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  #1  
Old 02-28-2016, 04:17 PM
JKM1942 JKM1942 is offline
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Default Antique engraving question

I have a Merwin-Hulbert pocket revolver that has the following inscription engraved on the its curved backstrap: "To J. J. Hill Scenic 1893 From SPD". The engraving is in cursive style. I believe this was engraved using a machine because repeated letters are identical and the engraving is the same width and depth over its entirety. The engraving font size is very close to the above quote.

My question is: Did the technology exist in 1893 to machine engrave cursive text over a curved cast steel surface ?

FYI James J. Hill founded the Great Northern Railroad. Scenic Washington was the site of driving of the last spike in 1893, thus completing the trans-continental railroad.

Thanks - John
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2016, 06:51 AM
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JJ Roberts JJ Roberts is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

John,Can you put up pictures of the gun? it would help. J.J.
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2016, 09:19 PM
JKM1942 JKM1942 is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

Thanks for responding. I don't know if my camera can focus close enough to do this, but I'll try.

John
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2016, 01:45 AM
chujybear chujybear is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKM1942 View Post
Thanks for responding. I don't know if my camera can focus close enough to do this, but I'll try.

John
Put it on the macro setting will focus close enough for sure (if it's a point and shoot). Set for two second timer. Use tripod if you've got it. But should work handheld w any camera out of tge last ten tears or so.
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2016, 03:06 PM
JKM1942 JKM1942 is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

I hope these pictures are usable; they're at the limit of my camera's close-up capability.
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2016, 10:09 PM
JKM1942 JKM1942 is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

I really need some help with this.

Thanks - John
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2016, 10:42 PM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

John, It looks like diamond drag done with a pantograph or maybe spinning D bit in the same type of pantograph. Yes, it will go over a slight curved surface and were around back then. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantograph
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2016, 09:58 PM
JKM1942 JKM1942 is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

Steve - Thanks for the help. Your input is a big step forward in determining that the piece could be a legitimate presentation item.

John
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2018, 04:37 PM
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KMPaulson KMPaulson is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

A quick search yielded this: http://americanhistory.si.edu/collec...ct/nmah_998164
Apparently patented in 1870, so it's possible that they worked out something that would do the sort of engraving you have there. It surprised me that the technology existed. Never mind making the machine pretty.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2018, 11:08 PM
Joe PAonessa Joe PAonessa is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

Funny you should bring up the Spencer Engraving Machine. I was recently given one to see if I can make it work. It has some missing pieces, but it doesn't look like it should be too difficult to bring back to life.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2018, 09:39 PM
Bill DeShivs Bill DeShivs is offline
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Default Re: Antique engraving question

While pantograph engravers were around back then, they were VERY rare. Hand engravers were very common and would have been much more likely to have been used to engrave a presentation firearm. The font appears to be a standard New Hermes pantograph font. New Hermes machines were not around back then.
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