Originally featured in Points West magazine in Summer 2015
Thomas K. Bacon pocket model revolver
Thomas K. Bacon was associated with many companies throughout his life. He initially worked with arms maker Ethan Allen (unrelated to the Allen of Revolutionary War-era fame), but in the late 1840s, he formed Bacon & Company. In 1857, he stopped production to work for the Manhattan Firearms Company. He left a year later to form Bacon Manufacturing Company.
In the 1860s, he produced an array of handguns, including this removable trigger guard Pocket Model revolver. This .32 short rimfire caliber, six-shot revolver was unique because the trigger guard unscrewed and served as a lock for the center pins. Only about three hundred were made because of a lawsuit with Smith & Wesson regarding infringement on the Rollin White Patent.
In 1863, shortly after that lawsuit, Bacon’s shareholder Charles Converse forced him out of the company. The company lasted until 1868, when, due to poor sales, the rest of the shareholders formed Hopkins & Allen. During that time, Bacon created the Bacon Arms Company, but that did not last either.
Despite Bacon’s apparent difficulty working with colleagues, he made many impressive and collectible firearms throughout his career.
Bacon Pocket Model revolver, ca. 1860s. Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection. 1988.8.3223
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