Museum & Collector Specialties is a part-time “hobby” business designed to serve individuals and institutions involved in the avocational or interpretative use of historic field artillery.
In one form or another we have been working with historic field artillery since 1959. Our concern for practical and safety issues relating to the use of historic artillery prompted publication of the first modern comprehensive users guide for muzzle-loading artillery in 1970, The Complete Cannoneer. Over the past forty years we have owned, repaired, restored, or re-created more than fifty historic field guns , their carriages and support vehicles. In most cases we have assessed their firing and maneuver characteristics as well. In this process we have learned quite a bit and can share some of this with others through a supply catalog for gun carriage castings and replacement parts. The product line is over 250 parts for US field gun carriages from Rev War to 1918 and is occasionally revised. The parts we offer are new castings, taken directly off of original surviving parts. Our thirty-four page Gun Carriage Castings Catalog is frequently revised as we restore or re-create additional original carriage types.
Over the years we have contributed articles to the Muzzle-Loading Artilleryman Magazine, primarily on topics of safety, gun tube construction, and gun carriages. For those who are seriously interested we can provide photo copies of our dissection of some modern made cannon barrels, which we feel do not come up to traditional design standards.
Our interest in historic artillery focuses much more on historic field gun carriages than on the gun tubes. For many years the ballistics of cannon tubes changed very little, their impact on history came from changes in mobility resulting in improved carriage engineering. For an introduction to this topic we have provided an article on the subject originally printed in the Artilleryman Magazine , (Summer 1994), titled US Field Gun Carriages-Their History and Evolution.
We maintain an ongoing research interest in one particular historic artillery unit. Loomis’ Battery, lst Michigan Light Artillery (Battery A) was the first battery organized from Michigan during the Civil War.
We researched this unit for a thesis topic many years ago and continue to collect information on individuals who served in this wartime organization. Our collection includes over 125 images of battery veterans which can be shared with those who have a genealogical or other interest. In turn we are interested in knowing further details about the individuals who served in this battery.