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    [Edward Maynard] and [Massachusetts Arms Company]. Archive of Letters to Edward Maynard. Comprised of ten letters to dentist and firearms inventor, Dr. Edward Maynard, from William P. McFarland of the Massachusetts Arms Company spanning the years 1857 through 1877. Dr. Maynard (1813-1891) was noted for inventing a breech loading percussion rifle, the Maynard rifle, which saw use by the British in the Crimean War and the Confederate cavalry during the Civil War. Maynard had contracted the use of his breech loading system to the Massachusetts Arms Company who manufactured his rifles for him.

    Of note is a letter from McFarland written six days before the secession of South Carolina where he informs Maynard of the sale of arms to two Southern States that would follow South Carolina shortly thereafter and an advertisement for Maynard's rifles:

    William P. McFarland Autograph Letter Signed. Two integral pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], December 14, 1860, to Edward Maynard regarding matters of the company, including the sale of guns to people in the soon to secede States of Mississippi and Tennessee. In part: "Mr. Bradley...has ordered about $2,000 worth of Rifles to be sent to Washington for him & about $1,000 to be sent to persons in Ten. & Miss." With an impending war between the North and South, many Southern States bought Maynard rifles from the Massachusetts Arms Company to arm their state militias and the rifle became very popular with the Confederate cavalry.

    There are five small drawings on the back, one of which appears to be of a light fixture while those that remain are difficult to determine. On the verso of the envelope is found another sketch of a light fixture.

    Maynard Rifle Advertisement Flyer. Four integral pages, 8" x 10". Advertising "Maynard's Patent Breech-Loading Rifles, sold by Massachusetts Arms Company" out of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. Includes a description of the rifles, including the .40, .35, and .5 caliber models, and the ammunition; directions for the proper use and maintenance of the rifles; a reduced price list for the Military Rifle Carbine and the Sporting Rifle and parts for the year 1868; five diagrams of targets and the spread produced using one of Maynard's rifles; and six testimonials.

    Additional letters include: William P. McFarland ALS. Four integral pages (two blank pages), 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], August 6, 1866, to Edward Maynard regarding an upcoming shooting match. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Three pages, 5.25" x 9", on Massachusetts Arms Company letterhead, Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], May 18, 1877, to Edward Maynard informing him that there are still "...completed & unfinished principal parts, of rifle & shot guns sufficient, on hand to complete nearly, or quite, 2,000." [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Two pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], February 28, 1864, to Edward Maynard regarding the "...trial of breech loaders at the Armory..." by three officers of the United States Army presumably for future use during the war. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Three integral pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], March 8, 1864, to Edward Maynard regarding the inspection of "...the sample carbine..." by a Col. Thornton who points out "...what he considers defects in the Arms..." He continues by discussing the pending trial of breech loaders at the Armory and says he has no idea when it will commence. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Five integral pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], December 22, 1857, to Edward Maynard regarding the shipping of a "...30 inch Sample Rifle.." which McFarland feels is not perfect, but is decent enough for exhibition. He then lists each piece of the rifle, with a description and quality assessment including the "Breech-Piece," side plate, rear sight, lever, cartridge shells, etc. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Four integral pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], July 12, 1861, to Edward Maynard regarding business matters at the arms factory such as the silvering of cartridges, the reaming of the cartridges for the bullet, the question of invoices, the manufacture of guns with pointed rods, etc. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Three integral pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], February 15, 1860, to Edward Maynard regarding a recent trip to the Springfield Armory. Maynard designed a shot cartridge that was being fit on the Springfields. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Three integral pages, 7.75" x 9.75", on Massachusetts Arms Company letterhead, Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], October 1, 1863, to Edward Maynard regarding the health of Maynard's wife and two bank drafts he is sending along. [and:] William P. McFarland ALS. Four integral pages, 5" x 8", Chicopee Falls [Massachusetts], February 3, 1869, to Edward Maynard regarding a new mixture of gunpowder for percussion caps and the plans for the company when McFarland becomes co-owner.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
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