Eisenwerke Gaggenau - Miscellaneous
Eisenwerke Gaggenau 'MF' pistol article (Jimmie Dee)
Eisenwerke Gaggenau - research on early models
This is Professor John Griffiths' (author of the Encyclopedia of Spring Air Pistols) theory on the early EG models, in answer to a question fro Matt:
Your question about the missing EG air rifles No’s 2-7 is a good one and is a huge challenge.I have scoured my early catalogue lists... and there just is not an EG catalogue or flyer that predates the one that we are all familiar with tentatively dated to about 1895. One will exist somewhere I am sure, but it could be a long wait before it turns up.[Incidentally, my own belief is that the “1895” Eisenwerke catalogue actually dates to a little bit later, ca. 1902. I base this on the fact that it includes the “Victoria” pistol, and the EG Victoria range of airguns were not introduced until about then.John Atkins is of the same opinion, as detailed in his Jan. 1993 Airgunner article.]
The lack of very early EG catalogues raises the interesting question, how do people know that the EG No. 1 air rifle is the No. 1?The only authentic source of this information that I could find is, weirdly, a pellet tin lid (see Airgunner Aug 2010)...
This confirms the identity of the No 1, and also shows that the push-lever lock (AKA the Columbia) is the No 2, and a Gem-type rifle is the No 3.So three down, and five to go.
Then my research looked for more indirect evidence for EG rifles No’s 4-8.One possibility is a precisely dated Georg Knaak catalogue of season 1891-1892.This catalogue seems to specialise onlyin EG airguns, even though it does not make the EG attribution anywhere. No airguns are in the catalogue that can be attributed to any other maker. Based on the illustrations, it includes the EG No 2 air rifle,(the push-lever lock), the MF, PP, TB pistols and the EG No 3 push- barrel pistol.
Interestingly the print blocks appear to have been provided by EG, as they are identical to those that appear in the EG catalogue. This was a common practice, as printing blocks were expensive to produce. Some of the blocks still contain the original EG model numbers, even though these do not tally with the official Knaak catalogue numbers. So the illustration of the push-lever lock rifle has the depiction “No. 2” in large letters under it, and a crank-wound rifle virtually identical to mine has “No. 5” under it in the same font. So I think we can safely say that the EG No 5 is the illustrated kurbelspanner. This leaves the EG No’s 4, 6,7 and 8 to be identified.
The next bit of indirect evidence I was able to find came from a Swedish Georg Bastman catalogue, undated unfortunately, but estimated to be pre-1895. This has a section also seeming to specialise in EG airguns, where it pictures the TB pistol along with the MF and PP pistols.Again no mention of EG is made, but in the same section is pictured a group of four air rifles, the first of which is the identifiable EG No 2 push-lever lock rifle. It seems reasonable therefore to assume that all four rifles in the group are EG products. The second air rifle pictured is a typical Gem, presumably the EG No. 3, the third gun interestingly is a direct pull air rifle, almost certainly an EG as it is essentially an analogue of the TB pistol. The final gun in the series is a bugelspanner,so if this is also an EG product then it is the first indication I have seen that EG made one of these.It is reasonable to assume that these last two guns are from the remaining unknown No’s 4, 6,7 and 8.
This leaves two more to be found.
Finally, some information comes from a 1890 Wilhelm Peting catalogue, which lists a wide range of airguns and Flobert rifles, and all the airguns seem to be from EG (it illustrates the MF, PP, TB and No 3 push barrel pistols) but as usual no specific manufacturer’s name is mentioned.One group of air rifles, underneath an illustration of the EG No 2 air rifle, has catalogue numbers 284, 284 a and 284b.Their descriptions are as follows:
No 284“A popular garden gun, as illustrated above”.(The EG no. 2)
No 284a“Cocked with a crank, for shooting booths etc.”(Presumably the EG No 5)
No 285b“Airgun, breech-loader, Mauser action, cocked by pulling back the bolt.This one is popular with children as it looks like a real military Mauser rifle.”
This last one is unusual and is probably one of the two remaining EG air rifles still to be identified. I have never come across the suggestion that EG ever made a bolt-action air rifle for children.
So in summary, seven of the eight EG air rifles may now have been identified, althoughmodel numbers can only be allocated to specific guns in the case of No’s 1,2,3 and 5.An eighth model has yet to be found.
He adds this pictorial table and says:
The line drawings have been taken from ca. 1890 catalogues (with the exception of the Model 1, which is the original patent drawing, as I had no other source), and the pictures have been largely extracted from the Gallery.
Longtime vintage airgun collector and author Larry Hannusch adds this:
JohnG, I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to peruse through your library of obscure airgun catalogs to help establish for us an accurate record of the many different EG air rifles and their approximate dating. I’d like to offer a couple more data points to your list for further clarity.
1) “Handbuch das Schiess-Sport” by Friedrich Brandels…dated 1881. Besides the EG #1 reference and illustration on that early rare pellet tin, Brandel in 1881 illustrates the EG #1 air rifle in his Figure 10 of the EG #1, and further identifies it in his text with the exact name as the Model No 1. Incidentally, Brandel also mentions in his text the #2 (push lever lock) and #3 (Gem). This, along with his text and illustration of the MF air pistol, apparently gives us a solid date for the existence of these three EG air rifles.
2) Tower and Lyon (New York) 1885 advertisement. Illustrates the EG #2 rifle sold Stateside as the Columbia, and lists several other (presumed EG) airguns.
Not wanting to stir the pot (well okay…maybe just a little), but how do we fit these two unusual EG air rifles into the mix? Both are mentioned in the 1885 Tower & Lyon ad with the titles “Columbia Special” and the “Expert” lever action (certainly some conjecture on this model, as it could conceivably be an unknown EG hebelspanner type, but the relatively low cost mentioned would seem to preclude that possibility).