Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Henry C. Brush

This Lewis Hepburn over under rifle once belonged to Henry C. Brush.
Its owner, Larry Avery of Toledo, OH, describes it as a "over and under double rifle percussion muzzle loader ... made by L.L. Hepburn of Colton, N.Y."  The silver oval plate inlaid into the left side of the butt stock is stamped in three lines:
     Henry C. Brush
     Float Pat. Aug. 23, 76
     Brush’s Mills, N.Y.
Mr. Avery also describes the rifle as "fully engraved on the right and left lock, butt plate, trigger guard, toe plate, patch box and the upper tang. All the rifle furniture is German silver. Butt stock is figured walnut. The sights are a custom globe front sight with a pin head insert, a flat V notch barrel sight, and a custom made vertically adjustable tang sight."

Henry Corbin Brush was the son of Henry Neilson Brush, from whom the village of Brushton derives its name.  Brushton, NY was originally named "Brush's Mills."

From Frederick Seaver's "Historical Sketches of Franklin County, NY" (1918), page 719:

     "H. Corbin Brush, son of Henry N., was born in Brushton in 1838, and always made his home there. He had large property intersts, and to the care of these applied most of his energies and time. Finely educated, possessing exceptional business abilities, genial, companionable and public spirited, Mr. Brush enjoyed the respect of everybody, and was of great usefulness in the hamlet that was his home. He died April 19, 1898."

Also from Seaver: (p. 519)
      "The industrial enterprises of Moira were never numerous or large. The community is distinctively agricultural, but with two small unincorporated villages -- Brushton and Moira. Each is a station on the Rutland Railroad, and each is on an improved trunk-line highway. Almost with the first settlement in the town, Appleton Foote, as the agent of Gilchrist and Fowler, erected a saw mill at what is now Brushton, and a grist mill there in the year following, which was displaced by the present stone mill in 1823, built by Robert Watts, and later improved and enlarged by Henry N. Brush."

Henry C. Brush also invented a shallow-running submersible fishing lure known as the Brush Trolling Spoon. 

(From the Scientific American Vol XXXVI No. 8 February 24, 1877. NY:  Munn & Co.):
Improved Trolling Hook
Mr. Henry C. Brush, of Brush's Mills, N.Y., has patented through the Scientific American Patent Agency an improved troller, the novel feature in which consists in attaching a float to the shank of the implement under the revolving blade, the object being to keep the troller near the surface of the water, where the fish may see it more readily, and whereby the liability of catching in weeds and logs is obviated.

Trolling Hook

A is a float, attached to the shank, a, of the troller. B is the spoon, which is swiveled in the usual manner. The device is very simple, and is claimed to prevent all the annoyance arising from the hook catching in sunken obstructions.


  1. I have a great number of the cork float bodies, in varring sizes and colors and at least four or five of the spinners one which is gold on both sides the others are gold and silver. I also have the match box that the spinners came in wrapped in onion paper and the original paper instructions. I acquired these from my uncle that owned the TOTEM POLE ANTIQUE SHOP in Louisville, New York back in the late '70's. Thanks for your great website. Lobo

  2. Are any of these items for sale?