Flintlock, percussion and cartridge firearms and accouterments from 18th and 19th centuries, many for sale, with emphasis on those made in the region.
ANTIQUE GUNS RETURN TO HARMONY, SATURDAY, AUG. 10
HARMONY, Pa. – It has become a tradition for antique gun enthusiasts from across Pennsylvania and surrounding states to converge on Harmony Pa in early August for the Antique Gun Show, sponsored by the Harmony Museum. This year the date is Saturday, August 10, with the show running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Stewart Hall, which is adjacent to the Harmony Museum at 218 Mercer Street. Admission is $5 per person at the door, with proceeds benefiting museum operations. Youngsters under the age of 12 are admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult. A light lunch will be available.
More than 25 specialists will present an array of antique guns, powder horns and other related items from the 18th and 19th century. Many items are for sale, although some specialists bring items of historical significance only to display and educate the public. Visitors can bring items for experts to examine and appraise.
“Most firearms on display are examples of hunting, target or defense long arms used by the region’s settlers,” says Rick Rosenberger, museum board member who organizes the event. “The 18th and 19th-century gunsmiths in western Pennsylvania developed a distinctive rifle style that adapted architecture and decorative features from light, accurate guns first made in eastern Pennsylvania and Virginia, commonly called Pennsylvania rifles.”
These designs evolved from heavier German hunting guns called jaegers.
“These antique (pre-1899) guns have a special significance in Harmony,” notes Rosenberger. “From about 1850 until his 1897 death, Harmony resident Charles Flowers produced fine percussion hunting and target rifles in a shop two blocks from today’s Museum. It's common for the show to bring to light previously unknown Flowers rifles.”
More than 100 rifles made by Charles Flowers are known to exist, with a dozen of them in the current museum collection. Rosenberger notes the show presents an opportunity to learn more about this interesting part of western Pennsylvania history. “You’ll marvel at the craftsmanship,” he notes.