Sunday, October 9, 2016

J. H. Dance & Brothers Revolver

The brothers James Henry, George Perry, David Etheldred and Isaac Claudius Dance joined their cousin Harrison Perry Dance to form the J.H. Dance & Bros company, located in the city of Columbia, Texas, which was situated on the banks of the Brazos river near Houston and Galveston.

First known as a steam machines factory, the company ceased all activities when the war broke out, and concentrated all efforts on the manufacture of revolvers for the Confederate army. The decision seems to have been taken late 1861 or early 1862 and must have been quite an undertaking for those people who had no experience at all in gun making.

The men who worked for this company were granted exemption from military service by the state because the need for firearms was so great.

In December 1863, the workshop was moved farther inland to Anderson, Texas, due to the fear that the Union gunboats could shell it the factory.

It is interesting to note that the Dance brothers never received any financial assistance from either the Confederate government nor the Texas Military Board to start the production.

The J.H. Dance & Bros was the fourth most important revolver manufacturer of the Confederacy and the only one to have produced both .44 and .36 calibre revolvers. 

Based on the serial numbers found on the few guns that have survived, collectors estimate that a total of 350 .44 caliber revolvers were produced, and about 135 of the .36 caliber.

updated 10-7-2016