A Model 1816 Harpers Ferry Flintlock Lamp?!?

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Some of you may get a chuckle, shed a tear, or both regarding this musket I rescued from an antique shop years ago. Someone with some blacksmithing skills had formed a set of wrought iron legs and collar, forged a crude replacement ramrod, and drilled a hole in the barrel to wire for a lamp. When I got it there was no lamp fixture, but there was still early 1900's cloth covered electrical cord hanging in the barrel. At the time this conversion was done, old muskets like these could probably be picked up for 5 bucks from Bannerman's. Apparently the "artist" was more concerned with creating the lamp than the original integrity of the musket, as the frizzen was partially broken off where it interfered with the placement of the legs, and some other parts were missing. I did remove the legs, put in an original mainspring so hammer and trigger function, and found a middle barrel band with sling swivel. For a couple years I displayed in the gun rack with my few other antique firearms. She looked good there as you cannot see the hole in the barrel unless looking directly from above. But I also felt bad everytime I saw those lonely handmade legs sitting in the closet. I finally decided to set her back up as a lamp since that is what had likely been for most of her existence, but the most authentic flintlock lamp I could make. Found an 1816 bayonet for cheap at a flea market, and mounted a swing arm mica shaded lamp at the top of the barrell. Have not been able to find an original frizzen or loose 1826 ramrod to date. The flintlock lamp is displayed near and lights my other antique firearms in the collection room.

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Sundance

Private
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Better in your house than 6 feet under. I like your collection of swords. Is that a CW jacket in the glass fronted case? I'd love to have a piece of Civil War clothing. I spent several years in western Mass. - beautiful country.
 

Sundance

Private
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Another thing - I would routinely drive between South Hadley and Longmeadow and probably passed within several miles of the Ames complex, not having a clue it was there. Of course it was in the late 70's and Civil War collecting was a long way off for me. (I really miss Atkins Fruit Farm - are you familiar with them - if they are still there).
 

James Brenner

Corporal
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Location
North Canton, Ohio
This is very interesting ... and timely. A friend of mine has a M1868 .50-70 trapdoor that has undergone a similar conversion. There is a 3/8" threaded hole drilled into the receiver just forward of the breech block on the same side as the lock plate. That is the only modification and we weren't sure how the lamp was intended to work. But this may be the design. It never dawned on us that the lamp socket was built into the bayonet. That would explain why the muzzle remains untouched.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Unfortunately not an uncommon fate for these beautiful ladies. The plus side is that they are often available for a fraction of the cost and can be partsed out or even, in some cases restored. I have an acquintance that picked up a lamp made from three .50-70 trapdoors for $100. He did rather well on the deal by partsing them out.
 

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Better in your house than 6 feet under. I like your collection of swords. Is that a CW jacket in the glass fronted case? I'd love to have a piece of Civil War clothing. I spent several years in western Mass. - beautiful country.
Jacket you can glimpse in the case is a circa 1850 Massachusetts Militia coat which I am rather sure would not have made it to the Civil War, unfortunately. And as to the question in the other post, yes, now called Atkins Farm Country Market, they remain popular
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
At least it not a Enfield :D

I love Enfields, best gun of the CW and fun to collect in my book, this would be a terrible fate for a good condition P1853, but...

I'd rather see this done to an Enfield than a flintlock M1816.

On a side note I once saw an awesome condition Lorenz for sale that had had this same conversion sacrilegious disgrace happen to it, and thus ruining it. I know it was quite popular to do with Trapdoors in the 50's, and seen several butchered this way, but to see it done to a flint M1816 is heartbreaking to see for me.
 

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Sacrilege!
My initial thought exactly, which is why I rescued her and tried to make her as fully functional as possible, displaying her in a gun rack with the other guns for a couple years. But some other acquaintances ( not military relic minded) pointed out that with the damage already being done, I was ignoring the folk art aspect of those wrought iron legs and her long repurposed life. Perhaps she would not have survived otherwise. So I've tried to display in a way that respects both points of view. Would still like to find a frizzen and a loose ramrod, though.
 

Tony Z

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Location
DuBois, PA
Given when it was probably done, the components might have been fairly easy to get hold of. I would view the purchase as a “rescue”.

To put those pieces together like that today, is akin to criminal.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
My initial thought exactly, which is why I rescued her and tried to make her as fully functional as possible, displaying her in a gun rack with the other guns for a couple years. But some other acquaintances ( not military relic minded) pointed out that with the damage already being done, I was ignoring the folk art aspect of those wrought iron legs and her long repurposed life. Perhaps she would not have survived otherwise. So I've tried to display in a way that respects both points of view. Would still like to find a frizzen and a loose ramrod, though.
Also take a look at Gunderson militaria and Lodgewood. Can't hurt.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
That hole drilled through the top of the barrel makes this unservicable, and so I guess this makes this a DEWAT, a "deactivated war trophy!"
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
I would want to put it back whole again but that is just me. How many bayonets have you seen that were turned into "candle holder trophys"?
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I've seen a dozen of more of these made from trapdoor springfields, a couple with the breechblock open to accept the electric cord, but most with a hole drilled through the barrel! All of these had the butt cut off flat, so a base could be fastened into the flat wood. At least the guy who made this project shaped those legs / feet and looks like the butt is not cut short.
 
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