First Federal musket contract! McCormick, Philadelphia,1794. Extreme rarity
These rare 1794-contracted arms were all produced by firms (six are known) in Pennsylvania.They were long confused with the products of the later 1798 contracts, and to some extent with the prolific production of “CP” marked muskets for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, for which contracts were let 1797.However, McCormick was a contractor for the only in 1794, and his only other contract(s) seem to have been with Virginia. So his US-marked arms were unequivocally produced under his 1794 contract!Thus this gun represents the beginning of the Federal effort to encourage domestic manufacturing, which would be continued in the 1798 contracts and culminate with the export of “The American System” of manufacture to the world following the success of American arms makers at the 1853 Crystal Palace exhibition.