The Vault

Biography: Andrew Burgess

by Robert White

With 894 patents, Andrew Burgess is one of the most prolific firearm inventors the world has ever known (second only to John Browning in number of firearms patents issued to an American), and a man of varied talents beyond firearms design.

Burgess was born January 16, 1837 in Dresden, NY to John [...]

Biography: James Paris Lee

James Paris Lee

James Paris Lee was a firearms designer whose inventions had a far greater historical significance than even most firearms enthusiasts realize. Where Lee is recognized at all, it is generally for the rifles that bear his name – the Remington-Lee, the 1895 Lee Navy, the Lee-Metford, and (of course) the Lee-Enfield. [...]

Biography: Arthur W. Savage

Arthur W. Savage (probably circa 1890)

The Savage Arms Company is known today for its bolt-action rifles (which offer a particularly good value for the money; I am very fond of my own Model 10), but the company got its start and because a major firm with the success of two other guns. These [...]

Biography: William John Whiting

Today is a continuation of an occasion series on the life stories of notable gun designers. I find it interesting to learn more about the men whose inventiveness and industriousness are responsible for the guns we enjoy owning and shooting today. Some of these men lived long and happy lives, and some died young and [...]

Biography: Christopher Miner Spencer

“[A] quiet little Yankee who sold himself in relentless slavery to his idea for six weary years until it was perfect” – John Hay, secretary to Abraham Lincoln

Christopher Miner Spencer (photo from A Revolution in Arms)

Christopher Spencer was born on a farm in Manchester, Connecticut on June 20th, 1833, the son of [...]