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General discussion => Antique Gun Collecting => Topic started by: jwh1947 on March 17, 2009, 03:54:20 AM

Title: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 17, 2009, 03:54:20 AM
I take a moment to share some stories with y'all that have never been told before, all in memory of my old friend, professor of Industrial Arts at Millersville University, Henry Kauffman.  I thought of writing this up for other publications, but I'll get more coverage and more appreciation right here on this site.

First, as anyone who knew him will attest, he was a cranky, downright insulting and offensive Dutchman.  He actually had a mean streak, something that apparently lurks in the inner psyche of us Pa. Dutch. It's genetic, I think, and we can't help it.  Some of us can grin and suppress it most of the time; Henry never tried.  To be short, Henry didn't suffer fools lightly and most people feared him and avoided him when possible.

This being said, if you came to him seeking knowledge, you could go away enlightened.  The secret lay in a simple psychological process.  If you could structure things so that Henry saw himself as the teacher and the winner, you could have as much of his time as you wanted.  If he liked you, he'd give you anything.  I found his time and friendship to be most precious.
Henry married late and lost his wife early.  Zoe was the love of his life, and after her death, Henry got even crankier.  That's about when I came into the picture.

At any rate, lets consider some of Henry's contributions, as he was a true pioneer in our beloved field.  First look at the year 1960, a watershed year for our rifle studies.  Two great books came out then, both researched by Henry--  Henry's Pa-Ky Rifle and Kindig's Thoughts. If you look at the front page of Kindig's book you will see that Sam Dyke and Henry were the main contributors of the hard facts for that book, so you couldn't be far off if you argued that Henry was the backbone of the primary research for not one, but two of our most important seminal sources. 

As a matter of fact, the two books were put out in the same year so as to not clash with each other, but rather complement one another.  That was no coincidence.  Henry and Joe Kindig were fellow travellers to barn auctions and estate sales where they bought rifles for $5.00 and less, threw them into the back of the truck and drove home.  I'm not making this stuff up.  This is where the famous Kindig collection came from. 

Like all of us,  Joe K.  was only interested in certain things. He liked good architecture, raised carving, and attribution issues.  Come to think of it, most of us have followed suit.  He didn't care much about good restoration work and let some cabinet makers, who shall remain nameless, do the work.  Much of it is not that great.  If I can do better, it ain't great work, and I could certainly improve some of them.   By the way, Henry reconverted 36 rifles to flint back in the days, and he kept records on each one.  Years later, he gave me all his old wood and a handful of locks, and wouldn't take a penny. 

Henry also did a previous book on guns, books on Pa. German architecture, ironwork, axes, copper and brass work, and the list goes on.  He was prolific.  He never got his doctorate, but achieved full professorship on his research merits alone.  That most likely wouldn't happen today.  He was a good hard core researcher and reported facts with minimal subjective interpretation.  When he did interpret things, it was done cogently and reasonably.

Henry is also the man primarily responsible for the noted museum at Rockford Plantation in Lancaster.  In short, he offered to fill a museum with artifacts if the Amish would build the place.  They did, and Henry came through with his promise.  Check out the guns.  They were all Henry's.  He had no children, so he gave them to us to enjoy.  There are also quilts, fraktur, stoneware, and all kinds of other goodies.  If you have not seen this collection, you should. 

One day we sat in Henry's living room discussing the guns.  He asked me a straight question and sort of put me on the spot.  He said, "OK, Wayne, tell me, who was the greatest Lancaster gunsmith?" I wheedled and asked for qualifications.  In his normal crass manner, he said he would not elaborate, but that I was supposed to answer the question.

I said, Jacob Dickert.  I added that my answer was based upon several criteria.  His earliness, his proliflc production, his distinct style, and the influence he had on other important gunsmiths. 

Henry replied, "I'm hungry. Let's go to the Barn Door (his favorite joint); you're driving."  He never told me I was right.  Normally, he only told people when they were wrong.  I guess we both saw Dickert as an important gunsmith.

Henry challenged us to always question our own convictions as we question the convictions of others.  He demanded documentation and measurement, and showed us how to evaluate the usefulness of source material.  He was a member of a dying breed of professor who was not only a well-read academician but also a man of the world who valued integrity in all he did.

Henry, if you get the WWW up there, hope I done good!  And thanks for being my friend and teacher. JWHeckert

Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: PINYONE on March 17, 2009, 04:27:12 AM
What a nice bit of History, Henry K. book 1960 was my first book and I looked through it hundreds of times and still read it. As a testament to Ole Henry your Book with Donald Yaughn on Lancaster Rifles is a class a book and I wouldn't get rid of it. Mine is also signed. At any rate Wayne those memories are priceless. The Great Pinyone
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: Eric Fleisher on March 17, 2009, 04:49:44 AM
Thanks for sharing that interesting insight Wayne.
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: B Shipman on March 17, 2009, 06:00:38 AM
I enjoyed reading that.
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: Mike R on March 17, 2009, 03:23:46 PM
Thanks for your memories, His PA-KY Rifle book was my first one on the topic and was an inspiration to me. It still has an honored place on my bookshelves.
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: WElliott on March 17, 2009, 05:59:29 PM
Thanks, Wayne, for your contributions here.  I look forward every day to see what you have added!
Wayne Elliott
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 17, 2009, 07:35:24 PM
Good hearing from you, Wayne E.  Maybe we can do lunch again at CLA show.  For those of you who have not been to the annual CLA show in Lexington (August 14-15), all I can say is that, for us,  it is like a hajj to Mecca is to a devout Muslim.  Imagine big rooms filled with well made contemporaries, accoutrements, artwork, and smiling people talking guns and history.  Then imagine right across the foyer another grouping of rooms filled to the brim with original period stuff.  Why imagine it?  Be a part of it. Be there.  Bet you can't do just one.  What's more, it is a clean college town.  UK right down the street.  Racetracks, good food, pretty country, pretty girls, all topped off with a hoe-down at Lally and Frank House's outstanding period home, which they rebuilt.  The bourbon and bullfeathers flow on and on.  What more do you want? JWHeckert
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: WElliott on March 17, 2009, 10:26:57 PM
I look forward to it.  And ditto on the CLA show, it is a "must" show even for those of us who primarily collect antique longrifles.
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 17, 2009, 11:17:15 PM
Addendum: Henry K.

Henry really liked old rifles.  This was logical.  He spent his life teaching people how to form things from copper, iron, brass and wood.  He also loved regional history.  Why would he not focus on that one piece of material culture that is made up of all of these things?  Where a knowledge of basic chemistry and elementary physics combine to make it work?  Where accuracy and precision pay off in tangible results?  It was an interest in these old guns, and that alone, which brought us together at first.  His engaging and encyclopedic mind, combined with that amusing grumpiness, is what made me return again and again.

Henry was a barrel man.  While he appreciated fine carving, and knew that carving was the supreme turn-on for most collectors, he really got enthused over hand made, long barrels.  There again, go find a few.  He'd study them for hours and tell of special issues that he'd encountered when making them. I saw him straighten a customer's barrel one evening with a leg vise, a 16-pound sledge hammer, and a few choice words.  The only decorative carving he did was legitimate replacement work if he put in a chunk of wood and needed to complete a design where part was missing.  Most often it was simple stuff like blending in molding lines after replacing fore ends, etc.

Henry was also a patch box man.  He and Joe K. shared a respect for well made boxes, especially ones with piercings.  Henry really got enthused over patch box lids with the coffin-lid raised center.  Anyone who has made one knows why.  Novices usually don't attempt it. 

Finally, another interesting recollection from another fireside chat on Millersville Pike, c. 1985.  We were discussing colonial metal crafts in general and Pennsylvania specimens in particular.  We were examining hand made Pa. copperware.  His question, "M'boy, tell me, what's the piece de resistance for the coppersmith?"

My answer, "Henry, I haven't a clue."

"The gooseneck teapot, m'boy .  If you can make one of them, you can make anything."  He went on to tell me some things about teapots that I never considered before.  Almost any angle and contour that a coppersmith will ever encounter is right there in that one piece.  It must be leakproof and withstand rapid and extreme temperature changes.  It must flow with aesthetic appeal. The best will have a cramped joint ("That's not a dovetail joint, @!*%?&!") on the bottom.  Similar to distinct carving on rifles, like Reedy's loop, Henry could often look at a cramped joint and suggest regional origin on unsigned specimens.  Occasionally he could identify a maker by the joint.  He was that good.

We talked about many things.  One was educational methodology and classroom strategy.  Henry was harsh with his students as he was with everybody else. he made no distinctions. This was long, long before the days of political correctness, sensitivity sessions, and the fusion of public relations and higher education.

I often mentioned to him that I got students to grow more and grow faster when they were at least semi-comfortable with me and felt free to comment in the classroom without fear of being embarrassed.  Again, I'd usually get the response, "They have free soup appetizer at the Barn Door until 6:00pm.  You drive, I'll buy the soup."  And off we went again.   JWHeckert

Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: Nate McKenzie on March 18, 2009, 06:41:00 AM
My copy of Pa. Ken. Rifle, my first book on the subject that I got Many years ago, just got dearer to me. Thank you.
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 18, 2009, 08:01:47 AM
I keep recalling tidbits.  Near impossible to maintain a lucid  train of thought and report it coherently these days. My short term memory isn't what it used to be. Another thing I learned about research from Henry.  That is, research work is best accomplished by teams.  Incidentally, did I tell you my short term memory isn't what it used to be? 

No joke.  Henry always worked with one or two others.  I think it safe to say  that  his closest research partner was Sam Dyke.  Sam was a fellow Lancastrian who was an executive from Armstrong Cork.  Sam's primary hobby was early guns and their early history. He delved into the issue of Lancaster gunsmiths with vigor and came out with some thorough documents.  He then extended his work to include other Pennsylvania schools.  Henry and Sam teamed up a lot, knew each other's strengths, and liked each other.  But they kept an eye on each other and loved to try to catch the other in a mistake.  This is all good and makes for solid work.  I have to also credit Sam's wife Mary.  She was a thorough genealogist and shared in the boys' studies.  She was sharp, and the boys appreciated and capitalized on her talents.  Moreover, she kept them both straight.

Henry once remarked, "There he goes, again.  Running down the street with his new find without any cross-references.  I keep telling him, sooner or later he's going to trip over his own feet."  Henry did not like to be upstaged.  But they both knew the temptation of becoming blinded by the light of your new find, and served as control agents for each other.  Henry admitted that both had saved each other form folly more than once by furnishing more detailed data that modified the other's conclusions. 

Point is, they kept an eye on each other.  Bounced ideas to see how they sounded.  Liked to play devil's advocate.  Henry hated what he called, "What if history."  What if this happened, then.  What if Lee told Pickett to hold off, etc.  He'd say, "Well he didn't. Next question?"  I'm telling you, if you could not furnish him with demonstrable facts, he had no time for your words.  Another adage of his which made him popular as $#*! was, "Hands that do are more useful than lips that pray."  That one won him countless friends, especially at funerals and weddings. 

Anyway, a wise author has his friends review his work before going public with it.  Readers are encouraged to let loose and be critical.  Better to catch questionable stuff now than later-on be raked through the coals of disturbing facts overlooked.  This is just some of the simple procedural stuff you learn by hanging around the right old characters.   The absolute worst thing a new author can do is take the tack of hiding all the great, fresh news from everybody, including content-critical editors, until after publication. 

Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: lew wetzel on March 18, 2009, 03:24:54 PM
jwh1947...thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts....this has been a good read and makes me really appreciate the journey im on in conquest of knowledge...
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: Tom Currie on March 18, 2009, 05:09:16 PM
Wayne, I also have appreciated your insite into your friend Henry Kaufman. I have seen his name often and now get to put a character with the name.
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: eastwind on March 18, 2009, 06:28:13 PM
  Following up on my good KRA friend Wayne's observations of the irascible Henry Kauffman I'd like to add another not often known dimension to his career. In 1977 when I started my magazine, ANTIQUE COLLECTING I did a story and interview of Henry less than a year after his museum opened in Lancaster. Wayne is right on when calling Henry "cranky" and in many ways he was not an easy guy to like. I attributed most of that to his (excuse me Wayne)  teacher mindset - the one that says - I'm always right and you are always wrong. Yet, Henry like most good teachers respected  (in his own way) exceptional students curious to learn. He was often right about a lot of things and like all of us occasionally wrong about antiques and early rifles. His research of the Kentucky Rifle was pioneering and perhaps the most important broad study on the history of the rifle. ..albeit he had his biases like most.
   When I ran the story on Henry in 1977 it was the first of a series of stories on what was to be called - The Great Collectors. Henry was the first followed by others such as Joe Kindig in 1978. Kindig and Kauffman, although very different, had one thing in common and something students of Kentucky rifles should keep in mind. Both men were scholars of all early American artifacts. In fact, Kindig was better known (outside of the gun community) as an antiques dealer, particularly of furniture. He was one of the primary dealers for Francis DuPont and his immense collection of early American artifacts (and in fact complete assembled rooms) at Winterthur. His importance to that collection is obvious in that a room was reserved at Winterthur for Mr. & Mrs. Kindig's overnight stays. The room was so labeled by a brass plaque (I'm not sure if the room still exists).
   Like Kindig, Kauffman also collected and studied a large variety of antiques and he once told me that his real first love was early metals. He was a teacher of Industrial arts at Millersville college until 1973. He was better known for his work on early, iron, brass/copper and tin and wrote more books and articles on that subject than on Pennsylvania rifles. I say "Pennsylvania", because Henry hated the use, "Kentucky". Note his book- The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle. His museum in Lancaster had 4 cases with 6 rifles in each case. But there were numerous artifacts of copper tea pots and kitchen items, wrought iron door hardware, pewter items, tin weather vanes, blown glass, stone ware, pottery, chalkware and furniture including dower chests..almost all was of Pennsylvania German origin.
   Henry believed (as Kindig did) that a knowledge of early American artifacts of all kinds was the only way to study and understand  the Pennsylvania rifle.  They both saw the Pennsylvania rifle as art and neither saw it as a weapon and neither cared about shooting the rifle. Kindig claimed to never have shot a gun.
  After Henry retired in 1973 he was a prolific writer of antiques - particularly of Pennsylvania origin. His first love was those from Lancaster county and he often sold off the other items. On some of his many visits to our Ephrata, Pa offices Henry would bring antiques to sell while he badgered me to accept another story - he was an incessant salesman of his stories. On one occasion he brought a Pennsylvania (excuse me , Kentucky ) pistol. I stretched and paid him $3,000 for a pistol worth perhaps $30,000 today. All I have left is picture of it, having stupidly sold it to support a divorce settlement. I still have a large copper Pennsylvania measure I got from Henry...wish it was the pistol.

Patrick Hornberger

Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: PINYONE on March 18, 2009, 07:26:09 PM
The Great Pinyone is about to speak- now he is. Patrick you are lucky you paid $3,000. for a pistol worth $30,000. today. Some people are paying $30,000. for a pistol worth $3,000. Henry had a major influence on people to collect Antiquities. I as the Great Pinyone have never lost a penny on any Antique that I have ever bought. Living in Vermont starting in 1975 I went hog wild buying carved golden oak, it was cheap. I thought those people had lost their minds. After a year of buying 2 truck loads, I found out that New Englanders thought Antiques were mostly 200 years old. Well after the education, I took all of the Oak to Florida sold it for 5 times what i had in it and went back to Vermont and bought all 18th Century, a few pieces of circa 1820. As with your pistol I would get tired of a piece and sell it to get another piece. The Great Pinyone has stumbled upon many good longrifles in the process. But I find as my ole friend John Bivins once told me- I enjoy them all just don't need 40-50 at the house. The good thing is that there still are many longrifles out there to be found- and in closing The Greatest Pinyone of all time will pay you $5.00 to $10.00 apiece for them - no one else offering that kind of deal-TGP
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 18, 2009, 10:53:01 PM
Pat. Super informative article.  This information on Henry should all be combined and added with the insights and recollections from Reaves G. and the other Lancaster boys who knew him.  Now there's a book that would sell.  Now here's a business deal.  You underwrite it and I'll compile it.  I take 40%, you take 60% after you recoup base cost of paper, printing and perfect binding. What a deal.

I have a copper chocolate pot and some of the original documents photographed in the 1960 book as well as about 50 personal letters, which could be a primary ref. for some of this stuff.  JWHEckert

Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: PINYONE on March 19, 2009, 01:15:52 AM
The Great Pinyone- seconds the Motion- all in favor say I- TGP
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 19, 2009, 04:57:26 AM
The Great Pinyone, in his infinite wisdom, has, as usual, presented a simple truth in most clear language.  The trick is to have one or two of those good deals occasionally.  But that one $3,000 value for $30,000 cash outlay sure nullifys a lot of good deals.  And Pat, that was an insightful comment about Mr. Kindig's interests.  That corresponds with what I understand.  He always wanted to be seen as a high-end antique furniture man rather than a gun man.  That may have something to do with why he was never a joiner of gun clubs.  He is to be respected for doing an outstanding job of outfitting the Winterthur room you mention.  Again, guys and gals, that's a place you should see if you like early Americana and Dutchy stuff.

Incidentally, it is normal to bust on Capt. Dillin because of his errors.  My feeling is that we need to forgive him for those flaws, because he got the main drift down correctly.  He was the first man to see something of value in our beloved long rifles.  He tried to classify them as best he could in his day.  He was starting from nothing.  Dillin made an important contribution, warts and all.  From what Henry told me, he died nearly penniless in a Chester hotel for old men. 

Then in line come Joe Kindig and Henry Kauffman as the pillars of good reporting in our field.  After them, one man comes to mind as the leader, my old friend George Shumway.    In my opinion, there is the research triangle of early rifle research.   

Regardless of our views on ideas, etc. everybody in this game agrees that we need more young men and women to take an interest in our hobby.  We are not going get and keep them  by whiplashing them (or anybody else, for that matter) with misstatements, tall tales, and fast talk that distracts them from the physical aspects of the piece in question. 

The KRA has taken measures to promote straightforwardness in presenting and selling rifles, but, has, correctly in my opinion, not gotten into the sticky business of vetting individual rifles.  The organization has sale forms available that can be filled out by the seller, and requested by the buyer, to accompany a transaction.  We had more copies printed when I was president.  It has never ceased to amaze me how infrequently they are requested or utilized.   

I have an idea.  We ought to start a new thread called , Tall tales of the gun business."  We have to promise to be honest and not make our tall tales taller than the true facts.  That's for fishermen, not gun men.

Well, OK here's one to kick off the thread.  One day years ago at Baltimore I was looking at a Colt Lightning revolver, not bad, but way overpriced.  I asked how much he really needed in cash for the piece and he proceeded to tell me that this was no normal Lightning.  I braced myself and then it came.

"Son, have you ever heard the song "Hernando's Hideaway"?"

"Doh, uh, yeah." I responded.

"Well this here Lightnin' was General Hernando's personal sidearm." 

OK, not the arm used in the Lincoln assassination or Jack Ruby shooting, but a true tall tale.  Now, top that one.  JWHeckert

Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 19, 2009, 06:44:20 PM
Pat, you are right.  Henry always had two things to peddle, which was sometimes 1/2 the fun.  In one hand he had a few antiques, and in the other hand a story.  His prices in 1980 were 1960'ish so you always were able to come away with a win-win.  And don't feel sorry for Henry.  He'd make statements after he sold you a $50 colonial whale-oil lamp like, "Paid 10 cents for that one last week at a garage sale."  Part of the game was to never let Henry know that your blood pressure may have jumped a bit at anything he said.  If he found out where your red button was, he'd push it now and then, especially when he thought you might be in a bad mood.

One day he had this story.  Pat, I'll bet he offered it to you, too.  It had to do with the old oral folk notion that longrifles were long because the pelt traders would trade "a pile of pelts as tall as a rifle" for a given price.  I asked him where the story came from and if there was a reasonable chain of evidence and he said, "@!*%?&, if I had any good documentation, I'd publish it myself."
Then I really provoked him. I said, "Henry, I believe your story should be considered in another related area...the evolution of the carbine." 

I didn't buy his story, but I did buy a few real good tin cookie cutters that day, just to humor him.  Now there's a tidbit...a good hand made regional period cookie cutter is worth at least the price of a good dinner in a fancy restaurant today.  But beware, some entrepreneur back in the 60's must have knocked off thousands of tin repros.  They all have a rectangular base plate and there are about 6 different designs.  All have one hole in the center of the rectangle. Obviously, some originals are found in the same contour.  I dismiss the repros entirely.

Not at all uncommon for gun collectors in these parts to also appreciate early utilitarian metal and wood objects from Colonial Period through Civil War.  Also big overlap between military guns and Kentuckys.  Some may not know that a gentleman by the name of Everett Partridge (Birdie to his friends) had a collection of military Kentuckies.  That's right, guns that he could relate to a govt. contract granted to one of our gunsmiths, or arms most likely used as weapons. where a bayonet lug was extant or primary documentation existed which established its use in warfare.  If I am correct, Dave Kleiner has some of these exact rifles for sale right now.

A point about which most of you are likely aware.  Many Patriot combatants during the Revolution carried their own firearms into battle.  The Committee of Safety (Original Office of Homeland Security) regularly confiscated (had people contribute) lead out of windows and from clock weights, just to make bullets.  War materiel was scarce and in demand, so it is likely that many of the existing rifles were pressed into service in some form or another.

Dyke argued that military service and mutilation was one factor contributing to the scarcity of early Kentucky rifles.  By the way, the Royal British Museum Service has several original Lancaster-style originals in their displays, all captured war materiel from the Revolution.  They, as you know, were fascinated with this new deadly firearm which was bad for their soldiers' health from way beyond musket range.  They had a few prototypes made by their master armorers, copying the Lancasters with perfection, right down to the daisy patch box.  Last time I saw these they were in the Tower of London. JWHeckert
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: eastwind on March 19, 2009, 11:24:42 PM - @!*% --I believe Henry did tell me that story. On another visit to our offices which were in a 1793 miller's home, Henry was quick and seemingly proud to tell me that many of the door hardware latches in the house were repros. I mostly knew that and we proceeded to talk about his next story. But right before he left, he said he would like the door latch in the bathroom if I would take it off and sell it to him. That was Henry.
   And yes, a book could be made up of famous/notorious Pennsylvania rifle collectors of the past...but right now I'm swamped with the KRA Moravian Book and my Berks County Gunmakers Book.
     On another item --- apparently of great interest to all here is the symbolism issue. I'm sending you a few photos of a rifle stock offered to me some time ago ---Let me know what you think of those decors and the symbolism of each --- this is a late 1800s rifle.
You can post them if you want for all to see (I guess it's legal)--I cant handle photo bucket.
Seeya at Baltimore
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 20, 2009, 04:07:01 PM
Speaking of door latches.  They were apparently sometimes made by the same guys that made gun locks.  Stands to reason; look inside one sometime.  Henry really studied those things.  His favorite one is on the front door of Bindnagle's Lutheran Church.  Heading from Harrisburg/Hershey toward Lebanon/Reading, turn left at the square in Palmyra and head toward Hollywood Casino.  It is on that road on the left, about a stone's throw away from where the road crosses over the Swatara Creek.   This is a pre-Rev church, made of local stone, and it is beautiful in its simplicity.  Stop by some day and examine the door latch.  It appears in spme of Henry's books.   While you are at it, examine the architecture of the entire building.  You'll educate yourself the fun way.  If you plan to go on a Sunday and take in a service, don't do it in the winter.  The building is not heated except for a wood stove.  JWHeckert

 Take a walk through the churchyard (graveyard) and think of the loves and hardships that all those old Dutchmen experienced.  You may even see some familiar names.  Then kneel down and kiss the ground in front of you.  Every day on this side of the garden is a good one, some just better than others. 
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on March 28, 2009, 11:45:27 PM
Henry's last gun.

In Henry's last days he has turned over just about everything but a few good frakturs and one gun to the museum. Incidentally, the museum is on property once owned by Gen. Edward Hand, Washington's Adjutant General in 1781.

That one firearm was a plain-stocked Kentucky with a hand-made lock and about a 55" hand-made barrel.  If I recall it was a large-caliber smoothbore.  It had an iron ram rod.  Maybe some of you guys remember it and can add details.  Henry bought it for $15.00 back in the 1960's from a shopkeeper down in the Oley Valley who kept it above the counter. It rested by the side of the fireplace.

Henry objected to having a rifle above the fireplace.  "Never happened  back in the period," Henry would quip.  "Try in the corner behind the front door, where you can get it if you need it." 
Title: Re: A tribute to an old friend, Henry Kauffman
Post by: jwh1947 on April 11, 2009, 03:25:39 AM
An interesting inquiry came in yesterday that is worth considering.  The question was asked, "Why were  Kauffman and Kindig both conspicuous by their absence in gun collectors organizations?" 

First, as mentioned earlier, it is my understanding that Kindig wished not to be identified as a gun man but rather as a fine antique furniture expert, which he was.  Rifles were secondary.

As for Kauffman,  I once invited him to join KRA. We discussed this personally.  First, he detested the term "Kentucky Rifle" and saw it as a pure misnomer.  Second, he was  foremost a specialist in Lancaster artifacts, primarily hand-crafted metal pieces.  He got into guns because the need for documented texts was needed at the time, specimens were abundant in town then, and his skills directed him to entrepreneurship in the area, pure and simple.  Third, he was an independent soul who weighed everything in the balance and saw no advantages to membership. 
That's where it ended. 

As for their guns, all of Henry's are at Rockford.  Apparently, some of the Kindig rifles are for sale by appointment only at Kindig's shop in York.  If you have to ask the price, don't even call.