Chamberlin cartridges

I have 2 boxes of 10 gauge shells. The box says “Chamberlin”… “loaded by Atlantic cartridge company” or something similar.
what are they?

Chamberlin was credited with developing the first machine, for mass producing loaded paper shotshells, in 1883. Chamberlin shotshells were made in Cleveland, so I can’t say for sure what the reference to ‘Atlantic’ is. I have also seen some nice reproduction Chamberlin boxes. You may have something of significant value. Someone with more experience should be along shortly.

George, if you can post pictures we can learn more about these boxes. This company published several catalogs.

This is a picture of one of the boxes George is referring to, which he attached to some emails he sent me. From the pictures, I think these are original and as I understand him, they are FULL.

Wow! An awesome box, full to boot! I wonder where I saw the reference to ‘Cleveland’ and Chamberlin? Were they ever made in Cleveland?

Late in 1886 the company adress changed to 76 Superior St., Cleveland, Ohio and name to “Chamberlin Cartridge Company”.

Is it possible that Chamberlin manufactured the empty casings and Atlantic loaded them? Similar things happened wherein new empties from Winchester, UMC, etc. were sold to custom loaders throughout the country who loaded them with whatever shot sizes and weights that were popular on the local market.

Dennis, the September 1st, 1886 price list says: “The success accomplished by the Chamberlin Cartridge Co. in the introduction of their goods, and the rapidly increasing demand of this style of ammunition [which means ‘fixed’ ammunition ammunition for breech-loading shotguns], has led to the organization of The Atlantic Ammunition Co., (limited) for the manufacture of Chamberlin Cartridges, under the patents of F. L. Chamberlin…”.

The 1886-7 catalog (5th edition) says: “The paper shells used by the Chamberlin Cartridge Co., are those manufactured by the Union Metallic Cartridge Co., Winchester Repeating Arms Co., and United States Cartridge Co.”

In researching these boxes for George I went thru a lot of material that I have and online. A synopsis of work done by people like Dick Iverson, Karl Bruemmer, Windy Klinect, Jon Farrar and the old Shotshell Historical & Collectors Society is as follows.

The Atlantic Ammunition Co was formed in New York City about 1884 by J. Palmer O’Neil to manufacture shotshells with Chamberlin equipment and materials, at the urging of Frank Chamberlin who started the Chamberlin Cartridge & Target Co in Cleveland about the same time. However Atlantic appears to have never used hulls from Chamberlin but from others, as stated by Fede. Since headstamps were often those of others, Atlantic depended upon the top wads and box labels to identify themselves. Several variations of A.A.CO.L’T’D have been identified on the top wads. Box labels seem to cash in on the popularity of the Chamberlin machines. Chamberlin and O’Neil are credited with creating the 25 ct boxes for loaded shotshells. Prior to their adventure most shells were sold as NPE and a 100 ct box, the most common, was not that heavy but that many loaded shells tended to break the boxes apart so they created the Quarter-Box. Atlantic has one patent awarded to John W. Brittin for a crimping tool but no registered trademarks.

Chamberlin Cartridge and Target Company produced loaded shells too, of course, with their own boxes and eventually both companies were gobbled up by the larger companies. There are references to the possibility that the larger companies, who were supplying the components, cut off their supplies to put the smaller companies out of business. Some accounts list O’Neil and Chamberlin as partners in CC&TC and don’t even mention the Atlantic Ammunition Co in NY. There are accounts of O’Neil and Chamberlin being hunting buddies and going into business together, which is probably true but it is undeniable that two companies did exist, about the same time, making the same thing under different names.

As far as I can tell Atlantic Ammunition Co. L’TD boxes are very rare, especially full and I think George has 2. He’s a member of our organization and is looking for help with evaluating these items. His interest is not in these shells but more into big bore stuff like 8 gauge shells. I’m sure he would welcome all the help he can get.

(Change with additional info)