Nice old Whitney Arms Catalog for the Whitney Kennedy Lever Action Rifle that dates to around 1882. Features Kenney carbines, rifles, sights, parts, reloading tools, testimonials with names of original owners, shooting scores, and directions for use and disassembly. The guns illustrated all have the early style serpentine "S" levers...including the scarce full-stocked carbine in 45-60. There were only 1,000 carbines made. Comes with an original "reduced" price list dated June 1, 1883. Overall condition is Very Good with all pages intact, no rips or tears. The catalog is creased like it was folded at one time...probably this was how it was originally mailed by Whitney or a dealer to a prospective customer. Eli Whitney's company was in its last days at the time these were published.
For a company that sprouted from Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin while living in Georgia, through the US Government Contract for 1798 Model muskets, the assembly line style production which became a cornerstone to the industrial revolution, the production of the Walker Colt, and countless models and variants of revolvers and rifles over decades of production, the 1880's saw the sad demise of a company that had played such a pivotal part in US history. It's my understanding that the city of New Haven literally grew around the Whitneyville Armory and Whitney Jr. even rented space at one time to Oliver Winchester who was struggling to get his small Volcanic Arms firm off the ground. Whitney was a unique company not always for what they built but that they built just about every type of arm you could imagine. Their product lines were often diverse, competing directly against Remington, Colt, and Winchester...and oftentimes while submitting bids for government and military contracts. The Kennedy Lever Action was a great gun...if you've ever studied one up close, it's more akin to a piece of industrial machinery than a commercial sporting gun. They were very well built if not over-built and must have cost a fortune to manufacture. These may have been hand-fit...if you've ever been brave enough to take one apart, even their internal parts are numbered. Today, collectors have turned up these Whitney Kennedy rifles and carbines from all over the world and usually in well-used condition. By the late 1880's, Winchester Repeating Arms purchased Whitney in an effort to reduce its competition and sold off its assets.
This catalog represents one of Whitney's last designs in the form of the Kennedy Repeating Rifle. We look high and low for these old gun catalogs but ones dating to pre-1890 are tough to come by and that includes even the big makers like Winchester, Colt, and Smith and Wesson. When it comes to the smaller manufacturers like Whitney, original catalogs for their lever action models are scarcer than hens' teeth.