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Discussion Starter #1
I thought this was interesting. I was doing a google search for different brand names of "Suicide Special" revolvers and came up with this coroners report log from 1878.
Check out how many revolvers are listed among personal effects of the deceased. Mostly cheap revolvers like "Defiance" "Bull Dozer" "Red Jacket" "British Bulldog".
I only noticed one Colt. It says "Colt Navy Revolver"

1879 Coroner's Report of Decedents' Property from the 1878-1879 San Francisco Municipal Report
 

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I skimmed it. I seen several colt revolvers and several smiths. I found interesting that quite a few "police whistles" were mentioned. Must have been popular for people to carry and whistle for help or to scare off attackers.
 

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Twaits, thanks for the thought provoking tour of the past via a coroner's inventory of the debris we humans leave behind: gold toothpicks, newborns, pearl collar buttons, spectacles, etc. Ah, the humanity.

Seemed curious that only a few firearms were identified by serial number, but I guess those cheap revolvers lacked them.
Regards,
Thos
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I found this excerpt interesting:

Delivered to Christian MERKLE, father of deceased, excepting knife and cartridges retained as evidence.

Looks like this death may not have been accidental.
 

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Twaits - thanks for the list. I'm currently reading a series of novels with Ambrose Bierce as one of the protagonists, set in S.F. around the period your coroner's report was compiled. The list provides a kind of a ghastly color that fits really well with the settings described in the novels.
 

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Interesting blast from the past.

Note also that Chinese female infanticide was very much the rage, then, as now.

I wish the cops had taken the time to mention the caliber of those revolvers and derringers.
 

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Quite a slice-of-life there...

Seems a mite poignant, and also a sort of reminder on how there are so many sides of Life one might never see or know much about...then or now.

Those poor fellows found in the lolling waves of the Bay, nothing left for 'identifyingfacial features' but a tuft of Hair maybe... I suppose from the Sea Gulls pecking away at them...even if everything else was still intact.


I imagine there was little investigation then, into these deceased persons, as for determining if they represented occasions of Foul Play.


Other than instances where effects were conveyed to relatives or executors...or ( Cash ) to the Funeral Parlor 'to defray costs', I wonder what became of their belongings? All those Land Deeds, Mining Shares, Bank Account Passbooks or related, various personal items, Valices or Trunks, Saddlebags or whatever else of Luggage and Valises and so on, and, of course, their Guns?

It's a little depressing in it's way!
 

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"Seemed curious that only a few firearms were identified by serial number, but I guess those cheap revolvers lacked them.
Regards,
Thos "


It appears that ,mostly, the interest in ser nos is quite modern. Ser No2 Colt SAA I believe was sold and just carried around by some guy(s) until a modern collector found it. Springfield rifle Ser No 1 was issued and carried around the WW1 , eventually ending up at the Sprinfield Armoury museum in recent times. No one recorded ser Nos from revolvers after the OK Corall shooting, the ser Nos of revolvers issued to Custers command prior to Little Bighorn was not recorded (although the ser no range is known) and so on. There just appears to have been little interest in them even as identifiers.

NB
 

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"It appears that, mostly, the interest in ser nos is quite modern.... "

Interesting point, NB. It makes me recall how many times I have seen other identifiers on a SAA --like initials jiggered into the bottom of a grip, distinctive notches or cross hatches, initials-names-brands inside a rubber grip panel, and one time the oval of a rubber grip panel had the rampant colt scratched smooth and replaced by two initials. Likely the owners wanted some mark that family and friends could spot immediately without having to commit the social blunder of asking to inspect closely a stranger's firearm. Thanks again to Twaits for getting us wondering.
Regards, Thos
 
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