Bethlehem Steel 37mm Cannon – Looking for Data

I recently got an email from a young man named Paul who is working on restoring a Bethlehem Steel 37mm cannon as an Eagle Scout project. The gun is sitting outside an American Legion post, where I expect it has been for many, many decades. It appears to be mostly complete with the major exception of the wheels, which have disappeared one way or another.

Paul and the cannon
Paul and the cannon

Paul wrote to ask me if I have any dimensions on the wheels – which unfortunately I do not. I did a video on one of these guns a little while back, but I managed to misplace the owner’s contact information. If anyone has access to one of these guns or dimensional data on them and would be willing to help out with this project, please let me know and I will but you in touch with Paul.

Thanks!

20 Comments

    • Thank you Mr. Kymm,
      Good idea, I will have to weld and repair the shield, but could certainly provide measurements for the video cannon owner to replicate it.
      Hopefull Mr McCollum and the owner will re-connect.
      thank you!
      sincerely,
      paul

    • Thank you mr.Tom,

      I have found some other pictures on the web of restored cannon to also help me. I was guessing the wheels were 36 ” but that site says 42″
      They may need to be custom built. I have found some websites selling 36 ” wagon/CW cannon wheels, but will need to expand my search to see if there are any 42s out there! The site and pictures Also will help with the paint colors.
      thank you again.

      Sincerely,

      Paul

  1. Quick googling found me these links:

    http://www.historicreproductions.com/restore8.htm
    http://www.landships.net/index.spark?aBID=63528&p=3&topicID=58993710

    and here:
    http://pages14-18.mesdiscussions.net/pages1418/Pages-d-Histoire-Artillerie/Artillerie/37mm-bethlehem-usa-sujet_842_1.htm which leads to here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Artillery-Including-Anti-Aircraft-Materiel/dp/1112215859 that from the above French, appears to have some information on the Bethlehem 37mm

    I hope this helps.

    • Thank you for your encouragement and kind words Mr. Beekley.
      I will keep ypu and all the good folks posting here at Forgotten weapons.com, apprised of my progress.
      sincerely,
      Paul

    • there were reserve/civil defense units in the new england area that used these for coast defense. they were “activated” veterans groups from WW1 and before, and purchased these cannons out of pocket for parades and practice.

      the national guard issued them some ammo,a gas ration card, and one unit even used a pair of farmall tractors to get around.

  2. Do you have the model number? You might be able to find a copy of the appropriate manual online, or, if not contact the US Army Heritage and Education Center, they have all of that filed away. And if they won’t deal with him, they might deal with me, since I have three magic letters after my name.

    • Thank you Mr. Hendrickson,
      As near as I can tell it is called a Bethlehem 37MM gun, Model 1. 1916/1917.
      I will try to contact the USArmy Heritage center as you suggest.
      I am also trying to track down the history of how it arrived in our town and ultimately in front of the AL hall.
      apparently it was in several other places around town over the course of the last 50 years.

      Thanks again,
      Sincerely,
      Paul

  3. Hello all at Forgotten Weapons,
    Thanks to everyone who has graciously sent information, links and photos on the Bethlehem 37 mm cannon that I am restoring for my Eagle Project.
    To coordinate all the info and keep everyone abreast of my progress, I have created a website at http://cannonrestoration.weebly.com/
    Please visit and bookmark it and return often as I begin this exciting project.
    Thank you all again,

    Sincerely,
    Paul Martin IV
    BSA T 164 Eagle candidate

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