Misinformation

While researching the Meriden Fire Arms Company we are constantly uncovering new information. Much of the data is consistent but from time to time we find incorrect data typically based on assumptions that were made at an earlier point in time. Also, more often than not, the quest for answers simply generates more questions. This page is where we intend to dispel some of the misinformation that pertains to Meriden fire Arms Co.

Statement: After Aubrey left Meriden Fire Arms in 1910 all the guns carried the “Meriden” name.

Reality: The Aubrey tradename continued to appear in Sears catalogs along side the Meriden name for several years after A.J. Aubrey’s departure.

Statement: Meriden Fire Arms Co. and Crescent Fire Arms Co. are the same company.

Reality: Meriden and Crescent are two seperate and distinct companies. Crescent was located in Norwich Connecticut and did produce firearms that closely resembled those produced by Meriden. Both companies produced guns for various retailers such as Sears and Fred Biffar & Co. Both even sometimes used the same tradename for those distribution channels!

Statement: Meriden Fire Arms Co. didn’t manufacture guns, they imported Belgian guns as evident by the Belgian markings on the barrels.

Reality: Meriden did manufacture firearms…and lots of them. There is overwhelming evidence that they were a high volume production facility. There is the massive factory as well as hisotrical documents supporting the manufacturing activites of the plant. These range from city directories littered with Meriden Fire Arms employees, newspaper articles describing the plant’s operations and trade and union articles from the period. The reason for the Belgian barrel markings is because Twist and Damascus steel barrel tubes were imported from Belgium as rough barrel blanks (to avoid tariffs) and used in the manufacturing process.

Statement: Meriden Fire Arms Co. was created in 1864 or 1895

Reality: There are references to Meriden Fire Arms Co. being established prior to 1905 that are incorrect. One source of confusion is that in 1864 a group of men (including Charles Parker) incorporated under the Meriden Arms Company.

Statement: Berkshire was one of the tradenames Meriden used to distribute outside of Sears.

Reality: Actually, the Berkshire model of doublegun appears in the Sears catalog in 1912 along with the Aubrey and Meriden models. Berkshire appears to be a marketing measure to fill a gap in the pricing structure.

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