“A three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been.”
I’ve reblogged this before and I will reblog it again.
This is so great
The First Lever Actions —-The Volcanic Pistol and Rifle
In 1854 Horace Smith, Daniel B. Wesson, Cortland Palmer, and Oliver Winchester formed a partnership which would be named the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company. Their flagship gun design was a type of lever action repeating pistol and rifle that required the working of a lever near the trigger guard to load a cartridge. The new firearms used a new type of bullet called the rocket ball. The rocket ball was a conical shaped bullet that had a hollow cavity running through it. The cavity was filled with gunpowder and capped off with a percussion cap, making it a predecessor of the self contained cartridge. The advantages of the rocket ball was that it was waterproof, could be used in a repeating firearm, and because of its short length many could be loaded in a magazine.
Both the rifle and the pistol came in two calibers, .31 and .41 Both were fed from a tubular magazine, with the pistol holding 6-10 rounds depending on model, and the rifle hold 25-30 rounds depending on model.
Unfortunately the Volcanic firearms did not see commercial success because they were impractical. While the design was revolutionary, the fault lied with it ammunition. The main problem with the rocket ball was that the small cavity could not hold much gunpowder, and the cartridge was very underpowered. Misfires were common, and occasionally multiple cartridges were known to discharge simultaneously.
The Volcanic Repeating Arms Company was dissolved, and its founders went their own ways. Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson decided to create new revolver designs that used the new rimfire cartridge. They would form a new company called Smith and Wesson. Oliver Winchester would take the lever action design, hire Benjamin Tyler Henry to improve it, and create a new rifle that also used the new rimfire cartridge called the Henry Repeating Rifle. He used his share of ownership in Volcanic Arms to form a company called New Haven Arms, which would later be renamed the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.