Some years ago I worked on a revised history of this company based on the one previously written by George Kass (see IAA 371 p. 37). These are the most relevant updates:
His full name was Benajah Crawford English. Born in April 1834 at Woodstock, Vermont and died on November 14, 1871 at Springfield, Massachusetts.
Between 1855 and 1862 worked for Sharps’ Rifle Mfg. Co., Hartford, Conn. During 1857 he is listed as a “rifle maker”.
In 1863 established a catridge factory at Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was active in this line of business until 1865 -last listed in the 1866 directory-, when he ceased manufacturing cartridges and started with small hardware, light machinery and different patented items.
After he died, his wife continued operating his business until 1873, when it was sold to Horace W. Bullock & Orvis W. Bullock.
Here is list of cartridges manufactured by this company:
Under Smith’s 1857/58 Patent:
- .36 or .38 Smith
- .50 Smith
Under English’s 1861 Patent:
- .36 or .38 Smith (rubber case with bushed vent made of brass or copper)
Under Rodman & Crispin’s1863 Patent (assigned to Poultney):
- .35-30 Maynard
- .50-50 Maynard
- .50 Gallager
- .50 Smith
- .54 Burnside (w/o paper)
There are also .43 Egyptian Remington cartridges with coiled case attributed to this company because they were found in B. C. English packets; however, these are of Eley manufacture and can be found in Eley packets as well. They were meant for France during the Franco-Prussian War (July 19, 1870 to May 10, 1871) to be used in Remington’s Egyptian and Greek models (deviated contracts).
Another hint regarding the manufacturer of these cartridges is mentioned in a letter sent to D. C. Sage on July 20, 1871 -just a few months before he died- where he indicated that he had quite a quantity of stock of “Wrapped Metal Cartridges” that were being made in England.
One can also wonder if the .50-70 cartridges having the same contruction are of Eley manufacture as well. Boxes are labeled “Wrapped Metal Cartridges. Patented Dec. 15, '63. Centre Primed. 50-100 cal.” (no manufacturer is indicated).