Saturday, October 16, 2010

Transcontinental Railroad engraving project

From: "Nick Francolini"

I am a Firearms Engraver and am designing a very fancy, museum quality pair of Colt Single Action Army revolvers to commemorate the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad.

In 1984 I was commissioned by Larry Mayle of Indian Wells, CA to engrave a Colt revolver to commemmorate the 100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. Mr. Mayle acquired original materials from the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Centennial Commission to incorporate directly into the Colt (see photo) and its case. I used copper from the Statue to cast the flame in Her torch on the silver grips and make keys for the case, steel from concrete reinforcing rods to make screw drivers and cleaning rods, wood from the observation windows in Her crown to make handles for the screwdrivers and cleaning rods. The casemaker made the entire case from the wood and I engraved a piece of copper Statue skin for the case lid plate. The gun made the cover of the July, 1986 issue of American Rifleman Magazine and has appeared in numerous other magazines and books. Many photos and further explanations of this unique project can be seen on my website.

Colt revolver

I would like to give the Transcontinental Railroad pair of Colts (one East, one West), the same unique treatment by incorporating original materials from the first Transcontinental Railroad. These materials could be steel, iron, brass, wood, glass or whatever, and would need to be authenticated by someone like you, as having been used by the TCR either during or after construction. Do you know of any such materials, or do you have any suggestions that would help me acquire such materials for this project?

I am an engraver, not an antique dealer, and will not sell these materials to my client or anyone else. To me these materials are precious pieces of history that I have the privilage of working with to help tell the story of the conception, construction, and completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Like the TCRR itself, this project will take years, and on completion will hopefully be an inspiration to people who share an interest in our Country's history and the enormous contribution some people made to bring us together and link the East and West with steel.

My website has other historical firearms – Cowboys & Indians, Tombstone, and a Colt Dragoon that was Tiffany & Co. designed and engraved with George Catlin and Frederic Remington painting motifs for Gene Autry's 81st birthday, which now sits in the Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any information that will help me find documented, original materials will be greatly appreciated and credited in the documentation that will accompany these firearms. ...

My very best regards and thanks to you; your website is an inspiration.

Leonard Francolini
P.O. Box 1732
Corrales, NM 87048


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Thank you for taking the time to post – I got some good responses and will follow up on them.

Best Regards and Thank You again,

—Leonard Francolini

10/18/2010 1:03 PM  

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