Иваново музей

The Russia Connection (Konstantin)

I have been searching for several, several months to find any evidence of a Russia connection, as three bits of "hearsay" evidence  below will show.

Last year, I made contact with Fede on the International Ammunition Association, and he provided an awesome historical photo of the Argentina Ordnance Records.

The first occurrence that piqued my interest showed up in author Terry White's book American Manufacturers of Combustible Ammunition, per excerpt below.

American Manufacturers of Combustible Ammunition - p.36 reference to Russia

American Manufacturers of Combustible Ammunition - p 36 reference to Russia

Here is the second time I came across a reference to Russia.  I found this first several months back at newspapers.com, but I had other hot mini-projects going on with my website.  This example below was that same newspaper article from The Sun Magazine, June 7, 1970 by John Dorsey, attached to a nomination form for Mount Vernon Place Historic District on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES INVENTORY.   

The Sun Magazine, June 7, 1970 by John Dorsey - Mount Vernon Place Historic District (attached to NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES INVENTORY - NOMINATION FORM)

Here is my third reference to Merrill and Russia, with Ian at Forgotten Weapons talking about a Jenks-Merrill firearm and at 1:14 Ian talks about Merrill traveling to the St. Petersburg Sestroretsk Arsenal to hone his gunsmithing skills.

Ian with Forgotten Weapons

Here is the only evidence I've been able to find about Merrill's physical appearance, as there are just no photos.  When I get to Baltimore and hit all those great museum and library archives, I'm confident I'll find some.  

This passport from 1855, courtesy of ancestry.com, coincides with the St. Petersburg Archives site section and an 1856 date, detailed further below.

Consent and courtesy of ancestry.com

Now for the evidence I've found, and hope with perseverence will be able to collect many more supporting documents.  This first example came from my first and only contact in Russia, Konstantin - near Moscow in Ivanovo.  He is an antique firearms researcher, found my website and sent me an email and photos of a carbine that he thought might be related to Merrill.  Not until a few days later did I find the connection - to the unmarked/prototype full stock rifle photos provided by another great connection here in the states.  Has the same right side round cover plate and screws, as well as the lever latch.  When the Ivanovo Museum opens up, he should be able to provide plenty more photos of that carbine, and crossing my fingers he can capture markings on the stock and/or parts.  

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Иваново музей

My second bit of evidence, also from Konstantin, comes from the website St. Petersburg Archives.  A screen shot of the page in Russian is below, then a second screen shot with translations by Google (so nice indeed).  I fired off an email to the reading room/archives administrator chitzal.cgia@ak.gov.spb.ru, converted to Russian, asking if I could have someone be my researcher, or if I could pay a staff member/archivist to provide photocopies of the case/folder contents.  More to come...  

St  Petersburg Archives 1
St  Petersburg Archives 2

Lastly, for now, Konstantin sent me a magazine "Weapons" published in Russia(n), and believe it's a November 2013 edition.   The pdf is password protected, and all the pages are photos, so no way to translate.  Author is Aleksey Nikolaevich Klishin, and per Konstantin's translation for me, the author is a member of the Ministry of Culture of Russia.  I sent an email to the general inquiries email listed at culture.gov.ru, and received a reply that I had to fill out a form in person.  Bummer.  So, I searched for any sites on the worldwide web that might have a membership that might know Aleksey - Russiadefence.net.  Hope to make contact with him, so I can work with him for the tranlation.  If anyone is fluent in Russian, please let me know.  Again, more to come I hope...          

Weapons Nov 2013
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