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Revolver

The Power of Objects

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Merwin & Hulbert Pocket Army Revolver
circa 1870-1880

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Merwin & Hulbert produced revolvers for only thirty years, going out of business in 1892. Among those was this pocket army .44 Calibre revolver, which used the same ammunition as a 1873 Winchester, with its mother-of-pearl handle. The use of such weapons in Wild West shows and Hollywood movies contributed to the legend of the West, but settlers did rely on firearms in everyday life. Mormon settlers traded away guns for goods with immigrants, trappers, and Native Americans. Brigham Young warned against the practice, claiming the settlers were arming the enemy by “heating the kettle of boiling water to scald your own feet.”  The 1860s brought mass production of weapons and the popularity of the repeated firing feature. To Utah, the 1860s brought more involved conflicts with Native Americans and the arrival of the federal army, causing settlers to value firearms more as an asset than a commodity to be traded.

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