Tobin Shotguns

 

 TOBIN -- THE LITTLE-KNOWN CANADIAN COMPANY THAT MADE EXCEPTIONAL SHOTGUNS

 

Regal Grade Tobin Shotgun

 A collector who ran across the double-barreled shotgun above might think it was a high-grade American gun – a Parker or L.C. Smith -- or even a hand-made English gun. But no; this fine 100-year old double was made in Canada! It was manufactured in the early 1900s in the Woodstock, Ontario factory of the Tobin Arms Manufacturing Co. Ltd., the only company to ever make high-grade shotguns in Canada.

This article is about my collection of Tobin shotguns, about research to find out more about their manufacture in Canada, and about their eventual home in the Canadian Museum of History. It is a personal story, so it has been written in the first person, not the usual way to write about antiques!

I collect Canadian outdoor antiques such as decoys, fish models, paintings, canoe models – and Canadian shotguns. Finding antique Canadian shotguns is not easy: few were made in this country. No Canadian-made flintlock sporting guns are known to exist. (The flintlock technology was the standard for two centuries until supplanted by the percussion system in the early 1800s.) Some percussion muzzle-loading guns were made in Canada in the mid-1800s by gunsmiths on a one-by-one basis. They were mainly rifles; very few Canadian percussion shotguns are known and in 30 years of collecting, I have obtained just half a dozen.

In the last half of the 19th century, new breech-loading technology made percussion guns obsolete. For many decades, it seemed that there would be no significant Canadian manufacture of breech-loading sporting guns either. Another dry hole for Canadian collectors. Then in the early 1980s, I was excited to find out about Canadian Tobin shotguns from an article in The Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting (ref. 2). The article reproduced a catalogue of the Tobin Arms Company, Ltd. (catalogue No. 311, circa 1913), offering seven grades of high-quality, double-barreled shotguns made in an impressive new factory in Woodstock, Ontario.

Frank Major Tobin, after whom the company and the guns were named, was a Canadian who had been president of an American company, also called Tobin Arms Manufacturing, that had produced shotguns in Norwich Connecticut from 1904 to 1909. In 1909, the U.S. business apparently failed and was closed. Frank Tobin, with Canadian investors, formed a new Canadian company, a new factory was built and production was begun in Canada. The Canadian venture produced several thousand guns between its inception in 1909 and its closing in 1914.

I began to search for Tobin shotguns. They appear occasionally on the Canadian market but almost always are of the lower grades. Most are, at best, in average condition or have been altered, often re-stocked. This is not surprising, given 100 years of possible use. In 30 years of on-and-off searching, I assembled a collection of Tobin guns, the best of them in excellent original condition. The collection included examples of six of the seven grades, missing only one of the middle grades. I also obtained a good deal of information on the Canadian company. It is almost certainly the best collection of Canadian Tobin guns in existence. The two top-grade guns are the only ones that I have ever seen or heard tell of.

David J. Noreen, an American collector, has done extensive research on Tobin guns and on both the U.S. and Canadian companies (ref. 5 to 8). Much of the information in this article on Tobin’s early life and on the US manufacturing company came from Noreen’s research. His excellent publications have photographs of American Tobins, but none of Canadian guns.

The present article adds new information to Noreen’s story, illustrates Canadian Tobin guns and sheds new light on the company’s beginnings and on the reasons for its failure. It describes the collection of Tobin shotguns I assembled that are now in the Canadian Museum of History. 

THE BOLD BEGINNING AND SHORT LIFE OF THE CANADIAN TOBIN COMPANY

Frank Major Tobin was born in 1862 in Halifax, N.S. As a young man, he went to sea on a whaler, but that adventure apparently did not last long. It is not known just when he moved to the

United States but 1889 found him in Omaha, Nebraska. In the mid-1890s he was in Chicago and by the late 1890s in Connecticut. He worked for various gun companies and was usually identified as a commercial traveler or sales agent. He and his wife Anna, also born in Canada, had four children, all born in the U.S.

Tobin was an enterprising man. In 1903, a group of Norwich businessmen organized The Tobin Arms Manufacturing Company -- the American Tobin company -- with Frank Tobin as president. It was located in a renovated factory in Norwich, Connecticut. From 1904 to 1909, several thousand double-barreled shotguns of several grades were manufactured.

Frank Major Tobin, 1911
(From Rod & Gun in Canada,
April, 1911)

In 1909, the U.S. Tobin business was closed. More research would be needed to determine the circumstances of its apparent failure. The company had started late in a field that included long-established gun makers, just when the market was undergoing another major change in technology (to mechanical repeating guns).

Frank Tobin and his technology next appear in Woodstock, Ontario in 1909 in connection with the new Canadian company. It has been reasonable to assume that Tobin seized the opportunity to return to his home country and become the only Canadian factory gun-maker. But information found in the Ontario Archives (ref. 11) identified that the main driving force behind the venture was a Woodstock lawyer and businessman named Henry A. Little. This previously-unpublished information sheds new light on the beginning -- and the ending -- of the Canadian company.

In early 1909, Henry Little travelled to Norwich and bought the assets and goodwill of the U.S. Tobin company. The assets included patent rights, designs and probably some special equipment but no real estate. Other than this transaction and Frank Tobin’s involvement, there seems to have been no connection between the U.S. and Canadian companies and presumably the U.S. Company was discontinued.

We do not know how Henry Little and Frank Tobin came to be connected. Other published sources assume that Tobin was in charge of the Canadian venture and Henry Little is not mentioned. But Little was the main financer and the leader of the Canadian company at its initiation and through to its demise. He was the president from start to finish. Tobin was not mentioned in the articles of incorporation though he was later listed as vice president. Little and Tobin must have had a strong connection. When Tobin moved to Woodstock in 1909 to take up his position in the new company, he acquired a large house, called Round Hill, on the Altadore estate owned by Little (more about Little, Tobin and the Altadore estate at the end this article).

After the Little purchase, the new venture moved quickly. The Tobin Arms Manufacturing Company, Limited was incorporated as an Ontario company on Aug. 9, 1909. The company was capitalized at $100,000 -- 1,000 shares at $100 each. $100,000 was a lot of money in those days, equivalent to two or three million 2016 dollars. Frank Tobin received 250 shares “for assets transferred,” presumably the U.S. company’s assets mentioned above. The investing community was uncertain about the prospects for the business. Henry Little took 82 shares and a few others up to 16 shares, but 40 of the 62 investors took only one share each! One prominent investor with 15 shares was W.J. Taylor, a Woodstock businessman and publisher of the Woodstock Sentinel-Review and Rod and Gun in Canada. The cash invested amounted to only $19,500, insufficient to carry on the business. A mortgage on the plant raised $20,000 and a line of bank credit was established on Little’s personal guarantee.

By the end of 1909, the large, specially-built factory in Woodstock was completed. Staff, including gunsmiths and engravers, had been hired and production started on the impressive range of quality guns.

The Woodstock Factory (from Tobin Catalogue 311)

In design and quality, Canadian Tobin guns were much like those produced earlier in the U.S. The Canadian company changed the grade names and added to the selection, offering seven named and numbered grades in 12 and 16 gauges. Later, a 22 rifle was also produced.

Catalogue 311 gives a full description of the gun mechanism, features and options (single trigger, automatic ejectors, barrel chokes, etc.). Each of the grades is described with its list price.

In 1909, the company began advertising its new line of guns. Many ads appeared in Rod and Gun in Canada, the leading Canadian hunting and fishing publication of the time (ref. 12).
 

Advertisement in Rod and Gun in Canada, July, 1910

The Tobin Arms Company made shotguns in Woodstock for only about four years -- from 1909 to its closing in 1914. Something in the order of 8,000 to 10,000 guns were manufactured. The earlier five years of its U.S. operation had produced a like number of guns.

Published sources infer that the termination of Tobin production was related to the start of World War I, but that was not the reason. Information in the Tobin Arms Company file in the Ontario Archives (ref. 11) explains the winding up of the company. The business lost money each year from its beginning and the loss increased each year. In 1913, the loss was $19,000, equivalent to half a million dollars in today’s currency. The board decided the business must be wound down.

In 1914, the company finished guns from the inventory of materials and tried to sell the company as an on-going business. None of the other North American gun manufacturers was interested. Attempts to sell the factory also failed. Through 1915 to 1917, the equipment and tools were sold and eventually the factory building was rented.

The closing information is confusing, as the full documentation did not occur until early 1918 and the company charter was not surrendered until 1921. In 1918, in return for assuming all the liabilities, Henry Little took full ownership of the company. He had personally paid off the bank loan of $83,000 in 1914. After the equipment and other assets were sold, Little was left with a substantial loss, probably close to $100,000. Smaller losses were sustained by Tobin and by W. J. Taylor, both of whom gave up any claims in the settlement with Little. The other shareholders, most holding only a few shares, lost their investment.

In the 1920s and 1930s, G. B. Crandall, one of the Tobin gunsmiths, hand-assembled and sold several hundred guns, in part from the remainder of the factory inventory. Crandall modified some of the features of these guns from the original Tobin patterns.

WHY DID THE TOBIN BUSINESS FAIL? 

Various reasons have been cited for the failure of the Canadian Tobin company, usually related to the onset of WWI. But the real reason was given in the “Report to the Shareholders” on January 24, 1918 (ref. 11). It had nothing to do with the war: the business had failed well before the war began. The report states: “The main explanation lies in the fact that the business was never able to sell, under any circumstances, even 40% of the quantity of goods it was originally estimated could be sold in Canada … We are now convinced that with our present population there is not a market in Canada which would justify any maker of sporting firearms in establishing a plant in this country.”

It is unlikely that the Canadian market size was the main problem. There was strong import competition from long-established U.S. makers of quality guns, such as Parker, Fox, L. C. Smith, Remington and Winchester. In its short life, the Tobin company could not have gained more than a minor share of the Canadian market. In the early 1900s, demand for double guns was declining rapidly as the market shifted to single-barreled, mechanical, repeating guns. They were cheaper to make and came to be preferred by most hunters. In not too many years, most of the U.S. makers were also out of the double-barreled shotgun business.

It had been a bold business experiment but one doomed to failure. Cold business logic could also call it a foolish venture. There would not again, at least in the next hundred years, be quality factory-made Canadian shotguns.

The principals – Little, Tobin and Taylor – did not seem to have been too badly hurt by the failure. Little continued to live in his mansion, active as a lawyer and business man. He died in 1934 but his wife apparently lived on in the home. Tobin kept Round Hill, his large home on the Little estate. He had a farm with “fine purebred Guernsey cattle” (ref. 1). Taylor was involved in other businesses, including the Woodstock newspaper and Rod & Gun in Canada. The Tobin factory had been well built. It still exists, occupied by various businesses over the years.

GRADES OF TOBIN SHOTGUNS

Catalogue No. 311 shows seven grades of shotguns, offered in 12 or 16 gauge. The simplest and cheapest – the Leader grade – was a hammer gun, old but reliable technology. The other six grades were hammerless. All employed the “Simplex” action, a type of side-lock action based on an 1893 U.S. patent issued to a Clarence Woollam (ref. 5 to 8). The top five grades offered the option of single triggers and automatic ejectors for an additional price. In those days, most double-barreled guns had double triggers, which were more reliable and lower cost. Double triggers were also better suited to the straight English stocks which were often used on shotguns of that day. “Silver’s” recoil pads, fitted to the guns, were also offered. The top three grades were listed as “made to order to fit the shooter.”

Grade                                                  List

  1. Leader Grade, No. 25                                        $20
  2. Standard Grade, No. 40                                    $25
  3. Black Diamond Grade, No. 55                         $35    ($75)
  4. Trap Grade, No. 70                                            $45    ($85)
  5. Pigeon Grade, No. 100                                      $65  ($105)
  6. Model Grade, No. 200                                      $125 ($165)
  7. Regal Grade, No. 250                                        $160 ($210)
    (The prices in brackets are for guns with single triggers and automatic ejectors)

None of the Canadian guns that I have seen was marked with a grade name or number. However, with reference to an original catalogue, in which each grade is described and illustrated, the grade of a Canadian gun can be determined. Identification is much easier, of course, if a collector has examples of the grades in hand.

The lowest grade, the Leader Grade, is rare, as are the top three grades. I know of only one Regal Grade and one Model Grade (the ones I owned) and I have not seen or heard of a Pigeon Grade. 16 gauge Tobins are rarer than 12 gauges. Except for the gauge, the corresponding lighter construction and some differences in engraving, the 12 and 16 gauge guns appear virtually identical, although I am not sure of that, having not seen (or heard of) a 16 gauge of higher than Trap Grade or of the lowest grade, the hammer gun.

THE STEWART COLLECTION OF TOBIN GUNS 

In 2013, I donated my collection of eight Tobin guns to the Canadian Museum of History. It includes seven shotguns and one rifle. Six of the seven grades of 12 gauge shotguns are represented, including the top two grades. The collection also has an example of a 16 gauge gun and of a Tobin 22 rifle. All are in very good to excellent original condition. The collection is bolstered by documents, research articles, an original catalogue and the un-published draft of a book on Tobin guns by a (deceased) Canadian collector, Alvin Hunter (Ref. 1). This collection, believed to be the only one of its kind and one that would be difficult or impossible to duplicate, was assembled over 30 years. It conserves an almost complete selection of the guns made by the only Canadian factory manufacturer of quality shotguns. It commemorates an unusual Canadian industrial initiative of the early 1900s.

The following sections describe and show photographs of each of the guns in the collection.

The Regal Grade gun, the top grade, shown in the photograph at the start of this article, is surely one of the best, if not the best Canadian-made factory shotgun in existence. It has a single trigger and automatic ejectors. It is beautifully engraved and came with a factory-supplied leather case with gun tools. The Circassian walnut in the straight English stock and in the fore-end is highly figured and carefully checkered. It was made for J. A. Mitchell, believed to have been the president of Canada Permanent, the company that apparently participated in financing the Woodstock factory. (This information came from the owner of the gun from the 1960s to the 1980s, who quoted the well-known earlier Canadian collector, A. Glendenning. It has not been confirmed). Mitchell’s name is engraved on the escutcheon and on the case. In 30 years of collecting, the author has not heard of another Regal Grade Tobin. The gun appears to be unused.

Regal Grade 12 Gauge Tobin, the Top Grade
Circassian Walnut and Original Silver’s Recoil Pad

Bottom of Action, Regal Grade

 

 Regal Grade in Case

Model Grade, No. 200, 12 gauge

The Model Grade, No. 200, is beautifully engraved, although less extensively than the Regal Grade. This grade is very rare: the author knows of no other Model grade. It and the Regal are the only grades with engraving on the barrels as well as on the action and on the fittings.

Engraving on Model Grade

The collection does not have an example of the Pigeon Grade. In catalogue 311, only the top two grades – the Regal and the Model – have engraving on the barrels, as in the examples described. Should a Pigeon Grade be found, it should not have engraving on the barrels, just on the action and on the fittings. (Any of the guns could have been supplied with special engraving.)

The trap grade gun is in very fine condition. It is the best of several trap grade guns the author has owned or has seen. It has the original Silver’s recoil pad and particularly fine wood: “Italian walnut,” according to the catalogue. All of the dozen 12 gauge, Trap Grade Tobins that I have seen have a flying duck engraved on both side plates.

 

Flying Duck Engraving, Trap Grade

  

Fine figured Walnut on Trap Grade

Black Diamond Grade guns are rare. Most buyers purchased either Standard Grade or Trap Grade guns. The name comes from the pyro-oxidized black finish. This gun has a pistol grip.

Black Diamond, No. 55

 The standard grade guns are those most commonly found. The one in the collection is in very good original condition with fine wood and what appears to be an original recoil pad.

 

Standard Grade Receiver 

The Leader grade hammer gun was apparently meant to provide a low-cost gun for those buyers who still preferred the reliable old technology with its visible evidence of the gun being cocked and ready to fire. There was not much of a price difference between the Leader and the Standard grade, a more desirable hammerless model, and very few hammer guns have been found.

Leader Grade

 To the author’s knowledge, 16 gauge guns were almost identical to 12 gauge guns, except for bore and some differences in engraving. The example in the collection is in fine condition.

 

Dog Head Engraving on 16 Gauge Trap Grade

Tobin sold simple, plain 22 rifles as a sort of advertising. They are not shown in the catalogue but are often seen in advertising, sometimes called the “Tobin Boy Scout Rifle.” They are relatively rare.

Tobin 22 Rifle

Tobin Technology and Quality

Tobin shotguns all seem to have the inscription “Pat. May 23-93 and Patents Pend’g” – referring to a patent issued to a San Francisco gunsmith named Clarence Woollam. The action is a type of side-lock, branded “Simplex.” Ads and other literature refer to “Tobin Simplex Guns.” The gun technology is described in the catalogues (ref. 10) and in articles by David Noreen (ref. 5 to 8).

Tobin gun collector Alvin Hunter thought that Tobin shotguns were high quality, comparable to the better American doubles (ref. 1). That view was shared by American collectors Don Hardin (ref. 3) and Don Mason (ref. 4). Mason said “the quality of Tobins I have handled were excellent.” He compared a Tobin with a Parker of like grade and found them to be equivalent in quality. (Parkers are revered by American collectors as one of the best of the American factory-made shotguns.) Mason also observed that “Wood on the Tobin was far superior to the Parker.” I can believe that: even on the middle grades, exceptional walnut was used for the stocks.

It is a good idea to be careful shooting old guns but I was curious to see how a Tobin shotgun performed. And I was confident that the Tobin guns were sturdily made. In 1984, I patterned one of the Tobin Trap grade guns. It was not the one I later donated to the CMH but it was in very good condition with shiny barrel bores. It had tight patterns: 73% for the left barrel, 79% for the right, at the top range for full choke. I tested that gun in the field on Wolfe Island. It worked well, landing a Canada goose from well overhead almost on the blind!

 HENRY A. LITTLE AND THE ALTADORE ESTATE

The articles on Tobin guns in the literature do not mention Henry Little and it was only in examination of the Tobin Arms Company file in the Ontario Archives that his central role in the business emerged. Little was apparently a wealthy and successful lawyer and business man with deep roots in Woodstock. He was the nephew of James Sutherland, Member of Parliament for North Oxford and Minister of Public Works for Canada in the late 1800s. Sutherland owned “Altadore,” a mansion built in 1841 on a 60 acre tract of land in Woodstock with its own coachman’s house, stables and other buildings. It was one of the finest estates in the region.

Altadore Estate
(Courtesy Woodstock Newsgroup, date unknown)

 Sutherland died in 1905 and the estate passed to Henry Little. Little died in 1934 but his wife retained the property. In 1946, the estate was sold to the Royal Canadian Legion which used it as their Club House. In 1957, the buildings were demolished and the estate developed for housing.

When Frank Tobin moved to Woodstock in 1909 he obtained a large house on the Altadore estate called “Round Hill.” It had been built in 1888 (ref. 13). Tobin and his family lived there until his death in 1939. This house was also demolished when the Altadore estate became a housing development.

In 1860, Queen Victoria sent her 18 year old son, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, on a two-month tour of Canada and the U.S. On that trip, the young Prince visited Altadore, but he had another more direct connection to Canadian gun-makers. Philo Soper of London, Ontario, considered one of the best gunsmiths in Canada at the time, was commissioned to make a target rifle which was presented to the Prince by the City of London (Ontario). That fine rifle is pictured in The Canadian Gunsmiths, 1608 to 1900 (ref. 15). It is now in the Royal Collection at Sandringham. I believe it is the only Canadian gun in that large collection. I went to see that gun in 2004. I was keen to see it since I own a very similar fine target rifle, made in the mid-1800s by W. H. Soper, Philo’s cousin and colleague in the London, Ontario gunsmith business.

 THE TOBIN COLLECTION at THE CANADIAN MUSEUM of HISTORY

The Canadian Museum of History (CMH), to which I donated my collection of Tobin guns in 2012, and the Canadian Cultural Properties Export Review Board named it “A Collection of Outstanding Significance and National Importance.” The following is an excerpt from the application for the Cultural Properties Certificate, prepared by Sheldon Posen, the museum’s Curator of Canadian Folklife:

“The Stewart collection of Tobin Canadian shotguns brings together a collector’s set of sporting guns representing a landmark early foray into firearms manufacture in Canada. No such set exists elsewhere or has much chance of being duplicated.

Any one of the guns in this set would help the Museum tell a story of the development of early Canadian industry—not just of this company, but of American (and British) influences on Canadian capital and business initiative, the changeover from hand craftsmanship to the automated production line, the changes wrought by World War I and world industrialization.

However, the fact that the Tobin guns arrive in a set, from highest to lowest grades, makes it particularly valuable as part of the National Collection. First, it demonstrates what made these guns unique in the history of Canadian firearms manufacture—they were manufactured to high standards in multiple grades. Second, it gives the Museum a unique opportunity, within this genre of artifact, to put aside the social history museum’s collecting dilemma: Collect the finest, or collect the typical? The top grade gun in the Stewart collection was produced from the start as a collector’s item, a presentation piece with all the bells and whistles for an investor in the company that manufactured it; the lowest grade gun, a collector’s item only in our time, was intended to be bought and used by any farmer, cottage owner, or weekend tripper to Canada’s outdoors, heading out for some sport and Sunday dinner. Few collections, let alone of Canadian firearms, have offered a museum such scope, both in breadth and depth, yet with such a small footprint.

Third, the Stewart collection of Tobin Canadian shotguns will take the Museum in a new direction in the way it tells the story of the Canadian experience of the wilderness. Heretofore, the CMC has acknowledged only indirectly—in charting the history of lumbering, the fur trade, the fishery, the nature of Aboriginal culture, the paths of European settlement across the country, and depictions in art and folk art—how the wild has figured in Canadian life. The Stewart collection will be a cornerstone in a new drive to document and present to the Canadian public the important role that wilderness sport and outdoor pastimes—including hunting, fishing, boating and canoeing—and their associated arts, have played in the history of Canada, and still play in the lives of Canadians. No collection could anchor such a story better.”

Dr. Jim Stewart is a retired business executive, consultant and writer on business and antiques. He is the author of The County Decoys and co-author of Decoys of the Thousand Islands. Stewart has recently donated his collection of 150 County and Thousand Islands decoys to the Canadian Museum of History

REFERENCES

  1. Hunter, Alvin P., Tobin: Canada’s Finest Shotgun, unpublished book draft (1980). Hunter (1920-1990s), a gunsmith from Ingersoll, Ontario, collected Tobin shotguns. In 1984, I obtained a photocopy of his book draft from him. The book was never completed.
  2. “The Tobin Arms Manufacturing Co. Ltd.,” Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting, Volume 14, No. 1. (1976). The article is essentially a copy of the original Tobin Canadian catalogue, No. 311.
  3. Hardin, Don, “Lesser Lights: Some Little Known American Double-Barreled Shotguns,” The Double Gun Journal, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Winter, 1989).
  4. Mason, Don, Letter to The Double Gun Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4 (Autumn, 1990).
  5. Noreen, David J., “The Tobin Arms Mfg. Company,” The Double Gun Journal, Vol. 5, Issue 1 (Spring 1994).
  6. Noreen, David J., “Tobin Arms: A Tale of Two Cities,” The Gun Report, May, 1994.
  7. Noreen, David J., “The Tobin Arms Mfg. Company of Norwich, Connecticut and Woodstock, Ontario,” Arms Collecting, Vol. 34, No. 3 (August, 1996). (Formerly The Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting).
  8. Noreen, David J., “New Notes on The Tobin Arms Mfg. Company,” The Double Gun Journal, Vol. 8, Issue 1 (Spring 1997).
  9. Article on website “www.members.shaw.ca/sharptail/Tobin” entitled “Tobin Simplex Model 70 Trap Grade.”
  10. Tobin catalogues:
    1. Tobin U.S. catalogue: “Simplex Guns, Manufactured by Tobin Arms Mfg. Co., Norwich, Conn., US catalogue No. 206” (1906-1907) (copy from David Noreen).
    2. Tobin Canadian catalogue: “Tobin Simplex Guns, Catalogue No. 311.” It was called the “Second Edition of our Catalogue,” probably issued in 1913. Catalogue No. 211 was apparently issued in 1912 and there were probably earlier versions.
    3. Crandall catalogue of Tobin and other guns, parts and shooting supplies, ca. 1930 (copy from David Noreen).
  1. Ontario Archives The Archives has what are likely the only surviving official documents of the Tobin Arms Company. The rather thin file includes documents for the company’s incorporation in 1909 and formal dissolution in 1921, lists of shareholders, etc. One important document is “Report of the Directors to the Shareholders of the Tobin Arms Company,” which was tabled at special meeting of the shareholders on Feb 18, 1918.
  2. Rod and Gun in Canada The magazine was published from 1899 to 1974. The Toronto Reference Library has copies of most of the issues. W.J. Taylor was the publisher in the early 1900s when the Tobin Company was active. Frank Tobin published an article in the April 11, 1911 issue – “What Makes a Good Shooting Shotgun.”
  3. Woodstock Museum, 466 Dundas St., Woodstock, Ontario (Adam Pollard, Collections/Exhibit Coordinator). The Museum has some files on the Tobin Company and on Frank Tobin.
  4. Oxford (County) Historical Society, Woodstock, Ontario.
  5. The Canadian Gunsmiths, 1608 to 1900, S. James Goodings, Museum Restoration Services, 1962.

References 1 through 10, including original copies of the cited journals are in the collection donated to the Canadian Museum of History. The photographs of the guns were by the author