Eley's Wire Patent Cartridge Drawing?


Hello everyone,
I have been searching the internet for a patent drawing, namely for Eley’s Wire Patent cartridge.

I did manage to find the drawing for the similar Berney Spiral Cartridge, but have failed to locate Eley’s Wire Cartridge patent drawing…

Might someone have this drawing located deep in their archives?

Thank you,



Are you looking for a drawing (or picture) of the actual wire case, or the drawing of the physical patent that Eley took out.



Rim Pin,

Dont think Eley actualy had a patent on this - they had bought the patent from J. Jenour.
His patent was No.5570 of 1827.

Complete info with all the pics you need can be found in Gary Mukel’s excellecent book on these.
"Early Shotgun Concentrators and Spreaders"
Gary is of course an IAA member.

Jim Buchanan


Mike - Yes, I was looking for the physical patent drawing that Eley Brothers took out (if any?)
Jim - Thank you for the information. I was unaware that J. Jenour was the inventor…

I guess the question I have now, is, if anyone has J. Jenour’s physical patent drawing for his wire cartridge? Does Gary’s book include this?




Jim is of course right :) (hmm how do you post smilies on this forum, anybody?) Yes Eley bought it from the French as Jim stated, I was not sure of the exact date, would need to look it up.
Getting annoyed with myself now as I have the documents but can’t find them sorry, when (if) I do I will scan and post them on here.



Rim Pin,

Yes there is a pic in Gary’s book,
Also the complete patent is shown large size on two pages of Bill Hardings book on Eley Cartridges where a whole chapter is devoted to Eley,s development of these.
Eley continued to develop the Jenour patent until brought to perfection in 1837. there were four types designated by different colours.

These were still listed in three types up to the last Eley catalog dated 1919.

Jim Buchanan


Thanks Jim, at least I don’t need to go looking for them now.



Very good, Mike and Jim.
I will search in the directions Jim had mentioned.

Thanks to the both of you!



Dave, here is a drawing of the No. 5570 patent wire cartridge mentioned above by Jim:

And here is another drawing of an earlier Jenour wire cartridge made using moulded copper sheets. It was tested in 1825, but not patented.




Fede, that is more than awesome! Thank you VERY MUCH! It is amazing how you find this information!

Best Regards,



A bit more info on the history of the wire cartridge.

A number of sources indicate that the wire cartridge was a French invention. I do not believe this to be the case. The original patentee for the wire cartridge was Joshua Jenour. Mr. Jenour had been born in Fleet Street, London in 1755 and was the son of the elder Joshua Jenour. The elder Mr. Jenour was an owner and manager of the Daily Advertiser, which has been described as the first modern newspaper. The younger Mr. Jenour succeeded his father as the paper’s printer until the Daily Advertiser ceased publication in the 1790’s. The patent for the so-called “wire cartridge” was issued by the English Patent Office on November 28, 1827 to Joshua Jenour under Patent No. 5570. The Eley Brothers (Charles and William) purchased the patent rights in the spring or early summer of 1828.
Early attempts by the Eley Brothers to market the Wire Shot Cartridge proved unsuccessful; primarily due to the cartridge’s reputation for “balling.” The term balling referred to failure of the wire cartridge to disperse its shot and instead fly down range as a single projectile. In approximately 1836 William Eley introduced the “Improved” Shot Cartridge which became very successful. Eley’s Improved Patent Wire Cartridge was widely used by sportsmen right up to the time of the adoption of the modern breach loading cartridge.

Jim Buchanan


Jim, thank you for the brief history! I truly appreciate it! The history is what makes cartridge collecting so interesting!

Best Regards,


There is another aspect to the story of the patent of the wire cartridge.

Hall and Frederick Joyce of London, England, disputed the ownership of the so-called “patented wire cartridge” by Eley and proceeded to market their own improved wire cartridges, stating that “the wire cartridge was based on the principles of Robert George Jenour, the real patentee who still possessed the patent when he died.” Joyce stated that the patent expired. Certainly Eley disputed this but I have seen no records of a court case to settle the argument, but there may be some.

This appeared with the Joyce Wire Cartridge advertising. The Joyce wire cartridge seem to have been short lived, few examples have survived as compared to the Eley wire cartridges which continued production for more than eighty years.

It is interesting to note that the first year’s failure of the Eley wire cartridge due to balling was solved when bone meal was used within the shot load. Perhaps I have licked my fingers too often in handling or repairing broken Eley wire cartridges but the filler sure tastes very salty and appears to be a very fine sand. I hope the lead oxide has not affected my thoughts. Even today the filler seems to change occasionally for new shot shell loads.The latest is a semi-solid still with the purpose to hold shot together for some distance and break apart with good pattern. Amazing to me that almost two hundred years later shot shell makers are still in the discovery mode with new design of shot cups and the filler within the shot.



Another piece of the story from Jim Buchanan.



A few pictures of Eley and Joyce wire cartridges and a full packet (which is not much to look at really)

Some of the points to note is that Eley gave the “Range” on the side whereas Joyce put it on the top., otherwise it would be hard to tell the difference between them (with the name taken away of course).

I have seen Eley wire cartridges from 1 1/2" punt down to .410" and in just about every bore size in between. I thought that they ended production at the coming together of all the firms and the forming ETL in 1918. Jim has just come back to me with the last catalogue listing he has, is in 1920 so I think we can say for certain (fingers crossed) that production had ceased by 1921.



Mike, very nice pictures, thank you very much for sharing.

I can extend the last listing of these cartridges just a little bit more, as they are also listed in the ETL August, 1920 price list. They are not included in the Nobel price list of February, 1921, however.




[quote=“Fede”]Mike, very nice pictures, thank you very much for sharing.

I can extend the last listing of these cartridges just a little bit more, as they are also listed in the ETL August, 1920 price list. They are not included in the Nobel price list of February, 1921, however.




You are dead right and my apologises, that was me typing the wrong dates in my posting Jim gave me the correct information, I will correct it now.

I wonder if they had already stopped and were actually only getting rid of old stock? just a thought.



Just to add, a long Joyce version with a handwritten “34” on the bottom



Thank you Jim, Mike, Fede & Pete for the nice high res photos and outstanding information!

What beautiful cartridges too! And the amazing thing about the full packet of Eley’s cartridges, is The fact the sticker is still intact!

And with Joyce & Company now thrown into the mix, the whole “Wire Cartridge” concept has quite the history behind it!

Thank you everyone!



A Joyce with Improved on it, I don’t think I had picked up on that before, thanks for the pictures Pete.

Also to note, perhaps somebody can confirm or refute, the wire cartridge to the right in my picture of three states for Breech Loading. So I assume that they were just pushed into the open end of a powder and wad charged case, you can see from the side view that the over shot card is of a much smaller diameter than the rest of them and is about constant in size through out. Where as the other all have a considerably larger diameter card than the physical load.

Although I have not been collecting very long I have picked up a few a cases with a wire cartridge inside, most seem to be stuck into the case, some are free! I can’t see any other way they could be used? A loose load over the top of the powder and wad charge I can’t see as giving very good ballistics, there is only the wad in the tube to give any restriction to ignition, or am I missing something here?

Any thoughts on this?