Sunday, August 11, 2013

"they need not go far to do their shooting, and may have occasion to do it at a very short notice"


Wealthy Men Who Have a Big Stock of
Guns on Hand in Gun Storage Rooms.

   In a dingy little workshop near University place two men were busy one day last week cleaning the barrel of a shotgun. They were hearty looking Scots and worked slowly, stopping at short intervals to take a particularly long pull at their black briarwood pipes and to eye their work critically. Piled up on the shelves around the room and against the wall were many leather gun cases, with tags bearing the names of their owners attached to them. As 1 stood watching the two men I read some of these names and was surprised to see such prominent ones as James Gordon Bennett, William K. Vanderbilt and many others that I have since forgotten.

   "All here for repairs?" I inquired.

   "Oh, no," replied one of the bonny Scots, shutting his lips tightly immediately afterward, as if to prevent any secrets from escaping.

   "What are they here for, then?" I persisted.

   "On storage," said the second Scotchman. "We take fine guns on storage, keep them in good repair and send them to the owners when they get ready for them."

   It is the only place of the kind in New York and probably in the country. Even in Europe it is a question whether such a thing exists. The wealthy gentlemen and nobles who have large country estates on the continent and in England have, so to speak, their private arsenals and armorers. Here they keep their firearms, certain plate for that they will be preserved and ready for use at any time. They can well afford to do this, as they need not go far to do their shooting, and may have occasion to do it at a very short notice.

   In this country, however, where large estates stocked with game are unknown and a shooting trip takes time and preparation, such private arsenals are not needed. Even the wealthiest and most extravagant do not find it necessary to employ private armorers, and most sportsmen take delight in cleaning and putting away their own guns. Some though, who have great demands upon their time either because of social or business cares, cannot afford or do not care to bother with the work, and it is for them that this gun storage business was begun by the two Scotch brothers.

   As they are first class workmen and very independent, only the wealthy sportsmen can afford to deal with them. They have conducted this business for many years, and in that time have been associated with all the prominent New Yorkers of sporting proclivities and have learned a great many of their characteristics. The trust reposed in them is very great, as the guns are all valuable and are sometimes left for years. Such is the case, for instance, with some of the firearms belonging to James Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of The Herald. The dueling pistols which this gentleman intended to use in his famous encounter with Fred May have lain in their leather case on a shelf in the storage room on University place for several years.--New York Mail and Express.

[Wichita Eagle, Wichita, Kansas, Wednesday Morning, December 07, 1887. Vol. VIII. No. 17. Pg. 3]

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