Manhattan Firearms by Waldo E. Nutter BOOK REVIEW
Manhattan Firearms by Waldo E. Nutter is finally back in print after the
outstanding reference book on Manhattan pistols first made its appearance
in 1958. Author Waldo Nutter began collecting antique firearms in 1919
when he purchased a Civil War musket for twenty-nine cents. By the 1950's
he had accumulated a renowned collection of Manhattan, Whitney, and
Metropolitan pistols, in addition to many fine Civil War-era muskets.
Nutter recognized the absolute lack of published information on the
Manhattan Firearms Manufacturing Company and began a four year
odyssey gathering as much information as possible about the company.
Beginning as a brain child of several bankers in 1855 in Norwich,
Connecticut, the company expanded its offerings and moved to Newark,
New Jersey in 1859. It continued to manufacture and sell quality pistols until
it folded and re-emerged as the American Standard Tool Company in 1868.
Even though fifty years have passed since Manhattan Firearms was first
published, very little additional information has surfaced about the
Manhattan Firearms Manufacturing Company or its pistols, so Waldo
Nutter's research remains the definitive study on Manhattan pistols.
Stackpole Books of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania published the original Manhattan Firearms in 1958 and
has now republished the original book in its entirety. The only noticeable difference is an appealing new cover
that will be easy to keep clean and will withstand heavy use.
For several decades the original Manhattan Firearms edition was a prized find at gun shows, used book
stores, Internet book shops, and on Ebay. As such, these early copies often commanded high prices despite
the occasional minor tears and worn corners. Very few of these 1958 editions surface in mint condition because
the book is fascinating to read and chock full of useful information about all of the pistols made by Manhattan. In
addition, Waldo Nutter also writes about Manhattan competitors such as those pistols manufactured by Thomas
K. Bacon, a one-time Manhattan employee, and by Nepperhan Fire Arms Company or Yonkers, New York. They
manufactured their own versions of the .31 caliber pistols that were incredibly similar to Manhattan's .31 caliber
If there is any very slight disappointment with Waldo Nutter's original Manhattan Firearms book, it is the quality
of the photographs taken when the book was first produced. Of course, we are used to seeing 21st century
technology and remarkable advances in digital photography. The photographs in Manhattan Firearms will
serve to whet the appetites of Manhattan collectors to photograph their own collections and to seek additional
photographs on the Internet.
There are literally hundreds of books published on Colt firearms and readily
available at any bookseller today. But there is only one reference book on
Manhattan Firearms. The Stackpole Company is providing an
outstanding opportunity for Manhattan firearms collectors to add this
absolutely necessary book to their personal libraries.
We suggest that you buy two copies, one to put on your bookshelf to archive
and one to place within easy reach. If you are a bona fide Manhattan
collector, you won't be able to put the book down! The republished
Manhattan Firearms is available at the publisher, online booksellers, and at
by Waldo E. Nutter
5067 Ritter Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055