at several jobs and serving a three-month hitch in the army on the frontier. and the three found themselves in the business of manufacturing military arms for use in the event of war with Mexico. suggested a partnership between himself. In late 1844. He also tried to remove the barrel rings with a hammer. The two opened a custom rifle shop on Mill Brook in Windsor. Amoskeag. and spent his free time learning the gunsmithing trade at a gun shop that was located downstairs from his uncle's business. and others. Machinery was either purchased or designed and built by the partners.home and played "Cowboys and Indians" with it. Kendall. now a widow. Samuel E. a young man who was born in Connecticut but raised on a farm in neighboring New York. revisited the old homestead. His arms became quite popular.

Lamson and his business partners. G. he had sold his arms making tools and machinery to Winchester and Smith & Wesson. earning an award for their efforts.S. Lawrence and Tyler Henry. E. jigs. They received a government contract for 50. and these facilities were leased back to Samuel Robbins and others for the purpose of completing the outstanding order. later under the banner of Jones & Lamson Machine Company of Springfield. firm to export the new technology in a significant way. The firm and its assets became the property of the British Crown. and were forced into bankruptcy. Vermont. He continued in business as a manufacturer of machine tools for a number of years. Robbins & Lawrence demonstrated their system of interchangeability to participants and spectators. In 1864. as well as a second contract for 1. tools.000 arms. a project that combined their talents with those of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson. G. Aside from an unsuccessful venture into railroad car production. and they were awarded a second contract for an additional 15.gun parts were made with precision gauges. and Henry would build on his experience with both the Jennings rifle and Volcanic arms to develop the Henry lever-action repeating rifle. In 1858.S. came too late to see service with the Union Army. drill presses. What became known as "The American System of Manufacture" had its roots in firearms production. Richard S. making them the first U. worked together on the Jennings Repeating Rifle. Virginia." which was successfully used with Christian Sharps' breech-loading carbines and rifles of the Civil War period.000 Palmer breech-loading carbines. When Civil War erupted in 1861. which were delivered in mid-1865. milling machines. Lawrence also developed the "Lawrence Pellet Primer System. Robbins & Lawrence and their successors played an important role in this era. The Windsor company also received a contract to produce 25. and by 1870. . Lawrence invented a lubricated bullet which improved the function of breech-loading repeaters. this firm turned their efforts to arms production as well. These arms. Lamson received a government contract to produce 1. The system of mass production introduced at this factory also proved to be extremely efficient. a gunsmith and foreman at Robbins & Lawrence./Springfield Armory Model 1861 Rifle-Musket.000 breechloading repeating carbines designed by Albert Ball of Worcester. The firm was able to complete their order eighteen months ahead of schedule. later to become famous both for their revolver designs and for the Volcanic lever-action pistol and carbine. Lawrence would later become Master Armorer for the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company at that company's Hartford factory. and tapping/threading machines to ensure interchangeability. Lamson changed the name of his firm to the Windsor Manufacturing Company. while his former partners expanded the business. both in New England and at John Hall's rifle shop in Harpers Ferry. a forerunner to the famous Winchester Model 66 rifle and carbine. the buildings and machinery of the former Robbins & Lawrence company were purchased by E. as did several other rifle works in the Connecticut River valley. Robbins & Lawrence defaulted on the terms of the contract. Massachusetts. Nicanor Kendall sold his interest in the company and moved to Iowa. During the 1851 Crystal Palace Exposition in London. and water power was harnessed to run boring and rifling machines via an overhead drive shaft and belt system. who then manufactured sewing machines in the former rifle shops.000 rifles for the British military in their Connecticut arms factory. The British government armory at Enfield purchased machinery from Robbins & Lawrence.000 longarms patterned on the U. Robbins & Lawrence continued to concentrate on firearms manufacturing. After the war.

and Richard Smith Lawrence is long gone. Samuel E. .Although the company founded by Nicanor Kendall. their influence continued for many years through the products of Smith & Wesson and Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Robbins.