Letters, Ads, Postcards
Here is another interesting type of Rifle, Shooting and Reloading Collectible. Letters, Ads and Postcards are solid proof of what was going on in a particular time period. Post cards and letters have the offical credibility of the U.S. Mail. Ads are reliable because a dealer or gunmaker spent good money to take out an ad. Often these papers are not that interesting. Every once in a while one shows up that gives us a look at ideas of the period. Famous people, important events and notable gun makers are the subjects I look for. If you have any great items, send a couple of good clear photos and I will post them here. In this section, all pictures can be expanded by clicking on the small images.
Invitation To A Rifle Match For George Yale of Sharps
An Invitation and a Insult? Inferiority seems to be the most important word in this printed invitation.
George Yale was the Superintendent, and part time Shooter and Representative for The Sharps Rifle Company.
George W. Fowler wanted to accommodate for the Inferiority of those pesky, new fangled breech loading rifles. I would expect that E. Remington & Sons also got one of these lovely invitations.
"Every One Knew" that there was "No Way" a breech loading cartridge rifle could compete with the precision of a Muzzleloading Caplock Target Rifle.
These new Cartridge Breech Loaders were Military Rifles at best. Suitable for war, but never a precision target rifle.
Today we know better. In March of 1874 , this was the prevailing view.
I have never tried to find the results of this match. I am sure Sharps sent Mr. Yale, or perhaps others, if they were able.
Sharps and Remington breechloading rifles defeated the World Champion Irish Rifle team at a Creedmore Match in September, 1874. Six months after this challenge. American Riflemen defeated the best long range shooters in the World.
This is an excellent example of how fun collecting old paperwork can be.
Click to Enlarge
Sharps Model 1874 Muzzleloading Rifle?
This Post Card is related to the previous card. Muzzleloading vs. Breechloading. You could order just about anything you wanted from Sharps. Frank Sellers illustrates a Fancy Deluxe 1874 Sporting Rifle. It was ordered as a Percussion Rifle. The Rifle has an 1874 serial number. I always thought that was an unusual request.
I am not sure who sent this postcard. I can't decipher the name. The brief message can be interpreted in a number of ways. My best guess is that he wanted a Model 1874 breech loading cartridge rifle in 44 caliber, with a false muzzle. This was the popular target rifle configuration of the day.
He apparently thought his Muzzleloading request was unusual, because he said they did not have to stamp the Sharps name on it.
I have seen Two Sharps Borchardt Long Range Rifles with false muzzles. Those were ordered sometime after 1878, after the Borchardt model was introduced.
This is the only mention of a Model 1874 Sharps Muzzleloading Rifle I have ever seen. Did Sharps make the rifle? Did it survive?
Invitation to a Rifle Match For Sharps Armory.
The keen interest in Rifle shooting seems to have been everywhere. This is a generic printed card that went out to everyone on their list. This Rifle Match is a little different from the card above. There is no indication of the distance at which the match would be fired. Perhaps everyone already knew. Rifles were allowed from 12 to 40 1/16 pounds. This must have been a Bench Rest Match that was well known. This was to take place August 1st, 1874. Just one month before that famous Creedmore Match. Americans must have been excited about the coming match with the Irish. Sharps must have enjoyed the attention and opportunity to show off their wares. I'm sure there must be a record of this match somewhere. I'll bet everyone had a great time. Then they waited breathlessly for the outcome of the Match with the Irish.