"The Gun That Speaks for Itself"

 
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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
   by Dr. Drew Hause

 

What happened to W.H. Baker?

The Baker evolution is complicated and started with the W.H. Baker Company in Lisle, NY (1875-1877), then the W.H. Baker & Co. in Syracuse, which was financed by L.C. Smith and his brother Leroy (1877-1880). Baker and Leroy Smith went to Ithaca, N.Y. and established the Ithaca Gun Company. in 1883. 
 
Baker left Ithaca early 1887 and returned to Syracuse to work with his brother Dr. Ellis Baker at the Syracuse Forging Co., which soon became the Syracuse Forging & Gun Co. They manufactured a hammer gun which was called the "New Baker." When the factory in Syracuse burned, they moved to Batavia and became the Baker Gun & Forging Co. in 1889.  At the time of the move W.H. Baker was ill with TB and/or silicosis and they brought in Frank A. Hollenbeck as plant superintendent 1890-1892. W.H. died Sept. 10, 1889. Frank Hollenbeck had three patents granted while he was in Batavia, and two were assigned to the Baker Gun & Forging. Four different guns owed part of their designs to Frank A. Hollenbeck – Baker, Syracuse Arms Co., Baltimore Arms Co. and the Hollenbeck Gun Co. Frank had earlier worked with Baker in Lisle, NY, and later with Baker and L.C. Smith in Syracuse.
 

 
References

The Double Gun Journal

     Volume 3, No. 3, page 62; The guns of the Baker Brothers by Daryl Hallquist
     Volume 3, No. 4, page 139; The guns of the Baker Brothers, Part II,
           by W.M Furnish and D.D. Hallquist
     Volume 9, No.2, page 63; The guns of the Baker Brothers, Part III,
           by W.M. Furnish and D.D. Hallquist
     Volume 14, No. 4, page 45; The Baker aspect of my Ithaca reality by James T. Tyson

The American Rifleman, June 1968, Page 54, by Kenneth H. Shanks

The Baker Gunner” 1909 reprint is available from Cornell Publications.


Additional information

Baker Collectors