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American Firearms and Their Makers: A Research Guide


Sackett & Wilhelms Litho. & Prt. Co. Du Pont smokeless shotgun powder - the standard of the world. c.1913. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

During the Civil War, Charles Parker was a stockholder and the superintendent of Parker, Snow, Brooks and Company, which was under Union contract to produce 10,000 repeating rifles and 15,000 Springfield rifles. By 1869, Charles Parker had become the sole owner of the company, then called the Meriden Manufacturing Company. The estimated 700 shotguns it produced were marked “Made by the Meriden Man’f Co. for Charles Parker." Meanwhile, in 1868 Charles and his sons Wilbur, Charles, and Dexter had started The Parker Brothers Gun Company, which continued as an independent company until 1934 when it was purchased by the Remington Arms Company. It was phased out of business by 1942. Between 1867 and 1942 Parker produced 242,000 guns at various price points, most of which were shotguns. Often the choice of celebrities and competition shooter, Parker guns are considered the finest and most collectible American shotguns.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to online resources are included when available.