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Thread: 1804 airgun advertisement

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    1804 airgun advertisement

    Been reading the old newspapers again and came across this bit, in the back of the paper where the ads are, of course. It's in Kaiserlich privilegirter Reichs-Anzeiger, Monday, April 30, 1804, page 8 https://api.digitale-sammlungen.de/i...canvas/p8/view

    Don't really have the time at the moment to translate it, getting these fraktur texts transcribed is just too time consuming but if somebody else transcribes it I will, but... in any case, it's an advert by August Stormer -büchsenmacher- Herzburg, Germany (Mentioned in Hoff, can't find anything else at the moment) and he's advertising both air rifles and pistols. He gives the effective range, 100 feet, and other performance info, and prices! Pretty clearly he is advertising a Girandoni type, which is what Hoff also mentions.

    This is the earliest advertisement for selling any sort of Windbüchsen that I can recall.
    Last edited by DT Fletcher; 22-03-2019 at 05:43 PM. Reason: new link

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    Unframed Dave is offline I have a fondness for cheesey balls
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    Link comes up with a blank page for me.

    Dave
    Goddamit, I love the ignore feature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unframed Dave View Post
    Link comes up with a blank page for me.

    Dave
    fixed https://api.digitale-sammlungen.de/i...canvas/p8/view

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    That is a great find, and makes me wonder what the earliest known airgun advert was before your discovery?

    I had a quick go at translating the first part of the text and came up with this:

    Air pistol, air rifles and walking stick guns

    Concerning the unanswered question in R.A. No.55 1803 about air pistols I can give the following information.
    I manufacture not only air pistols but also air rifles and walking stick guns . The air pistols are 20 inches long and shoot with a minimum of 50 and maximum of 100 pump strokes. With a full flask one can fire eight shots in one minute because the loading takes only a second. The bullets weigh half a loth (16 grams) . Each pair of pistols comes with two flasks, a pump and a bullet mould. There is also a proper instruction for use of same. The price is 10 to 16 Lber.


    What particularly intrigues me is the reference to “walking stick guns” rather than “walking stick air guns”, so does he mean black powder walking stick firearms or air canes ? On further reading I was pretty sure though that his products are air canes as in the last section he seems to say (as far as I can make out) “The piston (pump?) for the flask (air chamber?) is carried in the case”.

    As you have noted on the AVG forum (https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/amer...ade-t8562.html) English air canes were surprisingly around as early as 1803, and so it seems also was the case in Germany. The fact that Stormer does not make a great play about the novelty of his air canes suggests that such things were quite well known at the time, so I wonder when they were first introduced? Intriguing stuff!

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    Dean, thank you for a remarkable discovery.

    John, I think Störmer says that the pistols are used at a range of 50 paces [schritte = steps] with the "lower sight", and with the upper sight at 100. For the rifles, I read it as 4 shots at 300 paces then the remaining shots [of 20 - 24 from a full flask] at 200 down to 100 paces, all capable of penetrating a 1 inch thick board. He also notes a convenient barrel insert for darts is furnished with each rifle.

    The air-canes are four feet total length, with the flask to be carried in a case/pouch and the barrel portion looking like a normal cane carried in the hand, with covers on bottom and top. Makes ya think of the Wastl "cane gun" [Smith, p.46] which is a typical Austrian action with removable barrel having a knob to appear as a cane.

    Very interesting is the money-back warranty if the guns don't perform as claimed!

    Don R.
    Last edited by draitzer; 23-03-2019 at 07:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by draitzer View Post
    Dean, thank you for a remarkable discovery.

    John, I think Störmer says that the pistols are used at a range of 50 paces [schritte = steps] with the "lower sight", and with the upper sight at 100. For the rifles, I read it as 4 shots at 300 paces then the remaining shots [of 20 - 24 from a full flask] at 200 down to 100 paces, all capable of penetrating a 1 inch thick board. He also notes a convenient barrel insert for darts is furnished with each rifle.

    The air-canes are four feet total length, with the flask to be carried in a case/pouch and the barrel portion looking like a normal cane carried in the hand, with covers on bottom and top. Makes ya think of the Wastl "cane gun" [Smith, p.46] which is a typical Austrian action with removable barrel having a knob to appear as a cane.

    Very interesting is the money-back warranty if the guns don't perform as claimed!

    Don R.

    Many thanks for putting me straight on that Don - it makes much more sense now, translating Schritte as "steps" or "paces" rather than "strokes". I couldn't make any sense of the bit about the "four bullets" and the performance of the rifles using my interpretation of Schritte but now all is clear. Funny how one word can completley throw you.
    Incidentally, do you know what "Bagel" means when he he states what the canes shoot?

    Your expertise in old German puts my high school German to shame!¬

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    John, I see the word as "Nagel" [literally nails] which must mean darts...also mentioned for the insert barrel on rifles.

    Die alte deutsche schrift is mighty hard on the eyes, and capital letters can be hard to discriminate. For some of the more arcane terminology, I'm fortunate to have in hand a 'German-English Technical and Engineering Dictionary' published in 1966 and liberated from a former employer years ago. Sometimes it reveals technical usage of an expression that doesn't fit with literal translation.

    Don R.
    Last edited by draitzer; 24-03-2019 at 02:11 AM.

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    I've read a heap of German stuff over the years and nothing else comes close to this that I can recall... in terms of an actual advertisement.

    From the date, I would not be in the least surprised if a Stormer airgun looks very much to be made of English parts. Most all of the repeaters that we can actually date to that era are made with the standard English parts (Baler/Currie.) In 1804, England was still doing a great deal of business in Germany. It wasn't until 1806, sitting victorious in Berlin, that Napoleon declared his Continental System banning all English manufactured goods.

    Hopefully a Stormer can be found. No matter what, it should be interesting.

    Dates of airguns. If memory serves, the oldest known airgun is circa 1760, in the Kremlin; a present to Empress Elizabeth, and it is an air cane.

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