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Blog Post Featured Image

Tatham's American Standard Shot Sample Case

Whilst we often associate the sporting gun with the British sportsmen and the great shooting that this country has to offer, it is always worth remembering that the sport of shooting is a truly worldwide affair.

American Standard 1874 (3 of 4)

The USA was and still is one of the largest markets in the world for shooting and hunting related products.  At one time meat on the table was often through the efficient use of a favoured gun or rifle and the 'market gunners' of old kept a very healthy and expanding population fed with what many saw as an endless supply of game birds and animals.

Obviously where there was the need for shotguns and punt guns to take quarry so there was the need for powder and shot to take them.  It is therefore nice to see vintage items like the one illustrated here turn up from this now bygone era.

American Standard 1874 (2 of 4)

Clearly a salesman travelling companion this very neat case outside inscribed 'Tathams American Standard' is a wonderful fold over case that contains inside 20 samples of American shot sizes ranging from the very finest 'Dust' to 'FF'.  The quality of workmanship in the whole piece is superb and once again it goes to show the detail that companies once went into with everything they made.  The shot itself is perfectly round and was obviously made from a 'drop' tower so that the lead shot formed perfectly.

American Standard 1874 (4 of 4)

On the edge of the case you can clearly read Patented June 19 1874 which dates the whole thing very nicely. Tatham Brothers was a lead pipe, sheet lead and shot supplier based in 82 Beekman Street, New York.  In existence from the 1840's they appear to have patented many improvements in both the manufacture of shot, bullets and other projectiles, and were heavily involved in supplying the Union Army during the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865.  It would appear that the manufacture of lead shot with the company ceased prior to 1907 when their own 'shot tower' was demolished.  The rest as they say is history.


Drop Shot005


  • Vance Daigle on March 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Good Day Trigger,

    Thank you for sharing this Blog with us today. I really neat story!! As I have never seen such an item, and guessing I will never see another. A great pebble for my pouch!!! Thank you again for taking your time to share such stories with us!! Be well

    In Christ

  • Neill on March 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Fascinating stuff! In the great days of Victorian exploration some collectors used dust shot to bring down high flying butterflies in the tropics. I've no idea what bore/gauge was used though, I'd guess .410?

    • Trigger on March 24, 2017 at 2:58 am

      Hi Neill

      They used 32 gauge and .360 to collect small birds like humming birds. Not sure about butterflies as they seem too fragile to shoot even with dust shot!

      Best regards


      • Neill on March 24, 2017 at 9:09 am

        Cheers Trigger, I appreciate your reply. This is what I love about The Explora, the chance to learn.

        I agree about butterflies fragility, I was surprised when a I read it myself, but there is more than one source so I'm inclined to believe it happened, though goodness knows how much damage was done to the specimen!

        How does 32 gauge compare to .410 please?

      • Chris Buckingham on March 26, 2017 at 4:45 am

        Trigger, we must remember that the butterflies they were collecting were Ornithoptera species with a wingspan of up to 10", the reason they used a gun to bring them down was that they tend to fly very high up in the treetops, way out of reach of any net.

  • Neil McVeigh on March 24, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Trigger is everybody in WR a magpie?Fantastic to see so many different things that are not guns but very much gun-related!Keep it coming please.

  • Peter Buckley. on March 24, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Dear Trigger

    Great item from the Westley hoard, wonderful condition, ammunition collectors will be drooling over this artefact.
    The quality of this salesman's companion as you say is superb.

    Every time we purchase another vintage gun we use it as an excuse to find all the accoutrements we can to go with it, and very broadly speaking this item falls within that excuse!
    Great post, just love to find and buy excuses.

    Regards. Peter.

  • David Hodo on March 24, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    As always, something new and interesting from W. R. Have never seen nor heard of such just as Vance had posted!
    Thanks Trigger

    David Hodo

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