POTD: This May Hurt to Eat – Scarce Bacon Navy Model Revolver
Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! The story of Thomas Bacon is a lesser-known one and an even less investigated one. From my quick research, I found that he had connections with Ethan Allen of Allen & Thurber pepperbox pistols. He got his start as a machinist in the 1800s and eventually started his own manufacturing company that made cheap single-shot, percussion pistols and later pepperboxes. Eventually, this 1st company went out of business due to lack of funds. Bacon was not deterred though! After working for the Manhattan Arms Company he started a 2nd company making pocket revolvers like the one above until he was sued by Smith & Wesson over Rollin White’s patent of the bored through cylinder. Thomas Bacon was not a man to be dissuaded though. He started a 3rd company producing revolvers that were intended for police or military use, but when the civil war hit there was a surge of cheap guns being made and his name became drowned out in the noise. He passed away in 1873 as a small echo in firearms history.
“This revolver is a First Type, manufactured in the early 1860s with about 400 produced. The cylinder must be removed for loading by withdrawing the jointed/hinged lever under the barrel which acts both a center pin and ejector rod. The frame has a broad scroll engraving. The top barrel flat is marked “BACON MFG CO NORWICH CONN”. Fitted with smooth two piece grips.
-Rock Island Auction Company”
Lot 296: Two Antique American Revolvers [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #49, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/49/296/two-antique-american-revolvers