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BullardShooter
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Question about W. Milton Farrow
Apr 20th, 2024 at 9:58pm
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I'm trying to find information about what rifles Farrow used in match shooting.  My keen interest is in the year 1884 when he was working for Bullard.  That year Farrow traveled the country competing (and primarily winning matches).  Scott Jamieson outlines much of this in his Bullard Firearms book.  He prints many excerpts from various Forest and Stream articles.  I've also just finished reading Farrow's, "How I became a Crack Shot" book.  All I know about 1884 is Farrow won all of those matches with a Bullard Repeating rifle.  But whether it was a large or small frame rifle, and in what chambering, is a mystery I cannot solve.  Interestingly, in his book I just read, he doesn't mention the slightest details as to what rifles he used in his various U.S. and overseas matches or even what caliber he was shooting.  I have seen examples of the, "Farrow rifle" but this came after 1884.  I am a great fan of Bullard repeating rifles, but I find it of particular interest that in 1884, Farrow was outshooting top match shooters who were using the finest single-shot rifles of the day and he was doing so with a repeating rifle.  Information, thoughts, comments, speculation much appreciated.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #1 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:16am
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This is a famous photo of W. Milton Farrow with his Ballard rifle
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #2 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 9:28am
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It seems he was a fan of the 32-40 and 38-55 for the midrange stuff. 44-100 and 45-100 for th Creedmoor
You may want to dig a little deeper in the match scores, doesn’t seem as tho he was quite the great long range shooter as his book lets on.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #3 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 10:07am
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westerner wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 7:23am:
Bullard. Ballard. So close!


Many times when I've mentioned Bullard to various gun guys, they correct me and say Ballard.  Bullards are not very well known.  I'd love to see a photo of Farrow holding a Bullard rifle.  As he worked for Bullard for over a year, I would think he handled many.  Of course, not everyone had a cell phone camera in their hands back then.  I'd also love to hear any detail at all regarding the rifle he used during that winning year of 1884.  It's difficult to logic-it out.  On the one hand, it would make sense he used a .32-40 Bullard or a .38-45 Bullard, but these were small frame cartridges and the small frame rifle didn't come out until a ways into 1884.  However, I suppose he could have used a pre-production rifle.   

I'll try and link a photo.  Here are a pair of .32-40's.  The top one is Bullard small frame repeater in .32-40 Bullard. A very different cartridge from the .32-40 Ballard.  It was a bottlenecked cartridge with a .317 bore and was referred to in the Bullard catalog as the .32 Special.  The bottom rifle is a Bullard solid frame single-shot in .32-40 Ballard.

The top rifle is one of the earliest known Bullard small frame repeaters. It is one of two known equipped with the Schuetzen style buttplate. One would assume it was ordered for target shooting.  It is a full pistol grip checkered deluxe rifle with at least 3x wood. The Lyman tang sight was added later.

I hadn't thought of this until writing this, but I suppose this could be a rifle Farrow used.  It is one of the first small frames made and with that target style buttplate, there is some speculative logic here.   

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marlinguy
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #4 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 11:27am
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It's pretty well documented that Farrow shot a Ballard rifle for a very long time, and was doing so from at least the late 1870's on. Whether he was still shooting it in 1884 specifically might be tough to document, but I find it tough to think he'd stop shooting a gun he won so many matches with for one year?
What I can guarantee is it wasn't a Bullard single shot rifle he shot in 1884 since they weren't patented until 1886. So if he didn't shoot a Bullard, then why change from the Ballard?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #5 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 12:51pm
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This is another famous photo from 1886 that has Farrow (forth from the right) holding a rifle, however I can't quite make out what it is...
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #6 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 12:57pm
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 11:27am:
It's pretty well documented that Farrow shot a Ballard rifle for a very long time, and was doing so from at least the late 1870's on. Whether he was still shooting it in 1884 specifically might be tough to document, but I find it tough to think he'd stop shooting a gun he won so many matches with for one year?
What I can guarantee is it wasn't a Bullard single shot rifle he shot in 1884 since they weren't patented until 1886. So if he didn't shoot a Bullard, then why change from the Ballard?


I suppose the simple logic is he switched from his usual target rifle in 1884 because he was working for Bullard and primarily hired by Bullard to promote their rifles.  As you suggest, the Bullard single-shot wasn't available in 1884, so he shot the only option - which was a repeater.  Wouldn't this have been of big news back then - a fellow winning all those matches - with a repeater?  Who else was at the top of the match winners using a repeating rifle during that time period?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #7 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:13pm
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 11:27am:
What I can guarantee is it wasn't a Bullard single shot rifle he shot in 1884 since they weren't patented until 1886. So if he didn't shoot a Bullard, then why change from the Ballard?


Patent dates seldom are a good indicator of when something was made. I also have to question the 1886 patent being for the entire single shot and not just for an improvement of the existing design. The only 1886 patent that applies to the Bullard single shot I've seen is US287229, applied for Jan 28, 1886 and issued July 6, 1886. That patent is in the names of Solomon Hindley and Edwin Field and was never assigned to Bullard. You have 1 year from when a design is made public to apply for a patent, after that the design is free to copy, In Jamieson’s book on Bullard he lists an article about the single shot from March 20, 1884 Forest & Stream  – that also suggests the 1886 patent is not for the complete action. Another is from the Sept & Oct 1885 Forest & Stream about tests of Bullard rifles at Creedmoor.  He does not have the article shown/ 


The majority of the single shot design is the same as the rear of the repeater, so the 1881 patent, US245700, would cover the majority of it and Bullard would have had very little need for a separate patent.
The locking design of both the repeater and single shot are basically rolling block actions based on expired patents, so those parts could not be covered by any new patents. The majority of Bullard’s repeater design was based on older expired patents, just combined together in a very unique way. 

A good example of patent dates is the Savage Arms Model 1903 pump 22, patent applied for May 20, 1901; guns went into full production in May of 1903; the patent wasn’t issued until Dec 25, 1906. 
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #8 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:24pm
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Schutzenbob wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 12:51pm:
This is another famous photo from 1886 that has Farrow (forth from the right) holding a rifle, however I can't quite make out what it is...


So in this photo, Farrow is back row, third from the right?
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #9 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:31pm
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Schutzenbob wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 12:51pm:
This is another famous photo from 1886 that has Farrow (forth from the right) holding a rifle, however I can't quite make out what it is...


Quite surprising to see a photo that's from 1886 and see so many ML target rifles still in use?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #10 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:40pm
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GeneB wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 1:13pm:
marlinguy wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 11:27am:
What I can guarantee is it wasn't a Bullard single shot rifle he shot in 1884 since they weren't patented until 1886. So if he didn't shoot a Bullard, then why change from the Ballard?


Patent dates seldom are a good indicator of when something was made. I also have to question the 1886 patent being for the entire single shot and not just for an improvement of the existing design. The only 1886 patent that applies to the Bullard single shot I've seen is US287229, applied for Jan 28, 1886 and issued July 6, 1886. That patent is in the names of Solomon Hindley and Edwin Field and was never assigned to Bullard. You have 1 year from when a design is made public to apply for a patent, after that the design is free to copy, In Jamieson’s book on Bullard he lists an article about the single shot from March 20, 1884 Forest & Stream  – that also suggests the 1886 patent is not for the complete action. Another is from the Sept & Oct 1885 Forest & Stream about tests of Bullard rifles at Creedmoor.  He does not have the article shown/ 


The majority of the single shot design is the same as the rear of the repeater, so the 1881 patent, US245700, would cover the majority of it and Bullard would have had very little need for a separate patent.



It may use similar workings that didn't require every part to be applied for a patent again, but the Bullard single shot action and rifle actions don't share much. The single shot actions being slimmed down from the repeater action and much lighter than their repeaters.
I'm not a Bullard historian, and others may know far more about what the patent was, or why sources tell me the single shot was first cataloged in 1886. I do know catalogs often date a year after models are actually built.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #11 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 3:06pm
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I found that the July 1886 patent is the one that is stamped on single shots, if they have a patent stamp. Here's patents for the repeater and the single shot for comparison, it would be interesting to compare the actual parts from the large & small frame repeaters and the single shot. I see more than just a little similarity between the two, the single shot needed an extractor added and a link to operate the breech block, but the rest looks much the same to me. The two drawings were just scaled to be close and are not to any exact scale. 

  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #12 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 6:46pm
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Gene, I think those patents were actually issued on a Tuesday
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #13 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 9:49pm
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Terry Buffum just dragged me into this discussion. As some here know, I've been working on a Farrow biography since back in the last century.  This is my spin on Willard Milton Farrow (WMF):

Farrow's principal interest was his family. He needed money to support them.  He operated a successful jewelry and sporting goods store in Newport, Rhode Island, the wealthiest place in America. In September, 1874, WMF (age about 24) & girlfriend attended the first Creedmoor match (as spectators).  The match generated a lot of public interest and a lot of money was wagered.  WMF was a hustler, always after a buck.

Farrow's clientele were the wealthiest young men in America.  If he had a few dozen Creedmoor type rifles in stock (plus ammo, etc.), he could sell all of it. He became a distributor for Ballards, maybe others.  If he sold long-range rifles, his customers had to have a place to shoot them.  He started the Newport Rifle Club (or some such), with a 1,000 yard range, and organized local matches.  His wealthy customers gambled on the matches.  If WMF won the matches, he'd make more money, so he learned to shoot accurately.  

Winning rifle matches was the method he found that gave maximum reward (prize money & side bets) for minimum effort & risk.  He shot Ballards because he sold Ballards (at first) and then because he was paid by Marlin's marketing organization to shoot Ballards.

You could sell a hundred or more short or mid-range rifles for every long-range model sold, and that's what Farrow concentrated on. He toured the country, entering matches, giving demonstrations and selling Marlins (not just Ballards) until 1884.

On Jan. 1, 1884, WMF signed a 1-year contract with Bullard to tour the country selling Bullard repeaters & ammo. Same business model, just a different company. No Ballards, no single shots.

In either case, I don't think Farrow was a one-man band. He was traveling by train from NYC or Springfield, Massachusetts to San Francisco and a dozen or more stops between, with several dozen rifles and a lot of ammunition. Thieves were as bold & plentiful then as now.  He must have had assistants, probably a PR guy traveling ahead, but I've never read about them.

When Farrow returned to Springfield, Massachusetts, in Dec. 1884, after a trip to new Orleans, Bullard was broke, but Farrow wasn't. Bullard laid off almost everybody.   

Continued next message.

« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2024 at 4:33am by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #14 - Apr 21st, 2024 at 10:32pm
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More about WMF after Dec. 31, 1884.  My ideas from here on:

Farrow had the basic design of his single shot action in mind. I think Farrow borrowed or rented Bullard's tool room or machine shop and Bullard's stock-making shop and employed their principal machinist and their head stock-maker to (a) teach Farrow how to be a machinist, (b) to teach Farrow the stock-making trade, (c) to teach Farrow how to rifle barrels accurately, (d) to develop a working prototype action, and (e) to build a demonstration model rifle.

Farrow wasn't working from a new box of crayons. He was an accomplished watchmaker (gears, levers, pins and springs) and he'd been in the gun business for at least 11 years. Going from memory (re: Dick Chamberlain's 1962 Gun Digest article), the first Farrow was demonstrated in April, 1885.

With ZERO proof, I'll advance the idea that ALL of the 200+ Farrow stocks were produced on Bullard machinery, and from wood that Farrow purchased from Bullard.  I suspect all the work was done in 1885.

All of Bullard's and Marlin's action parts were forged by Rogers & Spencer, Hartford, CT.  I'll continue with my ZERO proof idea that all of Farrow's parts also came from Rogers & Spencer, again in 1885.

I'll get back to this tomorrow.
« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2024 at 3:18am by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #15 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 8:23am
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Interesting read Waterman! Farrow always seems to be rather boisterous in any  comments he made or was quoted saying.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #16 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 10:38am
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Yes, modesty wasn't a trait in Farrow's writings. I've often wondered if he came off the same face to face?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #17 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 1:07pm
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I HAVE KNOWN SOME WITH THAT SAME TRAIT, AND AT TIMES I FELT THAT THEY WERE NOT AWARE THAT THEY CAME ACROSS IN THAT MANNER. OTHERS NOT SO MUCH. I RATHER FELT THAT IF THE PERSON IS THAT GOOD, EVERYONE IS AWARE OF THE FACT. FROM ALL I GATHER, HE WAS THAT GOOD.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #18 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 1:57pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 10:32pm:
More about WMF after Dec. 31, 1884.  My ideas from here on:

Farrow had the basic design of his single shot action in mind. I think Farrow borrowed or rented Bullard's tool room or machine shop and Bullard's stock-making shop and employed their principal machinist and their head stock-maker to (a) teach Farrow how to be a machinist, (b) to teach Farrow the stock-making trade, (c) to teach Farrow how to rifle barrels accurately, (d) to develop a working prototype action, and (e) to build a demonstration model rifle.

Farrow wasn't working from a new box of crayons. He was an accomplished watchmaker (gears, levers, pins and springs) and he'd been in the gun business for at least 11 years. Going from memory (re: Dick Chamberlain's 1962 Gun Digest article), the first Farrow was demonstrated in April, 1885.

With ZERO proof, I'll advance the idea that ALL of the 200+ Farrow stocks were produced on Bullard machinery, and from wood that Farrow purchased from Bullard.  I suspect all the work was done in 1885.

All of Bullard's and Marlin's action parts were forged by Rogers & Spencer, Hartford, CT.  I'll continue with my ZERO proof idea that all of Farrow's parts also came from Rogers & Spencer, again in 1885.

I'll get back to this tomorrow.



Waterman - Fascinating!  Keep it coming.  What do you suppose the chances are that I'll ever know the particulars of the Bullard Farrow was shooting?  Large frame?  Caliber?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #19 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 3:41pm
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BullardShooter wrote on Apr 22nd, 2024 at 1:57pm:
waterman wrote on Apr 21st, 2024 at 10:32pm:
More about WMF after Dec. 31, 1884.  My ideas from here on:

Farrow had the basic design of his single shot action in mind. I think Farrow borrowed or rented Bullard's tool room or machine shop and Bullard's stock-making shop and employed their principal machinist and their head stock-maker to (a) teach Farrow how to be a machinist, (b) to teach Farrow the stock-making trade, (c) to teach Farrow how to rifle barrels accurately, (d) to develop a working prototype action, and (e) to build a demonstration model rifle.

Farrow wasn't working from a new box of crayons. He was an accomplished watchmaker (gears, levers, pins and springs) and he'd been in the gun business for at least 11 years. Going from memory (re: Dick Chamberlain's 1962 Gun Digest article), the first Farrow was demonstrated in April, 1885.

With ZERO proof, I'll advance the idea that ALL of the 200+ Farrow stocks were produced on Bullard machinery, and from wood that Farrow purchased from Bullard.  I suspect all the work was done in 1885.

All of Bullard's and Marlin's action parts were forged by Rogers & Spencer, Hartford, CT.  I'll continue with my ZERO proof idea that all of Farrow's parts also came from Rogers & Spencer, again in 1885.

I'll get back to this tomorrow.



Waterman - Fascinating!  Keep it coming.  What do you suppose the chances are that I'll ever know the particulars of the Bullard Farrow was shooting?  Large frame?  Caliber?


Without going back and re-reading the Bullard history, I suspect that Farrow went on tour with at least samples of whatever models had been produced before his tour. Had Bullard made samples of everything in their catalog?

WMF was selling rifles. The only mass-market advertising was newspapers.  His tour went from one bigger city gun club near the RR tracks to another.  If they had ranges, they were probably 200 yards or so.  He had to have his demo models set up & sighted in. The public didn't get to mess with those.

But there had to be samples for the potential customers to handle, maybe even to shoot.  This was an expensive undertaking, traveling for 3 or 4 months during the summer.  Telegraphing orders to be filled & shipped cross-country wouldn't bring in cash. He had to sell some rifles to get the product into the hands & minds of potential customers. How many would you take?
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #20 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 4:02pm
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The logistics of the whole summer-long marketing tour must have been a challenge.  Everything had to be thought out ahead of time.  A different venue every week-end, an advance man working a week ahead.  If I were doing it, I think I'd want at least 100 rifles, 10 to a case.  And at least 2 strong guys (thugs?), maybe 3, to do the heavy lifting & provide security.  And another guy back at the factory keeping track of things.  The guy at Bullard would be a clerk, literate & numerate, somebody who could write reports, fill orders, & report to the boss.

After leaving SF, Farrow et al stopped in Ogden, Utah for a few days. Put on a show and probably met the Browning brothers. That must have been interesting.

  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #21 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 5:23pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 22nd, 2024 at 4:02pm:
The logistics of the whole summer-long marketing tour must have been a challenge.  Everything had to be thought out ahead of time.  A different venue every week-end, an advance man working a week ahead.  If I were doing it, I think I'd want at least 100 rifles, 10 to a case.  And at least 2 strong guys (thugs?), maybe 3, to do the heavy lifting & provide security.  And another guy back at the factory keeping track of things.  The guy at Bullard would be a clerk, literate & numerate, somebody who could write reports, fill orders, & report to the boss.

After leaving SF, Farrow et al stopped in Ogden, Utah for a few days. Put on a show and probably met the Browning brothers. That must have been interesting.



Thanks so much for sharing your extensive knowledge of Farrow! Very interesting reading to me!
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #22 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 7:33pm
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 22nd, 2024 at 5:23pm:
waterman wrote on Apr 22nd, 2024 at 4:02pm:
The logistics of the whole summer-long marketing tour must have been a challenge.  Everything had to be thought out ahead of time.  A different venue every week-end, an advance man working a week ahead.  If I were doing it, I think I'd want at least 100 rifles, 10 to a case.  And at least 2 strong guys (thugs?), maybe 3, to do the heavy lifting & provide security.  And another guy back at the factory keeping track of things.  The guy at Bullard would be a clerk, literate & numerate, somebody who could write reports, fill orders, & report to the boss.

After leaving SF, Farrow et al stopped in Ogden, Utah for a few days. Put on a show and probably met the Browning brothers. That must have been interesting.



Thanks so much for sharing your extensive knowledge of Farrow! Very interesting reading to me!


I certainly echo this.  Very helpful and interesting reading.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #23 - Apr 22nd, 2024 at 7:37pm
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The next part of Farrow’s career requires a look at his family, his fears, and his character:

Farrow was born into a big family; the 16th (and youngest) child in a “his, hers, and theirs” family living in Belfast, Maine.  His father was a master mariner, a sea captain in the days of sail.  Most of the family trades were associated with the sea.  Sailors and masters, sailmakers, builders of wooden ships and even brokers of marine insurance were family occupations.  Part of Belfast caught fire & the shipyards and business section burned down in 1865, when WMF was 17.  The fire, the Civil War and the coming of steam engines, both afloat & ashore, changed all that.  Family members were killed or came home crippled.  All that destroyed the Farrow family finances.  

No money for college, so WMF became an apprentice watchmaker.  His alternative was going to sea.  Once a journeyman, WMF went to Boston for employment, living with an uncle.  Unknown to WMF, he had just moved into ground zero of a tuberculosis epidemic.  His aunt, then 2 cousins, and then his uncle died.  Back in Belfast, WMF’s father died and his mother needed his support.  Farrow gladly went back to Belfast, but had no job.  In April, 1871, he found a job as a watchmaker in Newport, Rhode Island. 
 
Business in Newport was booming.  WMF went from being a watchmaker to owning the jewelry store.  That expanded into eyeglasses and sporting goods, everything from tennis rackets and fishing gear to shotguns and ammunition.  The family had a long history of working together and supporting each other.  The Farrow household in Newport soon housed his brother Tom (child #15), Tom’s wife and her daughter, his sister Abbie (child # 13) and her husband Tom Carter, and Farrow’s widowed mother Jerusha. 
 
In September, 1874, young WMF (age 24) and his girlfriend Abbie Greene (age 18) took the train from Newport, Rhode Island to Creedmoor, New York, to see what this Creedmoor target shooting was all about. They booked a room for the duration of the match at the brand new Creedmoor Hotel.  

WMF reckoned he could profit from the general interest by selling some rifles and ammunition.  He also paid attention to Abbie.  They were married the following January and Abbie moved into the Farrow household.  Their first child was born nine months to the day from the first day of the first International match at Creedmoor.
« Last Edit: Apr 22nd, 2024 at 7:50pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #24 - Apr 23rd, 2024 at 6:26pm
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Waterman - 

Simply fascinating history!  Very interesting to read.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #25 - Apr 24th, 2024 at 8:09am
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Parker Shotguns were often sold through traveling celebrity shooters. Excepting the basic Trojan models all Parker’s were built to order and factory records survived for most. Today a documented Parker used by one of the exhibition or competition shooters is among the most valuable. All were higher grade wood and engraving guns. 

No doubt the situation with Farrow the same 

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #26 - Apr 24th, 2024 at 1:25pm
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boats wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 8:09am:
Parker Shotguns were often sold through traveling celebrity shooters. Excepting the basic Trojan models all Parker’s were built to order and factory records survived for most. Today a documented Parker used by one of the exhibition or competition shooters is among the most valuable. All were higher grade wood and engraving guns. 

That's one of the paths I'm trying to go down.  I've yet to find a single Bullard connected to Farrow or sold by Farrow during his 1884 tour.
No doubt the situation with Farrow the same 

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #27 - Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:36pm
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BullardShooter wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 1:25pm:
boats wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 8:09am:
Parker Shotguns were often sold through traveling celebrity shooters. Excepting the basic Trojan models all Parker’s were built to order and factory records survived for most. Today a documented Parker used by one of the exhibition or competition shooters is among the most valuable. All were higher grade wood and engraving guns. 

That's one of the paths I'm trying to go down.  I've yet to find a single Bullard connected to Farrow or sold by Farrow during his 1884 tour.
No doubt the situation with Farrow the same 

Boats



WMF started working as the assistant manager (of sales) on Jan 1, 1884. How long had Bullard been in production?  They only made Large-Frame rifles for most of 1884.  I think he only took demonstration Large Frame rifles (several) and took orders. Probably made deals for distributorship with dealers, sent orders by mail, or maybe telegraph.  Didn't hand over any rifles.

Took Small Frame rifles to New Orleans in December, but described the show as a disaster.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #28 - Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:53pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:36pm:


WMF started working as the assistant manager (of sales) on Jan 1, 1884. How long had Bullard been in production?  They only made Large-Frame rifles for most of 1884.  I think he only took demonstration Large Frame rifles (several) and took orders. Probably made deals for distributorship with dealers, sent orders by mail, or maybe telegraph.  Didn't hand over any rifles.

Took Small Frame rifles to New Orleans in December, but described the show as a disaster.


In referring to large frame and small frame rifles, were these single shots or repeaters?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #29 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 4:36am
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:53pm:
waterman wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:36pm:


WMF started working as the assistant manager (of sales) on Jan 1, 1884. How long had Bullard been in production?  They only made Large-Frame rifles for most of 1884.  I think he only took demonstration Large Frame rifles (several) and took orders. Probably made deals for distributorship with dealers, sent orders by mail, or maybe telegraph.  Didn't hand over any rifles.

Took Small Frame rifles to New Orleans in December, but described the show as a disaster.


In referring to large frame and small frame rifles, were these single shots or repeaters?


All were repeaters. The Single Shots did not appear until 1885 or 1886, after WMF had departed.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #30 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 8:17am
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Going back to the Parker example and “what I think “vs what I know. 

Doubt if Parker exhibition shooters transferred shotguns to buyers at events. They only built to order & inventory on hand not likely.

There are surviving records from known top Parker shooters like Dubray that show many guns ordered, more than individual would likely buy. Same situation with well known gun dealers multiple orders without individuals names. Other records have the individuals name and not repeated. They all detail guns specifics,  gage, stock dimensions # of pellets delivered at distance etc.

If we use that example on rifles not likely a small maker  would have inventory at events.  I think Waterman has it right. 

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #31 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 11:10am
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In the current ASSRA March- April 2024 journal there is an add for Amoskeag auction companys auction 141 March 23rd  and24th.
The top rifle in the add is a Bullard single shot target rifle with a Farrow tang sight. Fits well with this thread, Farrows own rifle??
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #32 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 1:39pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 25th, 2024 at 4:36am:
marlinguy wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:53pm:
waterman wrote on Apr 24th, 2024 at 10:36pm:


WMF started working as the assistant manager (of sales) on Jan 1, 1884. How long had Bullard been in production?  They only made Large-Frame rifles for most of 1884.  I think he only took demonstration Large Frame rifles (several) and took orders. Probably made deals for distributorship with dealers, sent orders by mail, or maybe telegraph.  Didn't hand over any rifles.

Took Small Frame rifles to New Orleans in December, but described the show as a disaster.


In referring to large frame and small frame rifles, were these single shots or repeaters?


All were repeaters. The Single Shots did not appear until 1885 or 1886, after WMF had departed. 


Yes, he was using a repeater and my speculation is he was using one chambered in .45-70.  I remain interested in the fact that he was traveling the country in 1884, demonstrating the rifles and winning matches.  The Bullard is a very fine rifle.  I don't know if I can post a link here, but here is Mark Douglas from The Cinnabar Ranch, describing and demonstrating a Bullard repeater.  He does a great job of it (and he has a ton of vintage rifle/vintage gunsmithing videos that are highly enjoyable to watch):   

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #33 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 2:29pm
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Tom_Trevor assra life no.71 wrote on Apr 25th, 2024 at 11:10am:
In the current ASSRA March- April 2024 journal there is an add for Amoskeag auction company's auction 141 March 23rd  and24th.
The top rifle in the add is a Bullard single shot target rifle with a Farrow tang sight. Fits well with this thread, Farrows own rifle??


I do not think that Farrow had a Bullard single shot, simply because he was concentrating on making and marketing his own rifles.  But he did know men who worked at Bullard.  One of those men might have decided to put a Farrow tang sight on a Bullard Single Shot.  Also, Farrow advertised & sold his tang sights.  Anyone could have bought one.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #34 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 2:46pm
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Continuing my Farrow tale:

Abbie’s parents may not have been thrilled by a quickie private wedding, but WMF and Abbie made their marriage a success.  They had 3 children; their first child was a girl they named Emily. Their 2nd child was another girl, Louisa, born 9 months to the day after her parents’ second stay at the Creedmoor Range hotel, and then a boy.  Music was a central part of their lives together and was a major factor in deciding where each of Farrow’s future workshops would be located.

All his adult life, WMF was deathly afraid of tuberculosis, not an unreasonable fear in the 19th Century.  The cause and cure were then unknown, but most of those contracting “consumption” died.  TB was thought to be associated with big cities and “bad air”.  Newport had clean air and its main industry was catering to the wealthy.  All in all, a good place to avoid TB and raise kids.  Abbie was content, as were her parents and Jerusha.  There were 2 little girls to raise.
  
But Farrow was on the go.  The WMF I’ve studied probably worked out a profitable deal with the sole wholesalers of Ballards, the firm of Shoverling & Daly of New York City.  Farrow began to sell J.M. Marlin-Ballard Long-Range rifles in mid-1877, both on his own and also, via his brother Tom, at their sporting goods store in Newport.  Probably he began shooting them soon afterward.  The Long-Range No. 7 Ballards were better target rifles than either the Sharps or the Remington products, even if the early Ballards had Sharps barrels. 
 
One report I read (can’t remember where) told me he traveled to California in December 1877.  That would be out of character for WMF.  His actions, time after time, demonstrated that his family was his #1 priority.  My opinion is that he was home in Newport for the holidays, but in early 1878, less than 2 years after Custer went down at the Little Big Horn, Farrow took a winter business trip to San Francisco, riding in a coal-burning passenger train across the plains and through the snowy Sierras.  

Because it was winter, it seems unlikely that Farrow made many stops to demonstrate and sell Ballards.  A business trip?  What business?  Perhaps WMF personal business; prize money and side bets from the West Coast winter and spring matches.
« Last Edit: Apr 25th, 2024 at 3:28pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #35 - Apr 25th, 2024 at 7:18pm
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This is one of the finest reads I've seen here or most anywhere Waterman! Thanks again.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #36 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 4:17am
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Just thinking about that trip boggles my mind.  WMF was a planner, a guy who was always thinking several steps ahead, and a guy who concentrated on the details.  I think he was a man who had to be in control of every situation, a micromanager, yet he gets on a train in the middle of winter and sets out for Frisco. 

Everything on that trip was totally beyond his control, full of risk. WMF was touring for the money, but only if the odds were in his favor.  This winter trip is very much out of character.  The Indians were not all pacified, living on reservations with good paying jobs at the casino.  The buffalo may have been hunkered down for the winter, but they had not all been turned into robes and leather belting to drive machines in America’s factories.  Did the precursors to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid work in the winter?   

I grew up in a RR town on the prairie.  As a kid, I saw old steam engines that had been converted to snow blowers.  Dad’s home movies show rail traffic stopped by drifting snow until the snow blowers showed up.  Did they have snow blowers in 1878?   

I imagine Farrow dressed warmly, wrapped in a buffalo robes, and dreading the next trip to the unheated rolling restroom.  Did the trains run 24/7 or did they stop at night, the passengers staying in RR-operated hotels?  How long was the trip?  My guess is 8 to 10 days, changing trains several times. 
 
In April, 1878, in Alameda, California, WMF won first place in a San Francisco Turnverein Schuetzen Match; 60 shots offhand at 200 yards, German ring target. Score was 1268 out of 1500 points.  He reportedly won enough in side bets in the San Francisco Bay area winter and spring matches to support his family in reasonable style for two years.  How much was that?

After the Alameda match, he went east, probably giving demonstrations, selling Ballards, and entering matches.  In June, 1878, he won a 600-shot offhand match at the Union Hill range in Morris, New Jersey.  600 shots offhand?  The matches lasted all day, but how many of us could do that?  WMF wasn’t a big strong guy.  He is described as standing 5 foot. 9 inches and weighing about 140 lbs.   

I’ve seen some articles saying the family lived in New York City in 1879 because WMF worked for Shoverling & Daly.  I’ve not yet found any first hand evidence.  Early in 1880, WMF and Abbie decided they had been apart far too much.  They bought a house at 3 Howard Place in Jersey City, NJ, so that WMF could commute to S & D.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #37 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 4:21am
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More from above:

They bought a house at 3 Howard Place in Jersey City, NJ, so that WMF could commute to Shoverling & Daly and be home more often.  No house there today, but it was likely a brick 2-story house, probably a duplex.  The 1880 Census tells us that the Farrows had a live-in maid. 
 
In May, 1882, the Farrows moved back to Newport.  Abby was pregnant with child #3 and needed help from both the Farrow and Greene families.  WMF, Jr. was born in October of ‘82.  On Jan. 1, 1884, WMF took the job as Bullard’s Assistant Manager in charge of sales. 
 
Bullard was located in Springfield, Massachusetts, a big manufacturing city with bad air.  Farrow moved Abby and the kids to Springfield in 1884, most likely as soon as school was out.  Both WMF and Abbie probably regretted every minute of it.  Bullard laid off most of their employees in January of 1885, but WMF stayed at the plant. 
 
As soon as the first Farrow was demonstrated (April, 1885), and (my idea) WMF had a large supply of stocks and at least some action parts and barrels on hand, the Farrows left Springfield.

In May, 1885, the Farrow family moved to Brattleboro, Vermont.  The family reasons were probably good schools, music, and clean air.  There was industry, but it was water powered.  WMF found a suitable empty building (not sure where) and established the first Farrow Arms company.   
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #38 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 7:40am
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Waterman, very nicely done, please keep it coming
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #39 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 10:52am
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This is really interesting.  Thanks for postng it all!
Bob
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #40 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 12:08pm
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On the topic of Bullard single-shots, here is, I believe, the rarest one ever made.  I talked to Perry about this rifle a couple decades ago:

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Edit:  note the patent date of 1881 on this single-shot rifle.
« Last Edit: Apr 26th, 2024 at 3:09pm by BullardShooter »  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #41 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 2:13pm
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I've left all the parts about Farrow and long range shooting, 1875-1883, the Creedmoor matches, the 2 trips to the UK & Europe, and the feud with Bodine out of all this because I don't have the whole story and chronology down to my satisfaction.  That's what made him famous and got him a lot of money.  I'll dig into it and post it later.  

The Bodine feud alone is worth a discussion. Then stick in the Brown rifle and Farrow's supporters in the feud, the NRA, Jesse James and the state of the US economy when all that was happening and it turns into a shaggy dog story.

That leads into his awful little book. I'll rant on that later. IMHO, it was just a marketing gimmick.

As a single shot guy, that long range stuff was interesting to read about, but in reality, nothing I could try out.  My Farrow is a .22 and it's an offhand rifle, plus my father and grandfather were old-time watchmakers, so I can relate to that part of the story.  

My real interest is in the Farrow rifles, all the different models, and where and when they were made.  

And then why he stopped making them and what happened after that.  Did you know that he was one of the "behind the scenes" guys with Winder, the Stevens-Pope barrels for the Krag, and the Winder Musket?  And that he competed at Sea Girt with a Krag? And maybe with a Winchester High Wall in .30/40?
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #42 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 3:11pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 26th, 2024 at 2:13pm:
I've left all the parts about Farrow and long range shooting, 1875-1883, the Creedmoor matches, the 2 trips to the UK & Europe, and the feud with Bodine out of all this because I don't have the whole story and chronology down to my satisfaction.  That's what made him famous and got him a lot of money.  I'll dig into it and post it later.  

The Bodine feud alone is worth a discussion. Then stick in the Brown rifle and Farrow's supporters in the feud, the NRA, Jesse James and the state of the US economy when all that was happening and it turns into a shaggy dog story.

That leads into his awful little book. I'll rant on that later. IMHO, it was just a marketing gimmick.

As a single shot guy, that long range stuff was interesting to read about, but in reality, nothing I could try out.  My Farrow is a .22 and it's an offhand rifle, plus my father and grandfather were old-time watchmakers, so I can relate to that part of the story.  

My real interest is in the Farrow rifles, all the different models, and where and when they were made.  

And then why he stopped making them and what happened after that.  Did you know that he was one of the "behind the scenes" guys with Winder, the Stevens-Pope barrels for the Krag, and the Winder Musket?  And that he competed at Sea Girt with a Krag? And maybe with a Winchester High Wall in .30/40?


All very interesting.  Can't wait to read more!
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #43 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 9:40pm
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I’ve been thinking a lot more about WMF’s “late 1877” and “early 1878” RR trip to the West Coast and points between, trying to think what WMF would have done and what Shoverling & Daly of New York City would have had him do. 
 
WMF had his eye on the double eagle.  Winning a very few big matches each year brought more in prize money than an ordinary man could earn in a year.  Side bets brought in even more.  S&D were probably paying Farrow a large commission and a lesser amount of straight salary.  This was a profitable undertaking, but neither party operated in a vacuum.

Economically, in the mid- and late 1870s, the US was in the midst of a depression almost as bad as that of the 1930s.  The 1870s problem was one of deflation, where each dollar bought more and more and there were fewer and fewer dollars in circulation.  It was not all Wall Street and the big money guys.  There was little faith in paper money.  With the value of hard currency (gold & silver coins) on the rise and the banks uninsured, hoarding became contributing factor.  “If I ever get my hands on a dollar again, I’ll hold on to it ‘til the eagle grins” was a common expression.
   
Hoarding was not the only external factor.  A few years ago, I read an economic history of outlawry in the western US.  The author claimed that organized gangs like the Frank and Jesse James gang, the Youngers and their ilk collectively stole 3 % of all the hard currency (gold and silver coin, not greenbacks) in circulation in the country between 1865 and the end of the gangs in the 1890s.  Much of the stolen hard currency went back into circulation west of the Mississippi, but very little of it ever again entered the national economy.

The economy’s deflationary spiral put the NRA’s management of the 1877 Creedmoor “Championship of the World” match in serious financial difficulty.  Apparently, some of the shooting prizes for individual events, $250 in gold for several particular matches, were sponsored by firms like Remington, firms with instant name recognition.  But the gold coins did not appear after the matches had been held and the winners identified.  An awards dinner for all participants was given but not paid for, leaving the NRA Directors with the bill.  The British team competing in the long-range matches had been promised in excess of $1,000 to help with some of their travel expenses.  The promised funds were never paid.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #44 - Apr 26th, 2024 at 9:49pm
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With his contacts among America’s wealthiest people in Newport, and with Shoverling & Daly’s contacts in NYC, Farrow knew enough to away from the NRA’s 1877 Creedmoor Matches because the whole show was headed for bankruptcy.  Instead, he toured Pennsylvania and the upper Midwest that summer & fall.  What sort of arrangements would WMF and S&D have made?  Take a bunch of Ballards, insist on hard currency in payment, and then have carry around hundreds of pounds of gold and silver coins?  Or demonstrate a few Ballards, take small deposits against future delivery, and do all the business by mail or telegram?
But what about WMF’s personal winnings?  Were the socks in his suitcase full of double eagles?  Did he sleep with a Colt .44 under his pillow?
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #45 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:36am
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Waterman -

I'm really enjoying all the detail you are providing.  What do you know about his 1884 travels where he promoted Bullard repeating rifles and reportedly competed (and won) matches across the country?  I wonder how far he ranged, how much of that year he spent on the road, etc. ?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #46 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:56am
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Another tidbit from 1884.  In Bullard Firearms, Scott Jamieson writes, “In late December 1884 the Bullard company had to duplicate a case of guns that went missing a month earlier in transit to the New Orleans Exposition.  Farrow, who had charge of the display, said the exposition was chaotic.  Colt also suffered a similar disaster.”

I sure wonder where that case of Bullards went.  Surely they were ultimately sold.  How would a collector know if they had one in their collection?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #47 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:24pm
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If someone could identify a stolen gun today from that long ago would it be anything more than just interesting tidbit now? With no Bullard rifle company would a current owner need to compensate some distant heirs?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #48 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:43pm
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BullardShooter wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:36am:
Waterman -

I'm really enjoying all the detail you are providing.  What do you know about his 1884 travels where he promoted Bullard repeating rifles and reportedly competed (and won) matches across the country?  I wonder how far he ranged, how much of that year he spent on the road, etc. ?


Jamieson tells about the trip on p. 60 of his 2nd edition, Bullard Firearms
Pittsburgh PA, Wheeling WV, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, then across Minnesota, to Montana, to Washington Territory (and presumably through one of the Dakotas and Idaho), to Oregon (mention made of Portland), and then to San Francisco. Then east to Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. Then home. Prep started in March 1884 and he returned to Springfield, Mass., is September. Trip covered some 10,000 miles, Farrow participated in about 50 matches, winning most of them, and fired some 4,000 cartridges. 

There is a photo of Teddy Roosevelt and 2 associates with Bullard rifles, photo taken in N. Dakota during TR's days there. Would that be associated with Farrow? 

Since the Large-Frame repeater was the only model then in production, and since it was made in .45-70 Gov't., I assume that Farrow took several with him, all .45-70, none with proprietary cartridges. That made resupply easier.  He was a long way from the factory, with what was really an unproven product.  He probably took spare parts and some tools.

What was the accuracy shelf life of a .45/70 BP cartridge in 1884?  Would WMF have taken cartridges in sealed tins?
« Last Edit: Apr 27th, 2024 at 1:01pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #49 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:57pm
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:24pm:
If someone could identify a stolen gun today from that long ago would it be anything more than just interesting tidbit now? With no Bullard rifle company would a current owner need to compensate some distant heirs?


Are you, as a collector, then in possession of stolen merchandise?  Who would be heirs?  The heirs of the stockholders?  Did Bullard ever pay all their bills?  They owed Pratt & Whitney some $25,000 for a lot of machinery. Could the lawyers for a wealthy corporation that makes aircraft engines come after your gun collection?  There are Statutes of Limitations for lesser monetary crimes, even bank robbery.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #50 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 1:10pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:57pm:
marlinguy wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:24pm:
If someone could identify a stolen gun today from that long ago would it be anything more than just interesting tidbit now? With no Bullard rifle company would a current owner need to compensate some distant heirs?


Are you, as a collector, then in possession of stolen merchandise?  Who would be heirs?  The heirs of the stockholders?  Did Bullard ever pay all their bills?  They owed Pratt & Whitney some $25,000 for a lot of machinery. Could the lawyers for a wealthy corporation that makes aircraft engines come after your gun collection?  There are Statutes of Limitations for lesser monetary crimes, even bank robbery.


If I am it's news to me! But I was just replying to BullardShooter's comment about the stolen rifles.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #51 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 1:39pm
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 1:10pm:
waterman wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:57pm:
marlinguy wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:24pm:
If someone could identify a stolen gun today from that long ago would it be anything more than just interesting tidbit now? With no Bullard rifle company would a current owner need to compensate some distant heirs?


Are you, as a collector, then in possession of stolen merchandise?  Who would be heirs?  The heirs of the stockholders?  Did Bullard ever pay all their bills?  They owed Pratt & Whitney some $25,000 for a lot of machinery. Could the lawyers for a wealthy corporation that makes aircraft engines come after your gun collection?  There are Statutes of Limitations for lesser monetary crimes, even bank robbery.


If I am it's news to me! But I was just replying to BullardShooter's comment about the stolen rifles.


"You" was intended as generic, applies to all of us as collectors or accumulators.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #52 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 2:38pm
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waterman wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:43pm:
BullardShooter wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:36am:
Waterman -

I'm really enjoying all the detail you are providing.  What do you know about his 1884 travels where he promoted Bullard repeating rifles and reportedly competed (and won) matches across the country?  I wonder how far he ranged, how much of that year he spent on the road, etc. ?


Jamieson tells about the trip on p. 60 of his 2nd edition, Bullard Firearms
Pittsburgh PA, Wheeling WV, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, then across Minnesota, to Montana, to Washington Territory (and presumably through one of the Dakotas and Idaho), to Oregon (mention made of Portland), and then to San Francisco. Then east to Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah. Then home. Prep started in March 1884 and he returned to Springfield, Mass., is September. Trip covered some 10,000 miles, Farrow participated in about 50 matches, winning most of them, and fired some 4,000 cartridges. 

There is a photo of Teddy Roosevelt and 2 associates with Bullard rifles, photo taken in N. Dakota during TR's days there. Would that be associated with Farrow? 

Since the Large-Frame repeater was the only model then in production, and since it was made in .45-70 Gov't., I assume that Farrow took several with him, all .45-70, none with proprietary cartridges. That made resupply easier.  He was a long way from the factory, with what was really an unproven product.  He probably took spare parts and some tools.

What was the accuracy shelf life of a .45/70 BP cartridge in 1884?  Would WMF have taken cartridges in sealed tins?


Waterman -

Thanks for the reminder of what Scott wrote in his book regarding Farrow's 1884 travels.  It seems these days I can remember something I read 50 years ago easier than I can remember something I read last week.   

1884 sure sounds like a whirlwind trip for Farrow.  He must have been a driven man with a good amount of energy.

As far as guns stolen 140 years ago, I have no idea how far back a statute of limitations would apply.  It is an interesting question. I can't see I've seen anything that would apply.  I have heard of stolen guns being return to original owners - but the owners have still be living.  In this case, I doubt the serial numbers of those stolen Bullards are available anywhere.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #53 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 3:21pm
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I have this second hand, but supposedly this is a quote from Ned Roberts and Ken Waters book, The Breech-Loading Single-Shot Rifle:

"Riflemen who have used the Farrow rifle at all extensively agree that it is as near the perfect single-shot target rifle as has ever been made in this country, and it is indeed unfortunate that this action, at least, is not in production now".

Phil Sharpe, in his book, Rifle in America references the short hammer fall and suggests it was one of our first "speed action" rifles.

By the way, wasn't someone making a small number of Farrow reproduction rifles?
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #54 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 6:39pm
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My 4th Model Farrow in .22 LR is a great offhand rifle, as long as you understand its funky behavior.  Other than as an offhand rifle, I'm not sure.  I think it depends on what you want to do with one and what Model you have.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #55 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:13pm
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I haven’t been able to learn where in Brattleboro, Vt., the Farrows lived, nor have I been able to learn where the first Farrow Fire-Arms Company was located.  I don’t think it was a secret, just not important enough for anyone of the day to write about it.  I joined the Brattleboro Historical Society for a year and bombarded them with Farrow questions.  They never heard of him.  They asked if I wrote anything, please send them a copy.

Apparently, WMF bought machinery from a machine shop somewhere in Massachusetts that had gone out of business & had it shipped to Brattleboro.  Then he hired a man who worked at the machine shop to come to Brattleboro and help set up the machinery and get it operating.  I think Farrow wanted to be a one-man band, doing everything, but knew when he needed help.  He also kept in contact with the lead machinist and lead stockmaker from Bullard.  With the help of these men, he got all of his machinery, apparently including a rifling machine, up and running.

Even with that, the first Farrow Fire-Arms Company (FFC 1) was a kitchen table operation, with the sole personnel being WMF (and Abbie, when the kids were in school).  Like any prudent small business people, WMF and Abbie kept the family finances (double eagles) separate from business finances (greenbacks).  

But a sole proprietorship doesn’t present the sort of “big time, professional” appearance that WMF wanted to convey.  Using his reputation, he persuaded 5 or 6 of the leading businessmen in Brattleboro to buy 100 shares in company stock at $3 per share.  That’s not 100 shares each.  It’s 100 shares between the lot of them.  And I've read elsewhere that it was 100 shares each. Take your pick.

Then he persuaded another few men of slightly less social stature to be company officers, a Board of Directors.  WMF was president, the others were VP, Treasurer, Secretary, etc.  It was probably no coincidence that FFC 1’s Board of Directors were also the Board of Directors of the Brattleboro Rifle Club.  Apparently, the company officers did not have any money invested in FFC 1.  

Was FFC 1 really a corporation?  Doubtful.  Was it even a real company, with a real Board of Directors, legally established?  Again, doubtful.  I think it was just window dressing, for advertising, and maybe something to feed WMF’s ego.  But FFC 1 now had $30,000? (greenbacks) in working capital.  WMF owned all the machinery free and clear.  
« Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2024 at 2:09pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #56 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:16pm
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Arthur Corbin Gould, owner, publisher and editor of The Rifle, was a rifleman of the old school, valuing accuracy above all.  ACG cared not a whit for repeaters and viewed breech-loading single shots as having a lot of unnecessary parts, all of which detracted from a rifle’s accuracy.  To increase circulation of his magazine, and to push his point, ACG arranged for a rifle match at the spring 1886 meeting of the National Rifle Club in Vernon, Vermont.

The National Rifle Club had been around since the 1850s.  Members shot heavy muzzle-loading rifles from the bench or from machine rests and used telescopic sights.  Distance for the matches was 40 rods.  Scores were “string measure”, the cumulative distance from the center of each bullet-hole to a pin-head sized mark, measured to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.  The winner of a 30-shot match often had a “string measure” of about 36 inches, sometimes less.  On today’s target, a winning score would almost all the of the 30 shots in the 25-ring, with only one or two going into the 24-ring.   

The match was to be between the National Rifle Club members using their heavy rifles and, by invitation, some of the nation’s leading marksmen using their breech-loaders.  Willard Milton Farrow was one of the invitees.  The match was to be held on May 26, 1886.

In the spring of 1885, Milton needed to promote his rifle and was probably delighted with the invitation.  He would have a letter of acceptance in the mail within a day or two.  He recognized that he had to gain some experience with benchrest shooting and with the use of a telescopic sight.  The National Rifle Club’s range at Vernon, Vermont was only about a 2-hour buggy ride north of Brattleboro.  (The people at the Brattleboro Historical Society had never heard of the National Rifle Club, either.)

The spring meeting of the National Rifle Club was held on May 26 and 27, 1886, at the Vernon, Vermont range.  One 10-shot string measure target was shot on the 26th, two on the 27th.  Eleven competitors finished the match.  As expected, the 15 lb. muzzle-loaders won the day.  First place went to D.A. Brown, shooting a Horace Warner .45, with a 412 grain bullet and 123 grains of powder.  The center of his average shot was 1 and 3/16” from the center of the bull.  The next 3 places went to men shooting Norman Brockway’s rifles.  All had string measures less than 49 inches.   
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #57 - Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:21pm
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The spring meeting of the National Rifle Club was held on May 26 and 27, 1886, at the Vernon, Vermont range.  One 10-shot string measure target was shot on the 26th, two on the 27th.  

Eleven competitors finished the match.  As expected, the 15 lb. muzzle-loaders won the day.  First place went to D.A. Brown, shooting a Horace Warner .45, with a 412 grain bullet and 123 grains of powder.  The center of his average shot was 1 and 3/16” from the center of the bull.  The next 3 places went to men shooting Norman Brockway’s rifles.  All had string measures less than 49 inches.  

The best of the breech-loaders finished in 6th place; Francis J. Rabbeth, shooting a Remington Hepburn in .38-55, with a 330 grain bullet.  His measure was 60 and 5/8”.  

C.W. Hinman took 7th place, shooting a Maynard in .35/65 with a 255 grain bullet.  He shot a 65 and ½” string.

Farrow finished in 10th place, with an 80 and ½” string.  His must have been one of the earliest Farrow rifles, chambered in .32/40 Remington, with a 187 grain bullet.  

Dead last was G. F. Ellsworth, a 90 and 13/16” string.  He shot a Ballard in .38/50 with 290 grain bullets.

For WMF, that had to be a very humbling experience.  
 
In the photo below, WMF is 3rd from the leftI AM WRONG! Harry Pope!  Must be a different year.   WMF b.1848, d.1934; HMP b. 1861, d.1950.
 
If you are into eccentric guys with quite accurate muzzle-loaders, I think William V. Lowe is on the right. Lowe finished 5th in this match.  He and Horace Warner built competition rifles in partnership for some time.
« Last Edit: Apr 29th, 2024 at 1:41pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #58 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 7:26am
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waterman wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:16pm:
......
In the spring of 1885, Milton needed to promote his rifle and was probably delighted with the invitation.  .....  

Question, I presume the photo shown of the shooters was from the match in question. If so can you comment why Farrow is holding a Ballard rifle and not his own? Not the best way to promote his rifle.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #59 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 7:35am
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 12:24pm:
If someone could identify a stolen gun today from that long ago would it be anything more than just interesting tidbit now? With no Bullard rifle company would a current owner need to compensate some distant heirs?

It's a question to ponder with no merit and as meritless as all the current discussions of "reparations" coming out of the left coast.
As to today if similar occurs, like you have a gun or anything for that matter, stolen and the insurance company settles with you , then you no longer are the owner and have no stake in the game. If the object is found and or recovered, you can negotiate with the insurance company to buy it back.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #60 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 9:00am
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Hope no one minds me showing these pics, but this is my "Farrow" inspired rifle that I built some number of years ago. It is a takedown (which required some amount of thought as to how to get the breechblock to be held up without the typical spring mounted on the barrel) and in 40-60 Maynard caliber. 
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #61 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 10:18am
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Oldtimer:  Looks like a super job. Thanks for showing us.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #62 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 10:40am
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Yes, you did a very good job. I would like to see some more pictures of how you did the takedown. He generally used a tapered pin. I made molds off of a double set trigger Farrow that had a 32-40 and a 38-55 barrels for it.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #63 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 10:41am
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Wasn't the Miller Model F a copy of the Farrow?
I've seen photos of several of them and externally they look the same.
One even had the odd (  ) set triggers like my Farrow.

  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #64 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 12:15pm
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LRF wrote on Apr 28th, 2024 at 7:26am:
waterman wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:16pm:
......
In the spring of 1885, Milton needed to promote his rifle and was probably delighted with the invitation.  .....  

Question, I presume the photo shown of the shooters was from the match in question. If so can you comment why Farrow is holding a Ballard rifle and not his own? Not the best way to promote his rifle.


Odd. There is another photo from the ASSRA Archives that is too big to reproduce here. It shows all the participants. WMF is holding something, but the photo is too dark to tell what it is.  Ellsworth holds the Ballard.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #65 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 5:19pm
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Waterman, Is this the picture you mentioned in your last post
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #66 - Apr 28th, 2024 at 7:03pm
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Yes.  That is the photo.  The caption I saw said it was taken by Arthur Gould, publisher of The Rifle at the May 26 & 27, 1886 match. The photo date is probably May 27, because there were more men at the match on that day.

I count 19 men total.  There were 11 men who shot for score on May 26 and 14 on May 27.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #67 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 6:47am
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FWI Here are the names in the photo
Names on Back of Cabinet Card
(Left to Right)
C.W. Hinman, L. Park, L.C. Smith, R.G. Cressy, J.N. Frye, F. Fenn, N.S. Brockway, C.F. Fletcher, D.S. Cox, William V. Lowe, William Maynard, F.J. Rabbeth, D.A. Brown, W.M. Farrow, M.F. Roberts, E.B. Stephenson, Ellsworth

Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle
(Front Row – Left to Right)
Hiram W. Smith, Norman S. Brockway, David H. Cox, D.A. Brown, B. Stephenson

(Back Row – Left to Right)
C.W. Hinman, D. Park, R.C. Cressy, J.N. Frye, Frank I. Fenn, C.F. Fletcher, William V. Lowe, William Maynard, F.J. Rabbeth, W. Milton Farrow, Milton F. Roberts, George F. Ellsworth

  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #68 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 7:00am
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I am confused. The first photo of the supposed match with just a few guys does not match the photo of the shooters I posted. In the first photo the guy with the Ballard I believe is Harry Pope. Certainly not Milton Farrow. Farrow had a heavy beard clearly seen in the second photo. Different shoots, different days.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #69 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 7:31am
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Link to website talking about the match in question. I got the picture and list of names from here.
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #70 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 11:57am
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My version of a Farrow. Extra step on top to use a breech seater.

Waterman, Excellent, best discussion I have seen of a very interesting gentleman.
Chuck
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #71 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 12:07pm
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Those are good looking guns Lynn and Chuck!
Bob
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #72 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 1:01pm
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Miller F Model
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #73 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 1:43pm
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I AM WRONG about the 3rd man from the left being Farrow.  It is Harry Melville Pope.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #74 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 1:48pm
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LRF wrote on Apr 28th, 2024 at 7:26am:
waterman wrote on Apr 27th, 2024 at 8:16pm:
......
In the spring of 1885, Milton needed to promote his rifle and was probably delighted with the invitation.  .....  

Question, I presume the photo shown of the shooters was from the match in question. If so can you comment why Farrow is holding a Ballard rifle and not his own? Not the best way to promote his rifle.


Oops. That is Pope, not Farrow!  mea culpa!
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #75 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 1:55pm
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[quote author=37213425322D212E400 link=1713664703/74#74 date=1714412923

Oops. That is Pope, not Farrow!  mea culpa! [/quote]


Are you sure about that? Pope would have been mid 20's at the time of that picture. The 3rd guy looks way too old for that to be Pope.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #76 - Apr 29th, 2024 at 2:23pm
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 29th, 2024 at 1:55pm:
[quote author=37213425322D212E400 link=1713664703/74#74 date=1714412923

Oops. That is Pope, not Farrow!  mea culpa!

Then Marlinguy wrote: Are you sure about that? Pope would have been mid 20's at the time of that picture. The 3rd guy looks way too old for that to be Pope. [/quote]

Nope, I'm not sure.  WMF in the May 27, 1886 photo, the one with all the men ID'd  on the back, has a full beard, maybe trimmed a bit.  Other formal photos of WMF in the 1880s also show a full beard, only slightly trimmed. Looked like some sort of religious prophet.

But Pope wore his beard closely trimmed.  He also shot at the National Rifle Club spring & fall meetings in the 1890s, when the same men from the 1886 photo were still shooting their old Warner, Brockway, and Warner & Lowe muzzle-loaders.  So the photo could be 10 years or so more recent than the 1886 photo.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #77 - May 2nd, 2024 at 1:49pm
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All very interesting!  There's an amazing amount of knowledge and experience on this board.
  

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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #78 - May 2nd, 2024 at 9:02pm
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Getting away from photos of long dead guys and back to WMF and his rifles, how many were made, and where they were made:

Farrow called his Brattleboro operation the "Farrow Fire-Arms Company."  I’ve never read any report or seen any photograph of a Farrow rifle or barrel stamped or engraved “Farrow Fire Arms Company”.  He had one or more rubber stamps made up that way and may have had some business stationery printed, but that’s it.  No guns, no actions, no barrels.  

In his 1962 Gun Digest article, Richard Chamberlain reported that the upper flat of the octagonal barrel of nickel-plated brass frame prototype is engraved “Farrow Fire-Arms Co.” in script, with an arrow piercing a target. That rifle is .32/30 Remington caliber and is not numbered. The prototype was made in Springfield, Massachusetts and was first demonstrated there. 

I think Farrow only produced a few rifles while in Brattleboro.  In his very nicely done book, Joe Ruth organized Farrow rifles (and photos and descriptions) by his (Joe’s) type classification.  That is the best attempt at a chronological listing we’re apt to see.  Joe wrote that he didn’t want to introduce any speculation, but I will.  I think most of the Farrows made at Brattleboro are unnumbered, with unmarked barrels. All are what Joe has described as First Model Short Wall actions.

We know for sure that there were two Brattleboro Farrows.  

The first is the rifle Farrow used in the May 1886 match.  It had a 20X Malcom scope. It was photographed with WMF in 1886.  An entirely different photograph appears on Page 50A of Phil Sharpe's The Rifle in America, first published in 1938. This is No. 2 in Joe's list.

As a result of the Spring 1886 match, Norman Brockway rebarreled one of Farrow’s rifles to “a competitive caliber”.  Brockway gave the rifle a heavy barrel, bringing the rifle’s weight up to 15 lbs.  The barrel was given a .34 caliber liner, 8 shallow grooves, left-hand 15-inch twist, and a false muzzle cut for paper cross-patches, and was fitted for a mechanical bullet starter.  Brockway made 4 steel cartridge cases for the rifle, but brass .40/65 cases can be resized.  The rifle was fitted with a 20x Malcom scope.  The rifle was made for C. L. Cobb, a member of the Brattleboro Gun Club and one of Farrow’s shooting companions.  Cobb wanted to try a breech-loader under the National Rifle Club’s 15-lb. rules. #3 on Joe's list.

Gerald Kelver wrote about this rifle in the 1950s.  Where is it now?

« Last Edit: May 3rd, 2024 at 3:38pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #79 - May 2nd, 2024 at 9:26pm
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The first rifle Joe describes is probably a Brattleboro rifle. Unnumbered and unmarked, it's a .32-40 Remington caliber but has a sight base on the heel of the stock. I think WMF used this as a demonstration rifle, showing how he fired from the back position while shooting on a 200-yard range.  I’ll take an even wilder guess and say that WMF used this rifle when he taught accurate rifle shooting for the next 30 years.  WMF’s daughter Louisa had “several” Farrow rifles in her estate when she passed away in 1949. Was this one?  The rifle has been photographed several times.  In The Rifle in America, it's shown on Page 50F.

I first wrote "almost certainly" but that seems a bit too much.  Without rifles in hand, these are all just educated guesses.
« Last Edit: May 3rd, 2024 at 1:21pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #80 - May 3rd, 2024 at 7:07am
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Attaches are photos of the rifle in the 1962 Gun Digest article by Richard Chamberlain
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #81 - May 3rd, 2024 at 1:13pm
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Beautiful photos of a beautiful rifle. Thanks, Joe. 

That is the design on his Brattleboro letterhead.  I don't think he used it later.
I don't think it's very "arty".  Really clashes with the nice script.
« Last Edit: May 3rd, 2024 at 3:34pm by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #82 - May 6th, 2024 at 9:24pm
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A bit more on Farrow's Brattleboro rifles.  

I think that, being a one-man operation, he found the "start to finish" operation requiring more time than he ever imagined.  Although he was skilled with his hands, I don't think he was fast. Being a good watchmaker, competent with pins, levers and springs, makes you the opposite of a fast worker.  Until I graduated from high school, I saw my father and grandfather at work in their watch shop.  They were never in a hurry.

Those who have written about Farrow, from Ned Roberts on, have been puzzled by WMF's inconsistency in applying serial numbers to his rifles.  Here's my spin.

Remember that all of WMF's records were lost in the Okeechobee Hurricane of Sept. 17, 1928, along with his home, shop and virtually everything his family held dear. 

It seems to me that WMF may have kept records by purchaser, at least for those purchasers he knew personally.  For those with numbers, every guess is as good as every other guess.  Maybe he put numbers on others because it seemed like a good idea.  Were they sequential?  I think late in the game they were, if only because the 4th Models (long actions) have been stamped with high numbers and the First Models (short actions) have low numbers.

Joe Ruth shows us two unmarked First Model Farrows numbered 7 and 10. Simply because they are unmarked means (to me) they are probably Brattleboro rifles.  Why 7 & 10?  WMF was a salesman.  He was adamant about keeping his word (as much as possible), but marking rifles 7 and 10 implied that numbers 1 through 6 and 8 and 9 existed, as long as nobody asked about them.

Among the Farrow collectors' items are a series of letters written to and received from Thomas N. Boyd, of Andover, Allegany County, New York. Mr. Boyd wants to buy a rifle. WMF wants to sell him one but has lots of excuses why it isn't delivered.  When Mr. Boyd finally gets his rifle, there is something wrong with it.  Reading between the lines, I think that WMF the perfectionist was having a hard time building a rifle that he was willing to sell, something with his name on it.

The other thing learned from Mr. Boyd's correspondence is that the Farrows moved from Brattleboro to Holyoke, Massachusetts, probably as soon as the kids were out of school in 1887.  Were the Farrow Fire-Arms Company's stockholders expecting to see some return on their investment?  And when that didn't happen, did WMF skip town, taking all his machinery, gun parts, barrels & gunstocks with him?
« Last Edit: May 7th, 2024 at 7:41pm by waterman »  
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oneatatime
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #83 - May 7th, 2024 at 3:46pm
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Interesting. My dad was working as a machinist at the sugar mill on Lake Okeechobee then and said the he was lucky to get out.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #84 - May 7th, 2024 at 7:49pm
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oneatatime wrote on May 7th, 2024 at 3:46pm:
Interesting. My dad was working as a machinist at the sugar mill on Lake Okeechobee then and said the he was lucky to get out.


The Farrow's home was in West Palm Beach, just a few blocks from where the hurricane came ashore.  Abbie never recovered from the shock of loosing everything & barely escaping. She died the following spring.  WMF was 80, probably didn't have the energy to continue.  Daughter Louise held things together, apparently got a couple of nephews to help with such salvage as was possible.
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #85 - May 13th, 2024 at 10:59pm
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What an interesting informative read, thanks to all who have contributed. Those Farrow rifle look very nice, modern too. Anybody making Farrow actions?
Cheers Richard
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #86 - May 15th, 2024 at 5:45pm
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In the 1962 Gun Digest, Richard Chamberlain tells us quite a bit about WMF and his Holyoke, Massachusetts, operation. I bought my new copy at the Navy Exchange in Pearl Harbor. Still have it. A good reference. 

Once in Holyoke, WMF changed the name of the business to “Farrow Arms Company” and had business letterhead stationery printed.  Some samples of the letterhead exist today.  From mid-1887 on, the shop was in the rear of a building at 30 Dwight St.  The Farrows lived first at 404 Maple and later at 181 Dwight, both within easy walking distance of the shop.  Mr. Chamberlain was in error when he reported a second business address as “66 Thames Street”.  That was the address of Farrow’s Sporting Goods Store in Newport, RI.
  
My spin on the Holyoke operation is that its location (in 1887) gave WMF access to the arms manufacturing cities in MA and CT without actually “living in the smoke”. WMF was still very worried about TB. 

There was some sort of Farrow family susceptibility. WMF's brother Tom appears to have contracted TB in Jan. 1884.  By April, he could no longer manage the Newport store. In July, Tom closed the store and moved back to Belfast, Maine.  Tom Farrow died in Belfast in March, 1885.

In Holyoke, Abbie and the kids were only a day’s train ride from Newport, RI and her extended family.  About this time, WMF's mother Jerusha came to live Willard, Abbie, and the kids.

WMF knew that he had to produce and market some rifles here, and he did.  My guess is that the rest of the short action rifles, those that Joe Ruth calls “First Model” and all its variants were made here, some marked “Farrow Arms Co.” and some unmarked.  I’ll also guess that the few Second And Third Model Farrows might have been made in Holyoke.

Continuing with my spin, WMF didn't do enough "due diligence" before making his move.  The Farrows arrived in Holyoke just as the city was transforming itself from a town (pop. 4,600) to one of the smokiest, most overcrowded industrial cities full of immigrants in the US.  The Farrows knew they’d made a mistake.  

WMF began searching for a better place to live.  An Ancestry.com search told me that on August 18, 1889, WMF bought a quarter-section (160 acres) in Pulaski County, smack in the middle of Arkansas.  I haven’t learned any more about that, but it shows that WMF was unhappy with Holyoke.  
  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #87 - May 15th, 2024 at 9:09pm
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The 1891 Holyoke City Directory reports that WMF had removed to Memphis, TN.  I think means he bought train tickets to Memphis in late 1890 and the chap who prepared the Directory learned of it, or that this was an accommodation or shipping address only. The Farrows may have stayed in Memphis for a few days, but I don’t think they lived there.

In Nov., 1890, WMF wrote to A.C. Gould, editor of Shooting and Fishing, that the Farrow Arms Co. was incorporated in TN, and that he had a brick factory building in Mason, TN.  

Was the Farrow Arms Company ever incorporated in TN? Could someone familiar with TN records please tell us?
  
Chamberlain’s article reproduced a Farrow Arms Company letterhead giving Mason, TN as an address, implying that WMF was a captain of industry, but my guess is that Mason (pop. then about 260, 70 % Negro, principal crop was cotton) sent Abbie into orbit.  Her principal interests were her children (Emily, age 15; Louise, age 13; and WMF, Jr., age 8), their educations; good educations for all 3 kids, and music for Abbie and especially for Louise.  If Abbie’s complaints weren’t enough, there was Jerusha, a casehardened Yankee woman from downeast Maine who had sons, step-sons, and sons-in law in the Union forces, some of whom never came home and others who came home crippled.  

I venture a guess that WMF’s home life was not much fun.  And WMF’s family was always the most important part of his life. A change was coming.

Some of Farrow’s surviving letters refer to a factory, but I think it was all sales hype.  

While on Farrow letters, I’ll suggest something else.  WMF never won any awards for penmanship and I think it gets worse with stress.  If some of his letters are quite legible, did Abbie write them?

I don’t think any Farrow rifles were produced in TN.

WMF’s next shop was in Morgantown, West Virginia.  I think he moved his family there in September, 1891 (just in time for school) and stayed until 1896 or 1897.  Morgantown had everything that Abbie wanted; clean air, water power instead of coal, decent schools (at least for those who could pay for them), and a recognized music program.  Farrow operated in Morgantown for about 6 years.  I think all the Fourth Model (long action) Farrows were made there.
« Last Edit: May 16th, 2024 at 2:40am by waterman »  
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Re: Question about W. Milton Farrow
Reply #88 - May 15th, 2024 at 10:48pm
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I've been interested in Farrow's rifles for many years.

This is a very interesting thread with a lot of great information.

I'm finishing up a Farrow I'm building using the castings of Rodney Storie.

Barrel is a Shilen, 22 Long Rifle 27 inches long.

Stock wood is Black Walnut my dad and I harvested in the 1960's off our farm in Iowa.

Still some work to be done.

- checker the forearm.
- blue the barrel and butt plate.
- complete the finishing of the butt stock and finish the forearm.
- The base for the rear sight is cast into the upper tang.  There was not enough metal there to work with the rear sight I wanted to use (MVA) so I had to have it built up and mill and shape it to work.   That needs to be cleaned up.

I hope to have it finished later this summer.

I'll be writing an article for the Journal about this project when it is finished.



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« Last Edit: May 15th, 2024 at 11:00pm by Bobduck »  
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