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Re: Geronimo's last Springfield

Posted by John on Tuesday, 17 September 2019, at 9:01 a.m., in response to Re: Geronimo's last Springfield, posted by Dick Hosmer on Tuesday, 17 September 2019, at 12:54 a.m.

I believe that the information on records is incorrect. If they existed, they would have been preserved and well known to the collector/researcher community if they entered private hands.

The late Burt Kellerstadt was deeply involved with the "Friends of Springfield Armory" group which thankfully kept the Museum alive during the dark days between the U.S. Army's shameful closure of SA, and the eventual NPS takeover. AFIK he never mentioned or used such records.

Bill Brophy published his 1903 Springfield book in 1985 and would have mentioned any such records.

Frank Mallory's unrelenting searching of the national Archives resulted in his publishing his Krag book in 1979. If any such records existed, Mallory certainly would have been aware of them, and even if trapdoor data was outside his primary writing interest, it was central to his Springfield Research Service (SRS) efforts.

Al Frasca's first Trapdoor book appeared in 1980 (for which we are eternally grateful) based on meticulous archival research in Springfield records, and any such previous records would have been known to him.

Clark Campbell's books on M1903 Springfields pre-date 1978, and he had rescued Remington records from dumpsters, and would have been aware of any mass disposal of SA records.

Arms scholars are a tight knit group and most actively share info with others when it is outside their main interest.

Based on my conversations with Bill Meuse, one of the previous curators at SANHS, my understanding is that they lacked a lot of info in readily accessible form and referred people to SRS for questions on dates or history of trapdoors and other Springfield made arms. Not because SRS had privately acquired government records from SA, but because SRS had accumulated considerable data from their own research into extant govt records and was (at that time) very easy to get information from.

Don't get me wrong, Alex McKenzie is a true jewel in the arms museum curator world and I am extremely grateful he is at SANHS and sharing info in many forms. But, I think his knowledge of archival records supposedly existing (and now lost) a half century ago may not be real reliable. Corporate knowledge is weak in the NPS and there is a steady turnover.

Such records may have existed at one time, and may have been trashed by the Army upon closure, but ending up in private hands is unlikely.

There are a lot of lost gold mines out there with great stores told about them, but many are simply myths. I place this story in the myth category. Others may believe what they like.


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