William Blair, Somerset County, Pennsylvania gunsmith

According to Kauffman's 1960 book "The Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle", William Blair is identified as a gunsmith on the 1823 tax list of Brothersvalley Township, Somerset County. I have to wonder if the handwritten tax list was hard to decipher, and actually references William Blain, who is known to have been a gunsmith in Westmoreland County in 1832 from the following advertisement that appeared in the August 24, 1832 issue of the "Farmer's Repository" newspaper:

In 2005, someone wrote a question about a percussion conversion long rifle with a tiger maple or curly maple stock that is signed William Blain on the barrel, between two heart-shaped inlays. The lock was marked "Earps and McMain". Someone answered the inquiry, stating that William Blaine is identified as a gunsmith on the 1838 Donegal township, Westmoreland County tax list.

In 2014, a percussion conversion rifle with a .40 caliber, 39" octagon barrel marked "W. Blain" on the top flat was auctioned by Poulin Antiques & Auctions, Inc. The lock was marked "W. Chance & Co./Warranted". The barrel was pinned to the full length maple stock, and had fixed sights. Th stock has an engraved patchbox with a daisy-shaped finial and has a German silver half-moon inlay on the cheek piece. The buttplate, trigger guard, and lock bolt plate are brass, and the rifle has double set triggers.

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