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 Post subject: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Ned and Researcher have gone around on this. At least in 1926, H&D Folsom said they did (since they had owned Crescent since 1893) :)
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id ... GIhfguSXXQ

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and c. 1929 Folsom catalog "...of our manufacture"

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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:51 pm 
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Yes, Researcher and I disagree over this. The Crescent Fire Arms Company (organized in 1892 and bought by H & D Folsom in 1893) was located in Norwich,CT. I haven't been able to determine a street address for them. H & D Folsom was located at 315 Broadway Street New York City,NY. As far as I have been able to find out Folsom had no manufacturing facilities other than Crescent. Folsom claimed in their catalogs that they made the guns they sold. I supposed they could do this since they owned the manufacturing plant. Crescent made whatever Folsom wanted and what they wanted was a lot of inexpensive (read cheap ) but well made shotguns fast.Sears & Roebuck Company owned Meriden Firearms Company of Meriden, Ct from 1905 to 1915 but Sears never claimed to make guns. Just like Sears sells Kenmore washing machines, they don't claim to make them. Crescent Fire Arms was the biggest maker ever of "Trade Brand Name" shotguns making over 2.000,000 shotguns using over 450 different names over forty years of making guns that I have been able to document. It has been said that Crescent would make as few as 12 shotguns with some selected name on them as long as the buyer paid for the die needed to stamp the name on the gun. Not all of these names were recorded and Crescent records have been lost. They were lost in a scrap paper drive during World War 2. I find at least one new (?) unknown name a month that can be contributed to Crescent. Most researchers including me will credit a unknown name to Crescent but a photograph or a very good description helps confirm who made a gun. H& D Folsom owned Crescent until late 1930 when they sold the maker to Savage Arms Company subsidiary Savage Products Distributing Corporation.This same subsidiary bought Davis-Warner Arms Corporation. Both Crescent and Davi-Warner names were dissolved and the name Savage Products Distributing Corp. was changed to Crescent-Davis Corp. This name continued until November 1935 when Crescent-Davis was dissolved and the machinery was sent to the J. Stevens plant in Chicopee,MA. However, this was not quite the end of the Crescent name. Stevens continued to make a few models of the Crescent-Davis shotguns, mostly single barrels and one or two models of hammerless doubles until 1938. I have to thank Researcher for a couple of corrections he gave me, spelling of Folsom (I don't know where the "e" came from) and the date Folsom sold Crescent.


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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:41 am 
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Ned Fall wrote:
....Sears & Roebuck Company owned Meriden Firearms Company of Meriden, Ct from 1905 to 1915 but Sears never claimed to make guns.....


Yes they did.

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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:26 am 
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The following images are from the 1893 Norwich City Directory.

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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:30 am 
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While DuPont owned Remington Arms Co., Inc. from 1934 to a few years ago when they cut them loose, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. didn't choose to bill themselves as a gunmaker. H & D Folsom Arms Co. owned the factory in Norwich, Conn., that made American Gun Co., Crescent Fire Arms Co. and myriad "trade brand" guns, and did choose to bill themselves as a gunmaker.

Great stuff Pete! I'd like to see what is in the Norwich Directories for that factory a few years later and on through the 1920s. Is there some way to get to old city directories on line? Back in my working years I'd swing by the Library of Congress after work and go to the microfiche reading room where they had them all. Living now on the Washington/Idaho border research isn't quite as easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Researcher01 wrote:
While DuPont owned Remington Arms Co., Inc. from 1934 to a few years ago when they cut them loose, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. didn't choose to bill themselves as a gunmaker. H & D Folsom Arms Co. owned the factory in Norwich, Conn., that made American Gun Co., Crescent Fire Arms Co. and myriad "trade brand" guns, and did choose to bill themselves as a gunmaker.

Great stuff Pete! I'd like to see what is in the Norwich Directories for that factory a few years later and on through the 1920s.


Thanks Dave.

1905
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1915
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1920
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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Peter
Thank you for the information. I have printed it out and will add it to my reference book. I noticed that Crescent had a statement/logo saying that their selling agent was H & D Folsom of New York City.


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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:03 pm 
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It does appear that the folks doing the ad copy for the Norwich City Directories had a slightly different view of reality than the folks doing the ad copy in New York City for H & D Folsom Arms Co.'s catalogues and letterheads!!

Pete, Thanks for providing this information.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Many sources list George Cilley as the president of Crescent. From the ads, that is incorrect.

It was Henry H Gallup until he retired / expired. Then Brewer took over the role. In 1905 Brewer is president of Hopkins and Allen.

The 1893 ad makes no mention of Folsom. In the 1893 directory, Gallup's business and work addresses are given. His work address is 10-20 West Main. This is the same address as Davenport Arms. In 1893 he is president of the Norwich Belt company. So, could 10-20 West Main be the "Industrial Building" cited in the 1893 Crescent ad? I believe so.

So, if Folsom is the sole distributor, then even if they do directly own Crescent, they have ultimate say over it's day to day operations. Today, McDonalds advertising is done with several independent companies. These companies are not owned by McDonalds. For each of them, McDonalds is their sole account. This way, McDonalds corporate does not show these employees on it's books.

I searched the 1925 and 1930 directories. No ad by Crescent. This is not to say they did not exist, simply that they may not have paid for an ad or that the directory of advertisers is incorrect. These directories are 450++ pages. It is possible to search for an individual. To search by company, I have to find the directory of advertisers inside each years volume.

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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Pete,

You've raised some interesting questions in my mind: What kind of entities were Folsom and Crescent? Partnerships? "H.D. Folsom & Co." sounds like a partnership, but it might not have been, could have been a corporation. Ultimate "ownership" may or may not be too helpful, individuals could have owned shares/interests in different entities, and had different roles within those different entities.

I guess my view is that if Crescent Fire Arms Co. has the outward attributes of an independent entity (directory listing, bank accounts, a facility recognized as the Crescent works, officers who are identified as being officers of Crescent, etc.,) then I would say Crescent Fire Arms Co. is the 'manufacturer' of guns marked 'Crescent' regardless of whether HD Folsom owns Crescent, and acts as sole distributor, particularly if Folsom also distributes guns made by other concerns.


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 Post subject: Re: Who made Crescent Shotguns?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:53 pm 
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I checked the census records for Henry Gallup. He lists his occupation as "manager leather factory". This was true in 1910 and 1920. So he thinks of himself as primarily working at Norwich Belt.

As for the rest, a trip to the court house in Norwich would answer many questions. That and spending several days at the library browsing old newspapers.



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