Can anyone tell me about this company? Dates and what they made is what I would like if anyone can help me please . I can find very little about this Civil War era manufacture.
All I have found is a line from a Scientific America pdf file stating " In the same year [ 1861 ] B.C.English , of Hartford Conn. obtained a patent for metalic bushing applied to the indian rubber cartridge case of G.Smith.- an improvement for breach loading rifles. " I suspect they made these and the smaller .36 rubber cartridges . [ pure speculation ]
Theres also a couple of images on line of Poultney patent Maynard .50 - 100 cartridge packets with a Springfeild Mass address. This is a change of address.

changing the topic , Why are they called .50 - !00 when they are .50 - 50 size.? There are .50 - 100 thin rim m1865;s but the case length is close on twice the length .

In the old Buttweiller catalog of auctions, we can read that this company build 43 Egyptian Remington ammunition ( Rolled case patent Rodman Crispin).A big number of theses ammo’s was bought by French Government during the Prussian-French War in 1870-71 …
Bsrg, Dan

The 50-100 means 50 hundredths of an inch bullet diameter, At that time the powder charge was not needed to be listed.
Yes they made a 50 and a 36 rubber.

You have to be careful buying then, especially the 50 because a lot were modern fakes mostly made in Akron Ohio at a big rubber Co in the US factory.

The originals are now very hard so if when you pick one up & the rubber is soft, it’s a fake.


Thanks Dan I didn’t know they came with this case type .

Thanks Pete that designation makes sense when you put it like that .
and also thanks for putting the name of the repo makers company.

It not really the company name Akron (city) Ohio (state) has a big tire manufacturing company located in it. & I’ve been out of the area (2000 mikes away) for 20+ years and can’t remember the company name Someone who worked there made the fakes. And probably over 40 years ago, but the fakes are likely still out there.
Forget at times everyone does not live in the USA & this forum doesn’t state your location like the old one did, so you knew to whom you were talking.

Roper, you may want to check Round Ball to Rimfire, Part Two by Dean Thomas. There is no section devoted to B. C. English but there are a number of references to them in original correspondence that might be of interest to you.

Here’s a list of all the rubber companies that have been there

Thanks but I don’t own that book either but it seems to be an exeallent reference book from whot i’ve seen on line

Thanks Aaron, I can now see why Pete thought I should know the city

Thanks Aaron
Too companies making tires I was thinking Goodyear but wasn’t sure so …

Thanks, Pete, I was wondering about some of the older cartridge designations, but never got around to asking…

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).




Nice Fede
re the .50-70 Those I’ve seen have a tinned iron base disc, This was a English feature so I attribute it to British manufacture. The 43 Egyptian I have both with and without (just blackened) a tinned iron base disc.

1 Like