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Vagen & Co., J. H.—Gunmakers of Indianapolis, Ind., 1869-71.
VAGEN, J. H. & CO.— Indianapolis, Ind., 1869-71.
VALE, T. A.— Unidentified. Flintlock Kentucky rifles.
VALEE, Prosper — Phila., Pa. Listed as gunsmith at 101 S. Second in 1829.
Vallee, Prosper—Rifieinaker of Philadelphia, 1840, before and after.
VALLEY FORGE— The Valley Forge was originally built on the south bank of the Schuylkill, slightly over a half mile up from the mouth of the Valley Creek, in Chester County, Pa. It is believed to have been established by one Walker, a friend of William Penn, as a forge for making bar iron from pig metal obtained from the Warwick furnace, a few miles westward. In 1742, the forge was sold by Isaac Walker to Stephen Evans, Daniel Walker (or Welker) and Joseph Williams. The forge was operated by the Potts family of Chester, Pa., as a general manufactory of iron products, from the early part of 1757 until 1771, when Col. William Dewees, son of Sheriff William Dewees of Philadelphia, became associated with the Potts family through marriage and probably acquired an interest in the mill in 1773. The forge was destroyed by the British under Gen. Howe on Sept. 21, 1777, about two months before Washington selected and occupied the Valley Forge as the site of his winter encamp ment. After the War of Revolution the forge was rebuilt and was operated by Isaac and David Potts (brothers), in conjunc tion with a slitting mill on the Schuylkill. In 1786, the forge and the mill were operated by Isaac Potts & Co., the "Co." being Isaac's son, James. In 1814 the works were sold to John Rogers of Philadelphia, an iron-monger, and his cousin, Joshua Main took charge of operation of the works, whose output consisted of domestic hardware, and farming and industrial implements. The rolling mill produced sheet iron, boiler plates and kindred material. There is no record of gun manufacture in those early days, though gun skelps were made for the "public service" by Col. Dewees in 1776. In 1821, John Rogers, in association with Brooke Evans, took over a defaulted Alexander McRae contract of 1817 for 10,000 muskets, and converted the shops into an arms factory, the armory being known as Valley Forge. Apparently after this contract was fulfilled, the partnership was dissolved, for on Jan. 1, 1825, Rogers alone obtained a contract which was prob ably shared with William L. Evans of Evansburg, a practical gun maker who managed the works. Apparently about 1830, the Valley Forge Armory was leased by William L. Evans, who made the Model 1826 pistols marked "W. L. Evans V. Forge 1831 USN," and Model 1821 muskets made under contract of May 3, 1821, and marked "W. L. Evans V. Forge." Earlier arms made prior to 1825, are marked "V. Forge" and "B. Evans Valley Forge." See Evans, W. L. and Rogers, John. The Valley Forge Gun Factory was partially destroyed by a freshet in 1839, and was completely destroyed in 1843. The property descended to a nephew, Charles H. Rogers, then to female descendants, until bought by the State of Pennsylvania for a park.
Valley Forge—An arms factory established about twenty miles from Philadelphia in 1742. First mentioned as the Mount Joy Forge, this place produced arms for the American patriots for more than a century.The original founders of the gun-making business were Stephen Evans, Daniel Welker and Joseph Williams. Stephen Evans is known to have been allotted a portion of the work provided for by Act of March 8, 1797, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania "for the purchase of 20,000 stand of muskets, of the fashion and pattern of the French Gharleville musquet.” Later O. & E. Evans are found working on government contract of 1808 for muskets “for arming the Militia.” They had delivered 1,960 arms prior to October 7, 1812. B. Evans and W. L. Evans are both known to have produced Model 1822 muskets at Valley Forge. These are met with dated 183 r. W. L. Evans also produced Model 1827, .54 caliber pistols for the Navy.
VAN DER POEL— Albany, N. Y., 1740.
VAN HORN, D. A.— Oneida, N. Y., about 1850-80. Double, percussion rifle-shotgun.
VAN METER— Chillicothe, Ohio.
VAN METER, J.— Richmond Dale, Ohio. Silver wire inlaid halfstock percussion rifle.
VAN VALKENBURGH, H.— Albany, N. Y., percussion period.
Van Valkenburgh, S.—Riflemaker of Albany, N. Y., 1849-50.
VAN WART & SON CO.— British, Birmingham and London. Lock marking of a silver stocked, all-metal, percussion pistol with barrel marked "HYDE & GOODRICH, NEW ORLEANS." Also a pair of fine percussion duelling pistols with locks marked "VAN WART SON & CO." barrels marked "LONDON," but Birmingham proofed, entirely by the same maker. Association with Hyde & Goodrich explained by the fact that the latter were importers of British Arms.
VANDEMAN— Unlocated. Late flintlock Kentucky rifles, halfstock and fullstock percussion rifles, marked in bold script. Rifles came from Ross Co., Ohio.
Vandenburgh, O. B.—Riflemaker of Findlay, Hancock County, Ohio, i858'-66, before and after.
Vander Poel—Gunsmith of New York, 1740.
Vanderburg, Wm,—Riflemaker of Wilmington, Ohio, 1848-54.
VANDERBURGER, F.— Unlocated. Percussion rifles.
Vanderburgh, E.—Riflemaker of Wilmington, Ohio, 1859-61.
VANDERGRIFT, Isaac and Jeremiah— Philadelphia, Pa., active be fore and after 1809-14. Ex-employees of John Joseph Henry.
Vandergrift, Isaac and Jeremiah—Gunmakers of Philadelphia, 1809-15. Worked for a time with John Joseph Henry.
VANDERGRIFT, John— Bucks County, Pa., 1775. Musket maker to Committee of Safety.
VANDERHEYDEN, John— Auburn, N. Y., 1850.
Vanderheyden, John—Riflemaker of Auburn, N. Y., 1850.
VANDERSLICE T.— Pennsylvania.
VANTREES, J. & J. F.— Father and son. Fort Recovery, Ohio, about 1826-1900. The early arms produced by Vantrees were percussion only. No flintlock made.
Vardis, C.—Cutler to the colonies, T775-76. Location unknown.
VARNEY, David M.— Burlington, Vt, 1850.
Varney, David M.—Gunmaker of Burlington, Vt., 1856-75.
VELLEE— 2nd and Walnut Sts., Philadelphia, Pa., 1826.
Vellee—Riflemaker of Philadelphia, 1826. Probably the same as Prosper Vallee.
VELVERT— Maker of Kentucky rifles, circa 1860. (Connected with Volvert?)
VENIA & JOHNSTONE— Toledo, Ohio, 1880-83.
VICKERS, Jonathan— Cleveland, Ohio, 1821.
VIERGUTZ, O. H.— Pueblo, Colo., 1874-80.
VILLWOCK, Charles— Toledo, Ohio, active about 1873-82.
Villwock, Charles—Riflemaker of Toledo, Ohio. Active from i860 or before. Member of the firm of Villwock & Orth, 1874-75. Employing three hands in 1876 and active until 1882.
Vince, Joseph—202 E. 44th Street, New York City. Modern maker of fine fencing foils.
Vincent, Andy—Riflemaker of Defiance, Ohio, 1857-62.
VINCENT, John— Cleveland, Ohio, 1850.
VINCENT, John — Washington County, Ohio, rifle maker active from about 1844-82. John Vincent was born Aug. 28, 1809, and after an apprenticeship as cabinet maker, his father's trade, he became a gunsmith about 1844. He died Sept. 17, 1882, the shop being taken over by his son, John Caleb. Made percussion and cartridge arms.
Vincent, John—Riflemaker of near Vincent, Washington County, Ohio. Born August 28, 1809. Produced his first rifle in 1844 and during the 50’& his time was devoted largely to the making of rifles to order. His day book indicates that he made hi rifles to order from June, 1849. to July, 1859, in addition to rifles for shop stock. Associated with him was his son, John Caleb Vincent, who succeeded him upon his death, September 17, 1882.
Vincent, John Caldb—Son and successor to the above. Born in Washington County, Ohio, March 21, 1841. Succeeded his father in 1882 and active until 1900. The Vincents produced both muzzle- loading and metallic arms, the last being completed by John Caleb in 1900. Died April 19, 1918. A very fine workman.
VINCENT, John Caleb— Son of John Vincent. Succeeded to his father's shop, whose plain but accurate arms were improved by the son as to finish. John Caleb was born March 21, 1841, was active until about 1900, and died April 19, 1918.
VIRGINIA MANUFACTORY— Also RICHMOND ARMORY, Rich mond, Va. Authorized by Act of 1797, Virginia Legislature to found an armory for the manufacture of arms to equip state militia. The armory was erected in 1798, at the foot of Fifth Street, fronting James River. Production began in 1802, 2,151 stands of arms being re corded as made by Oct. 13, 1803, and continued until 1820, in cluding two models of flintlock pistols: the first a large model dated 1805 to 1811 inclusive, and the second resembling the Harpers Ferry Model 1806, with the addition of a swivel ram rod, found dated 1812 to 1815 inclusive. In 1820 manufacture was discontinued and the plant converted into a school. In 1860, the armory was rehabilitated with machinery ordered from the Tredegar Iron Works of Richmond, and later augmented with machinery captured at Harpers Ferry. The armory was operated under supervision of Salmon Adams, master armorer and produced "Richmond" rifles until the close of the Civil War.
Virginia Manufactory—Richmond. Va. Establishment was authorized by Act of December, 1797, State of Virginia, to provide arms for the Militia. It is very probable that James Haslett accomplished his Virginia contract, in part, at this place. Production began in 1802 and continued until the close of the Civil War.
VIRGINIA POINT OF FORK STATE ARSENAL— Established by the state as a manufacturing armory and a general ordnance depot at Point of Fork, Va. In 1783, the arsenal was enlarged by equipment moved from the Public Gun Factory, and three new buildings were author ized July 4, 1783, "to be erected on the ground where the State Magazines were lately built and destroyed by the enemy." The arsenal did considerable work in repair and restocking of arms, making locks, forging bayonets, etc., and plans were made for the utilization of its facilities for reconditioning arms until a reserve stock of 10,000 stands was accumulated.About 1803, the Point of Fork Arsenal was discontinued and the equipment and material moved to the Richmond Armory, or "Virginia Manufactory." See Point of Fork Arsenal.
VIRGINIA PUBLIC GUN FACTORY— Fredericksburg, Va. The estab lishment of the factory was authorized by an ordinance of the Convention in July, 1775, Col. Fielding Lewis and Major Charles Dick being appointed Commissioners 'to form, establish and con duct a Manufactory of Small Arms at Fredericksburg," to equip Continental Line regiments raised in Virginia. The ground was acquired shortly after the passage of the Ordinance, and the buildings erected early in 1776. The plant also had a magazine, a substantial stone biulding begun in 1776, and completed in 1781, and operated under lease (from the widow of Roger Dixon) a mill on Hazel Run, for the grinding of bayonets, ramrods and gun-barrels. From 1781 the business of the factory declined, due to partial dismantling and removal of tools under threat of British raiders, Tarleton's Dragoons actually operating within a few miles of Fredericksburg. In September, 1782 the number of workmen employed had shrunk to four hands and two appren tices, as compared with nineteen men and five apprentices in July of that year. By February of 1783, the plant was consider ably in debt in salaries to officers and workmen, and the operat ing force had shrunk to three artisans. The plant was discontinued in 1783, and equipment, tools and materials were moved to Point of Fork Arsenal.
VOESTER, F. G.— Denver, Col., 1868-69.
VOGLER, Christopher— Salem, N. C, before 1827. Flintlock Kentucky rifles.
VOGLER, G.— Salisbury, N. C. Maker of flintlock Kentucky rifles of very fine workmanship and decorative skill, circa 1825-30. Used spread eagle design on patchbox finials. Lock of one fine specimen engraved "J. VOGLER," (Brother?) Probably sons of Philip Vogler, above.
VOGLER, J. — See G. Vogler of Salisbury, N. C, above.
VOGLER, Nathaniel — Son of Christopher Vogler. Learned gunsmith ing at Nazareth, Pa.; succeeded his father at Salem, N. C, in 1827. Flintlock Kentucky rifles, later percussion arms.
VOGLER, Phillip— Salisbury, N. C. Born in Germany, 1725; emi grated to North Carolina in 1777. Highly decorated flintlock Kentucky rifle.
VOGLER, Timothy — Salem, N. C. Kentucky rifles.
VOGLESANG, A. W.— Fostoria, Ohio, 1868-69.
Voight, Henry—Contract gunlock-maker to the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety, 1775-76.
VOIGT, Henry — Pennsylvania musket maker to Committee of Safety 1775-76. One of the petitioners representing Philadelphia gun makers, complaining to the Committee of Safety in November, 1776, against the high cost of materials and labor entering into arms making, and quoting advances in prices within one year, since 1775.
VOLCANIC REPEATING ARMS CO.— New Haven, Conn. Originally organized by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson at Norwich, Conn., in 1854, to manufacture a repeating arm developed by Tyler B. Henry, ex-employee of Robbins & Lawrence of Windsor, Vt, in whose plant he had worked on the production of the Jennings magazine rifle. The arm was patented by Smith & Wesson, on Feb. 14, 1854, No. 10,535, Mr. Henry being the super intendent in charge of production. The Volcanic Repeating Arms Company had been organized by Smith & Wesson in July, 1855, in order to attract additional capital to the Company, the Smith & Wesson patents being turned over to the new firm. Shortly after Horace Smith withdrew from the firm, and in February, 1856, the Company moved its plant to New Haven, doubtless under the influence of Oliver F. Winchester of New Haven, one of the principal stockholders. Mr. Wesson resigned from the firm Feb. 11, 1856. The Volcanic became insolvent in March, 1857. The assets of the firm were acquired by Winchester, who re-organized it into the New Haven Arms Co. Later in 1866, it became the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. See New Haven Arms Co.
Volcanic Repeating Arms Co.—New Haven, Conn. Organized in 1854 and became the New Haven Arms Co., in 1857. Produced Volcanic arms (see Winchester). Made a magazine pistol, lever operated, using a hollow bullet containing fulminate as its propellant, patent of February 13, 1854.
VOLENTENE, J. — Washington, Mo. Plain, accurate, hand-made per cussion rifles.
VOLPIUS, H. — Manually operated, revolving cylinder, 7-shot per cussion rifle.
VOLVERT — Lancaster, Pa., rifle maker, Revolutionary War period.
VONDERGRIFT, J.— -Unlocated. Maple half-stock, octagon barrel, percussion plains rifle.
Vondergrift, John—Or Vandergrift. A Committee of Safety musket maker of Bucks County, Pa., 1775.
VONDERSMITH — Lancaster, Pa., arms maker, Revolutionary period.
VORE, Benny — New Paris, Pa., percussion period.
VOSSBURG, Selah— Alabama, N. Y., 1845. Over-under, double mule ear hammers, single-trigger percussion rifle.
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