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William "Bill" Mains

641 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ithacarick
It is with a heavy heart that we post this but thought you all know that Bill passed away last Thursday doing what he loved most "Engraving". He just finished doing a 2nd gen Colt pistol that he loved to do.

As you know he was doing the engraving for us on the 28ga & the new "Larrabee" single barrel. He only finished 1 each of the Sousa, 7e & 5e grades for us....these will be put on display for all to see his outstanding work.

You will be missed Bill.

This is from his web site that I deleted his contact info...

One of the Last of the Old School Hammer and Chisel Engravers in America
Bill served apprenticeships as a goldsmith and watchmaker while still in High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in the early 1950's. Upon graduation in 1954, Bill went to Bowman Technical School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to take their course in hand jewelry engraving. In early 1955, Bill received his draft notice and joined the United States Air Force. It was while serving in The Strategic Air Command (SAC) in the height of the Cold War that Bill started engraving guns. In 1959, after his discharge, Bill invented the Rotary Footwheel Engraving Bench. This device, resembling a potter's wheel with a lathe chuck on top has allowed Bill, still a hammer and chisel engraver, to easily compete with all the engravers using the newer power handpieces.
Bill has been the engraver for several factories on a contract basis. He was the primary Colt factory engraver from 1967 to 1972, and is attributed in the books with having engraved more second generation Single Actions, by far, than anyone else. Although Colt frowned on signing the engraving, most of Bill's factory engraved colts are stamped with a small buffalo under the cylinder pin, as Bill was working out of Buffalo, New York at the time. They never said anything about the Buffalo. Among others, Bill was the factory engraver for the Ithaca Gun Company, engraving all of the Single Barreled Trap Guns, and many others, for the last eleven years of their production.
During Bill's twenty seven years in Las Vegas, he engraved for many celebrities.

Bill has also done engraving for:
Wayne Newton, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Shirley McClain, Marilyn Chambers, Buddy Hackett, BB King, RIdick Bowe, The Spinks Brothers, Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya, Roger Smith - when Chairman of General Motors, General Suharto - President of Indonesia, Houari Boumediene - ruler of Algeria, and thousands of private individuals.
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