JLaughl - you inquiry asks about the “Austin Powder Company,” but your sample package bears the name Austin Cartridge Company. I am not sure which phase of their business you are most interested in, so here is a capsule history from the beginning. I have no idea if the current Austin company referenced on this thread is related or not.
Austin Cartridge Company had its roots in 1832, and did evidently start out as a powder company. There were five brothers named Austin - Daniel H., Alvin, Lorenzo B., Henry M. and Linus. They were originally from Vermont but set out to go west to build a powder factory.
They started a powder mill on the Little Cuyahoga River near today’s Akron, Ohio, the community having the name “Old Forge” at that time. The settled there because it was close to water transport and wagon routes, and there was already a coal industry there, a major user of explosives.
The firm grew, and in 1867, acquired the Cleveland Powder Company who operated a mill at Cleveland. Both locations were used until 1871 when all of the powder production was moved to Newburgh Township (Cleveland outskirts). In 1867, because of growth, they placed a stock issue on the market. Now incorporated, Daniel was the President and Linus was the Secretary. The three other brothers were officers and stockholders.
Daniel died in 1874, and the Presidency went to Linus. During his time as President, a shift in mining occurred from the east to the south (in the Kentucky and West Virginia areas) as well as an increase in demand for sporting powder.
The first venture into cartridges was in 1880 with a large investment in, and the sale of a magazine and keg factory to the Chamberlin Cartridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio. This made Austin the sole powder supplier to Chamberlin. The Austin family era ended when Linus died in 1887.
R. T. Coleman became President and began an extensive investment program, which included the purchase of many shares in various powder companies, as well as in Chamberlin Cartridge Company and the Standard Cartridge Company of New Jersey. This program was completed by late 1889.
In 1892, due to the growth of the city of Cleveland, Austin Powder Company purchased a 1,000 acre tract of land in Glenwillow, Ohio. The Newburgh facility continued to operate until 1907, however, when it was closed permanently. With the Glenwillow location came a new phase of business, the Austin Cartridge Company, a factory built for the production of shotgun shells. It was started in 1895. Originally, cases were purchased and loaded by Austin. Due to problems in expansion of the blasting powder facilities, labor troubles in the coal mining industry and a decline in the sale of black powder, the Austin Powder Company sold its interest in the Austin Cartridge Company to F.W. Olin’s Western Cartridge Company of East Alton, Illinois, in October 1907.
The short span of the actual Austin Cartridge Company has made its products sought after by collectors today.
Reference: “Advance Flash Bang” by George G. Kass, ARMS GAZETTE Magazine, October 1976 Issue, Pages 32 - 34.
Old IAA Forum thread October 30, 2002
Old IAA Forum thread, August 13, 2002