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Thompson

Thompson - 950325-1

This 1921A Colt Thompson has a pretty interesting history. It was shipped from Emmons-Hawkins Hardware Company, West Virginia to Crane Supply Company in Lundale, West Virginia in August of 1921. In and about that time there was a great uprising by the coal miners in Logan County. (See below) Lundale is a dead end town on the south side of Logan County. I believe this weapon to have been used in the "Coal Miner Wars" in and about that time. It is 100% correct and has a very high percentage finish with the exception of what I believe to be blood spots / stains on the right hand side of the receiver. You have to look closely but they are there and that is what I believe they are. Overall the weapon is simply too nice for them to be anything else. Here is your chance to own a rare piece of history.

"Battle of Blair Mountain"

In late August 1921, West Virginia’s coal country was the scene of what has often been called the largest armed insurrection in the United States, since the Civil War. Fed up with years of mistreatment by their employers, an army of some 10,000 union miners, marched on Blair Mountain in Logan County and clashed with 3,000 mining company supporters and police deputies. For nearly a week, the two sides waged a ferocious battle with rifles, machine guns and even biplanes were used to drop improvised bombs on the miners. By the time federal troops finally intervened in early September, roughly a million rounds had been fired and dozens of people had been killed.

The Battle of Blair Mountain is now cited as a pivotal chapter in American labor history, but in the short term, it proved to be a crushing defeat for the miners, partly due to the fact many of the Logan county defenders were armed with the .45 Thompson Model of 1921.

The miners had a range of armament, but predominantly they were armed with civilian shotguns, obsolete Model 1873 Winchester rifle and the surplus Swiss Vetterli rifle.

The County defenders comprised of West Virginia State Police, the neighboring Mingo County “Citizens’ Militia,” hundreds of deputies/ mine guards, American Legion detachments, from all over the state and volunteers, (including war veteran officers), many who feared a ‘Bolshevik’ style revolution. They were armed with modern, and often military automatic, weapons.

In the months prior to August 1921, 3,250 Thompson Model of 1921s had been produced and the West Virginia State Police had purchased at least 37 guns. It is documented that a minimum of 56 Thompson guns had been purchased by the coal companies in the southern West Virginia coalfields. Many Model of 1921s were also shipped to hardware stores in the region, prior to the battle of Blair Mountain. The Logan Hardware and Supply store received nine Model of 1921s in April and May of 1921.

Reports from a team of archaeologists that conducted a survey of the battlefield in 2006, stated that a large quantity of .45 ACP cartridge cases were found in groups on the battlefield. These findings would support the statement that the Battle of Blair Mountain was the first significant appearance of the Thompson Gun, as a pivotal element in battle. Some of the miners later admitted that every time they attempted to advance up one of the many hollows leading to the top of the mountain, they were met with constant gunfire, a testament to the likely widespread use of Thompson guns by the Logan County Defenders.

The last picture is of a group of “Logan Defenders” with a 1921A Colt Thompson in front of the Aracoma Hotel on Main St, in Logan West Virginia, September 2, 1921.

Model:   1921A
Origin: New York, USA
Manufacturer: Colt Patent Firearms
Circa: 1921
Caliber: .45 cal
Magazine: 20 or 30 Round Box Magazines, 50 Round or 100 Round Drums
Condition: Very Good to Excellent
Accessories: One Original 20rd Box Magazine
NFA Status: Transferable
Inventory No. Colt #1399
Serial No. 1399
 
Cash Price: Sale Pending
Status: