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Thread: Frank Clarke – airgun genius. The conundrum of one of his last inventions.

  1. #31
    micky2 is offline The collector formerly known as micky
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    l wonder if he put it was a safty device in any of his addverts for the pistol, or in the literature in any of the boxes.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccdjg View Post



    Does anyone have any thoughts as to why Frank Clarke never capitalised on his invention, given the great number of push barrel pistols around at the time that could have benefited from it?
    You're making the assumption that this was the creation of Clarke. Just as likely would be that this was the invention of somebody else who manufactured them and sold them completely independent of Clarke. As I have already mentioned, this "safety" breech plug is of a completely different manufacturing than the original. Which strongly suggests that it was not produced in the same factory as the original. I think you have what we would today call an "aftermarket accessory."

  3. #33
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    If it was an after-market accessory I would think you would find it on other push barrel pistols, not just the Briton. Also note that a similar retractable pin can be found on the 1876 patent for the American made Cross air pistol.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DT Fletcher View Post
    You're making the assumption that this was the creation of Clarke. Just as likely would be that this was the invention of somebody else who manufactured them and sold them completely independent of Clarke. As I have already mentioned, this "safety" breech plug is of a completely different manufacturing than the original. Which strongly suggests that it was not produced in the same factory as the original. I think you have what we would today call an "aftermarket accessory."
    With the advantage of being able to make a close comparison of the two types of pin I am pretty confident that both came from Frank Clarke’s workshop (same thread, same knurling and same dimensions of the knob). At the the time of FC’s Briton (1925-30) , the only other push-barrel pistols on the market were the Lincoln Jeffries Scout and the German Dolla pistols, all of which had different breech screw threads, so the likelihood that the retractable pin was an aftermarket accessory manufactured and sold independently of Clarke is extremely low. Also we have to remember that (at best) only five examples are known, all specific to the Briton.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck25
    If it was an after-market accessory I would think you would find it on other push barrel pistols, not just the Briton. Also note that a similar retractable pin can be found on the 1876 patent for the American made Cross air pistol.
    It is an interesting point about the Cross patent, and I have long wondered if Clarke might have been inspired by this. However, on balance I think that it is extremely unlikely. The Cross patent was confined to the USA only, was granted some 50 years before the Briton appeared, and was never actually commercialised so in those pre-internet days it is improbable that Clarke would have ever been aware of the Cross patent. In any event, in the Cross patent the plunger is just described as a loading aid and makes no suggestion that it might also serve as a safety device.

  5. #35
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    Just like to express my appreciation to the original poster and all who have contributed to this extremely interesting and informative thread. The chances of coming to any meaningful conclusion regarding the probable reasons and origins of such an obscure and innovative device such as this would be almost impossible without contributions from the wide knowledge base we are lucky enough to have access to via this forum.

    Thanks.
    Brian

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