POTD: Gold Medal Winning Smith & Wesson 2nd Model 1891 Pistol


POTD: Gold Medal Winning Smith & Wesson 2nd Model 1891 Pistol

Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! In 1912 a man by the name of James Howard Snook represented the United States at the Olympic Games held in Stockholm, Sweden. He used this 1891 Pistol not to be confused with a revolver that has a revolving cylinder. James Howard Snook went onto win the gold for the United States. He also went onto later confess to murdering a student and mistress of his and would eventually be convicted of murder and sentenced to death by electric chair. Apparently, the jury only took 28 minutes to come to their conclusion. As Rock Island Auction Company states below a collector of this pistol had the pistol engraved “ELECTROCUTED/Feb.-28-1930”.

“This Smith & Wesson 2nd Model 1891 Single Shot Pistol was used by J.H. Snook of Columbus, Ohio, to win a gold medal in the 1912 Olympic Games held in Stockholm, Sweden. Snook was one of the foremost pistol shooters in the United States; in 1913 he was a member of the victorious U.S. pistol team at the Pan American Championship held at Camp Perry, Ohio. J.H. Snook was a professor of veterinary medicine at Ohio State University. In June 1929, Snook confessed to the murder of Theora Hix; a student at Ohio State. Snook was executed for the Hix murder on February 28, 1930. The Smith & Wesson Model 1891 single shot pistol is engraved: “J.H. SNOOK/WORLDS CHAMPION” on the left side of the frame. Between those is engraved: “ELECTROCUTED/Feb.-28-1930”. The second inscription was added by a collector who purchased the pistol from Snook’s wife shortly after the execution. “

Lot 1199: Smith & Wesson 1891 Pistol 22 LR [Photograph found in Auction Catalog #52, Rock Island Auction Company]. (n.d.). Retrieved August 19, 2021, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/52/1199/smith-wesson-1891-pistol-22-lr

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Writer | TheFirearmBlog Writer | AllOutdoor.com Instagram | sfsgunsmith Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.

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