Can anyone give me a basic overview/history of Henry P. White & Burton D. Munhall?


#1

I know they made many books, had a laboratory in Cleveland.

Here is a little history from the company/lab that still exists: http://www.hpwhite.com/about-hp-white/history/

But I want to know a little more about their collection. Was it personally funded? was there any government backing? And kind of nice overview of how and why their reference collection came to be.


#2

The current lab didn’t break its back in outlining White’s background. He was a Packard on his mother’s side, but he was also a White (as in White automobiles and trucks) on the paternal. I have read some little snippet somewhere or the other that suggested it began as a personal interest, privately funded. I think that initially at least the subject interested him and he had the resources to pursue the topic. Jack


#3

There is an article on the H. P. White company in American Rifleman, November 1948, p. 21-24.
But it does not really describe the origins you are looking for.
The article’s story starts with a steel company out of its depth with penetration testing and H.P. White supplying the know-how to train its employees in using a scientific approach.


#4

Don’t know about government funding for a collection, but they did have a government contract for testing firearms and ammunition. When MBA was pushing the Army to fund development of the Model 137 .49-caliber Gyrojet pistol, it was tested by the laboratory under a continuing government (U.S.) contract. The first test revealed serious flaws and MBA was given time to correct those, which they did but only in part. The second tests showed some improvement, but not nearly enough.

Henry Packard White and Burton D. Munhall published Volume I, Centerfire Metric Pistol and Revolver Cartridges of “Cartridge Identification” in 1948. White was given credit for the drawings. Volume II, covering American and British pistol and revolver cartridges, was published in 1950.


#5

Just today I got a stack of old Guns & Ammo mags. December 1959 has “The Unknown is Their Business: The H.P. White Laboratory is a Gun Nut’s Dream”.


#6

Back in the 60s they published their Cartridge Headstamp Guide. There was at least one update, a copy of which I still have at home. All headstamps were drawn, probably by hand.
In it’s day it was a really valuable resource for collectors. I identified my .50 Chinese Jingal through their illustration.


#7

Here is a scan of the front of a H.P. White Labs. brochure about their lab and work which was situated several miles east of Bell Air, Maryland. An old cartridge collector by the name of " Charlie Yust" (now long gone) and I became close friends when I was at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in the late '60s. Charlie worked for H.P. White when they were in Cleveland, Ohio.
When H.P. White Labs moved to Bel Air in late '40s /early 50s Charlie remained in Hudson, Ohio. Some where in my pile of papers I may have some more information. If found I’ll post.
Jalley


#8

OOPS! forgot scan. I’ll as soon as I figure out how to do it.
jalley


#9

You can email it to me at AaronKSU@gmail.com and I can upload it for you if you would like.


#10

I thought HP White Labs was in Maryland, and has been for quite a long time. About 20+ years ago the lab began selling their paperwork and collection. Bill Woodin bought quite a bit of it including their collection of seperate bullets, because he thought the DWM duplex bullet illustrated in one of their books (as I recall) would be in the collection. It wasn’t there, and there was nothing else Bill wanted so he passed a portion of the collection on to me.

The Lab also had racks filled with files they had put together over the years, and I was told there were quite a few old cartridge catalogs in them. The boxes were being auctioned so I bought one that I thought likely to contain a number of cartridge catalogs. It has some very interesting old gun info, but the only cartridge info was an old Xerox copy of an early German catalog. I knew an ex-Agency guy who had a lot of dealings with the Lab and asked him about the files. he laughed and told me not to waste my time on the files looking for cartridge catalogs. Over the years he had gone through them all-with the Labs permission and pulled out the cartridge information and sent it to Herb Woodend, which explains the stamps on many of Herb’s catalogs. I still have the White Labs box in my storeroom.

Still, a large amount of things were sold off/given away. I understand none of the collection, or at least the old collection, remains. As far as I know it was all owned by the Lab, at least they disposed of it as if it was owned by the Lab, and none of it was government owned. Various government agencies apparently hired the Lab to do quite a bit of work for them.

I know some of the earlier generation of collectors knew the people in the Lab and visited it. I never had an opportunity to actually go to the Lab so l what I know is basically second hand.

Cheers,
Lew


#11

If anyone wants a scan of Guns & Ammo mag’s December 1959 article “The Unknown is Their Business: The H.P. White Laboratory is a Gun Nut’s Dream”, send me an email address.


#12

I had the feeling a lot of the collection was donated, by police, friends or ?

Their original collection numbering over 15,000 rnds was acquired by Paul Van Hee & sold out of the back of ta u-haul by Paul at one of the Chicagoland shows. John Scott priced items for the buyers who were given chip baskets to shop with. The cabinets Karl B. of Ohio has in his home.

Woodin Labs has the complete collection’s card file.

I have a xerox copy of the list of numbers , John sold me some years back and duplicates of some of the cards and sheets from the C. Yust files / collection.

They also had matchboxes numbered to the collection where if they had a duplicate it was sectioned & the bits put in the match box.

If they had a box label it was also coded to the round and mounted on a 11"x8.5" card so it could be filed.


#13

That’s interesting. I have a handful of matchboxes with bullets in them, had no idea where they came from. I think I ended up with them via John Scott or Paul Callow. Now I know!


#14

Here is the brochure from @jalley


#15

To add a little to their address. Attached a scan of their revision of their Headstamp Guide, with a change of address noted.
Original guide was dated 1963, this revision 1977.

Cartridge Headstamp Guide Revision 1.pdf (485.8 KB)


#16

Aaron, The earliest copy of what became H.P White’s “Cartridge Head Stamp Guide” that I have is titled “Catalog of Cartridge Manufactures and Base Markings” by B.D. Munuall and H.P. White. Revised Edition, Copyright 1944. H. P. White, Cleveland, Ohio. 196 one sides pages, soft cover. I believe it and their Ctg.HS Guide data were the basis for the Ordnance Corps publication ORDI 7-110 " -Identification Guide- Cartridge Headstamps of the World", dated March 1960. The Ordnance Technical Intelligence Agency was still at Arlington Hall Station in Arlington, Virginia.
From my recollection, Charlie Yust indicated that H.P. White Co. move to the Maryland to be closer to government work and for better and longer range facilities. When they moved to Md. Charlie got a lot of their duplicate ammunition.JALLEY


#17

Here is this publication (which can be downloaded) if anyone is interested in it: https://www.smallarmsreview.com/archive/detail.arc.entry.cfm?arcid=2953


#18

Jalley, I understand White Labs actually authorized OTIA to reprint their Headstamp Guide as as an ORDI. That is the story I heard long ago. I have not compared this ORDI (which I think I have a copy of somewhere) with my copy of the Headstamp Guide which has a date of 1963.

Cheers,
Lew


#19

I can add that the original name, when located in Cleveland, Ohio, was “H. P. White Co.”. It changed its name to “Laboratory” when it moved to Bel Air, Maryland on January 1953.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Henry Packard White was the grandson of Henry Windsor White, who was the brother of Thomas Howard White. Both were founders of the White Motor Co.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Motor_Company


#20

Very interesting history. Thanks to all who helped piece it together!