John Baker

The 1983 booklet "Gunsmiths and Gunmakers of Bedford and Somerset Counties Pennsylvania 1770-1900" includes John Baker in its list of Bedford County gunsmiths, puts him in Providence Township, and indicates that during 1777-1778 he was a contractor who was working for the Pennsylvania Committee of Safety. The authors of the 1983 booklet do not include John Baker in their 1991 book "Gunsmiths of Bedford, Somerset, and Fulton Counties".

The 1953 edition of "American gun makers" has an entry for a John Baker who was in a Providence Township in Pennsylvania in the 1768 to 1775 timeframe. The county is not identified. That is a problem, because there is more than one Providence Township in Pennsylvania. Bedford County and Lancaster County both have a Providence Township. When the 1983 booklet was written, it wouldn't have been easy to know that there is more than one Providence Township in Pennsylvania.

A John Baker of the Borough of Lancaster died in 1750, and is mentioned briefly in Research Bulletin No. 21 of the Kentucky Rifle Association (1972, "The Baker Family Of Gunsmiths In Lancaster County, 1717-1754"), where he is described as a forger of gun barrels. The following item is from Vol. XIX of the 1915 book "Papers Read before the Lancaster County Historical Society":

Here's what the 1924 edition of Dillin's book "The Kentucky Rifle" says about John Baker:

An August 24, 1728 letter in the Taylor papers references "John Baker the gunsmith on Conestoga".

The 1953 edition of "American gun makers" also has an entry for a John Baker who made firearms for the state of Pennsylvania in 1776. This John Baker was located at what is now Norristown, Pennsylvania, which is between Reading and Philadelphia.

I suspect the John Baker entry in the 1983 booklet is mistakenly based on the John Baker entries in "American gun makers". There was a firearms contractor named John Baker, but he was located in eastern Pennsylvania.

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