Cogswell & Harrison 12-bore boxlock ejector SxS sporting gun circa 1912, serial number 45650; blacked action and furniture, checkered 14 1/4" straight-hand stock with checkered buttplate and matching snap-on splinter forend, recut checkering, strengthening pin to head, steel barrels choked L24 R10, 2 1/2 inch chambers.
overall L46" barrel L30"
***Subject to State & Federal Firearms Laws***
Other Notes: Benjamin Cogswell and Edward Harrison were both involved in gunmaking before forming their partnership in 1863, when the firm was renamed Cogswell & Harrison. In 1874 Edgar Harrison joined the firm and in 1883 it moved to 226 Strand. In 1884 they acquired a small 'factory' and the Blagdon Shooting Ground.
In 1887 the firm had a factory in Harrow including a test range, where they offered live pigeon and starling shooting, on which substantial betting took place.
In 1888 the firm patented a boxlock ejector (Nos. 11550 and 18157) called the 'Avant Tout'. this was further modified by patent No. 13591 of 1889.
On 15 June 1893 Horatio F. Phillips patented a lightweight shotgun which fired a 12-bore cartridge into a barrel that was reduced to 20-bore dimensions in the first third of its length. He named this the 'Vena Contracta'.
In 1894 the Harrow factory burned down and manufacturing moved to Victoria. In 1897 the firm became a limited liability company and moved to 141 New Bond Street and in 1901 a shop was opened in Paris. Then, in 1911, a joint venture was entered into with the Schultze Co to establish Cogschultze Ammunition & Powder Company Ltd.
In 1918 the shop at 141 New Bond Street was closed and a new shop opened at 168 Piccadilly, but business was slow and remained so for two or three years. In 1919 a depot was opened in Exeter at 94 Queen Street.
Tragically, in a repeat of history, in 1922 the factory in Gillingham Street burned down and all the stock, machinery, guns in for repair and some of the records were lost. This was a major blow at a difficult time. Very few guns were sold in the second half of the 1920s and in 1928, due to lack of business, the Strand shop was sold, and the company operated only from Piccadilly. In 1931 the shop in Paris closed.
By 1932 the situation was dire, Edgar Harrison put the company into voluntary liquidation and a new company was formed. In 1933, having lost the skilled staff in Feltham, Edgar opened a factory in Birmingham but this closed soon after.
For the duration of WW2 the company was involved in gun repairs and spares, and making Sten gun parts. Business was poor after WW2 and in around 1958, Interarmco (UK) bought a controlling interest in the company and opened a new factory at Cannon Works, Acton.
By 1963 the company was not doing well and John Peskett, Ted Holden and others bought the name, goodwill and retail business of Cogswell & Harrison back from Interarmco but in 1982 the company ceased trading and Farlows of Pall Mall bought the name, goodwill and records, which were licensed to J. Roberts & Son from 1984 to 1989 but then reverted to Farlows.
In 1993 Cogswell & Harrison (Gunmakers) Ltd was formed by the new owners. Professor Mike Cooley owns the company and Alan Crewe (ex Purdey) is Director of Gunmaking.