DR. EDWARD MAYNARD'S
Dr. Edward Maynard courtesy of the Library of Congress
. Massachusetts Arms Company
Massachusetts Arms Co. letterhead
The Chicopee Falls Company was organized in 1836 by a group of local men with an authorized capital of $25,000, for the purpose of manufacturing firearms and hardware. Within three years, the capital authorization was raised to $100,000. N. P. Ames, of the Ames Manufacturing Company, was one of the investors. The Chicopee Falls Company failed, and was forced out of business. The entire property and all of the equipment was purchased by the Ames Manufacturing Company, probably most famous for its manufacture of U.S. Military Swords before and during the Civil War.
In 1849, the Chicopee Falls Company was reestablished under the direction of Timothy W. Carter, who had been the President of the original company. Within a few months, the company secured incorporation as the Massachusetts Arms Company, with authorization capital of $70,000. The company was not without its problems. A foray into revolver making, in which many ex-Colt employees were involved, led to a lawsuit by Colt in the early 1850s. The story is too long to recount here, and is not directly related to the Maynard Story, so it will suffice to say that the Massachusetts Arms Company lost the suit, and ended up settling it for the sum of $15,000. Further, on January 25th, 1861, the factory suffered a serious fire, which basically put it out of business until early 1863. In that year, the company came to an agreement with Dr. Maynard to purchase the rights to manufacture the Maynard firearms. With a Government Contract for 20,000 of the standard Civil War pattern Maynard Carbines at hand, the company doubled its work force to 80 men, and by 1864, gave employment to 200 men. Deliveries were made on this contract between June 1964 and May 1865. Ironically, many were delivered too late to be issued to troops in the
Approval of such a system by an Ordnance Board was prerequisite for payment.
On July 1st, 1858, William McFarland wrote Dr. Maynard that the cartridge for the altered musket took three-fourths inch of space for the 70 grains of powder. On July 10th, it was reported that the musket conversion had been modified to take the shorter case. On July 21st, William McFarland again wrote to Dr. Maynard, explaining that he had visited West Point and had left the gun with the Board for further trials and examination. He felt the Board Trial had been scheduled too soon and that more modifications on the Maynard-converted guns were required. The Board met on July 22nd, 1858 and reported on August 3rd. Dr. Maynard wrote Colonel Craig that there was not sufficient time for him to be ready for the Trials. Colonel Craig agreed, and recommended to the Board that additional trials be held, and that the inventors be supplied both a musket and a rifle to be altered. In the interim, the Board on July 26th, had inspected the 0.58 and 0.69 caliber muskets that had already been altered. Their report of July 31st made no recommendations. They did publish a report describing the Maynard Musket Conversion as having a 0.50 inch metallic cartridge, which may be attached to the gun by means of a thong or chain connected to a projection on the base of the cartridge. It was listed as having a steel base. Thus was born the “stopper-style” cartridge, which is covered in a separate section of this book.
William McFarland continued work on the project, resulting in the issuance of another patent, Number 30,537, dated October 30th, 1860. There was a test panel at the Washington Arsenal, but the Government purchased no guns.
.50 Caliber Case Length 1.220”
Drawn one-piece brass case with a thin flat base and a soldered on steel wire loop.
.69 Caliber Buck and Ball. Case Length is 2,107”.
This case has a thick base with the cord going directly into the case.
SPECIAL 50 CALIBER CARTRIDGES
Pinned case Meigs bullet
The Meigs is a long heavy 500 grain bullet. The tip has a 0.22 caliber rimfire copper blank inserted in the bullet tip. Samuel H. Meade was granted Patent No. 133,714 on December 10, 1872 for a “a self igniting cartridge placed in a hollow nose of a bullet.”
The wood shot and dummy came Shown in Volume 1
from Stokes-Kirk. of Pitman’s Notes
(only source known)