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History of William H. Baker

History of William H. Baker


1835 Born on December 25 in Upstate New York, in either Chenango or Otsego County.
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1859 Listed as a gunsmith in Greene, NY.

1860 Moved to Marathon, NY. Married about this time. He was making percussion rifles, telescopes and pistols.

1863 Received US patent #40,809 for a fire arm lock that was unique for having the mainspring mounted on the hammer.

1867 Moved to Lisle, NY. Began making shotguns in addition to rifles.

1875 Received US patent 167,293 for a breech loading 3 barrel gun. By this time he was making only breech loading guns.

1877 Formed the firm W. H. Baker & Co. with finacial input from L. C. Smith and moved to Syracuse, NY. Using patent 199,773 these guns were marketed,after 1880, as "L. C. Smith Maker The Baker Gun Syracuse N. Y." This double gun was produced until 1882 or 1883 when it was replaced by the L. C. Smith Co. gun designed by Alexander Brown. The three barrel gun was continued into the later 1880s.

1883 Baker, along with Dwight McIntyre and Jon Vanatta formed what was to become the Ithaca Gun Co in Ithaca, NY. Within a short time they were joined by L. H. Smith in Ithaca. The partnership last until early 1887 when W. H. Baker and his wife deeded their interest in the Falls Creek gun company to McIntyre, VanNatta, L. H. Smith, and George Livermore. 

1887 W. H. Baker moves back to Syracuse NY to join with his brother Dr. Ellis L. Baker, who had founded the Syracuse Forging Co. to manufacture wagon wheels and other forgings. The name of the firm was changed to the Syracuse Forging & Gun Co. and began to manufacture guns designed by A. C. McFarland. A fire in 1888 terminated the production in Syracuse.

1889 The Bakers move their operation to Batavia, NY. The Guns produced at this time were marked "The New Baker, Syracuse Forging and Gun Co., Batavia, NY". W. H. Baker is incapacited and Frank Hollenbeck of Syracuse is brought in as supervisor of the Batavia gun operation. W. H. Baker dies of tuberculosis on October, 10, 1889.

1890 The name of the company is changed to the Baker Gun and Forging Company. It remained in operation until 1919, when the gunmaking portion of Baker Gun and Forging Co. was sole to H. D. Folsom, who moved the manufacturing to Norwich, Connecticut.  .

 Portions of t
he above information is from H.J. Swinney's "The New York State Firearms Trade".