The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum exhibit that features the battle-scarred Bible and other artifacts belonging to Rhode Island Civil War soldier Private Alfred G. Gardner (Battery B First Rhode Island Light Artillery) tells a story of sacrifice and devotion to a higher cause. The Bible served as Gardner’s private journal, in which he made observations […]
Until the 19th century was well along, handguns were limited to single-shot weapons. In 1836, a 22-year old Hartford, Connecticut man, Samuel Colt, came up with a concept for controlled rotation of a firearm that would allow multiple rounds to be fired without reloading. Colt, the son of a textile manufacturer, developed a fascination for […]
Here’s another kind donation to the historic military book collection at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. This is an 1899 first edition of Harpers Weekly “Pictorial History of the Spanish American War”. The artwork is wonderful and the images are unique and interesting. Thank you, Grant Brandon!
The huge U.S. flag displayed in our drill hall has an illustrious past with a Rhode Island connection. You can read more about it here. At September’s meeting, Varnum member Tom Gardiner relates the story of Tim Morris of Providence, RI. Morris was an American hero who served in World War I as a Knights […]
Our Rhode Island United Train of Artillery leather cap (purportedly worn during the Revolution by Benajah Carpenter) has safely returned to the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum from the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia,PA. Carpenter was killed in action at the Battle of Long Island presumably while wearing it. One of the rarest and […]
Here’s another small (but fascinating) piece of history tucked away in the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. This is a piece of the famed US Frigate “Constitution”, known as “Old Ironsides” for its defeat of five British warships during the War of 1812. The piece was owned by Rear Admiral John R. Bartlett of Lonsdale, RI, […]
Here are some before and after images of Varnum Continental’s founding member H.V. Allen’s Kentish Guard uniform jacket from 1900. This job required painters tape, a special vacuum, gentle handwashing in Woolite, and about 5 hours of time. Now the jacket is clean and brighter. Despite the moth damage, it should display nicely at the […]
The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum has become a place where Rhode Island military history is saved from the dust bin of time. This often includes saving the records detailing the more mundane and low-key types of service to our country. Not everyone was in combat. Not everyone was heroic. Not everyone made decisions and actions […]
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a Rhode Island First Light Infantry (Company D) glass from 1903. This Rhode Island Militia (RIM) group supplied a lot of men to fight in State regiments and the RIM. It was the predecessor of the Rhode Island National Guard.
This Smith & Wesson Victory Model 10 revolver was recently donated to the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum. The Varnum Memorial Armory’s revolver is a .38 Smith & Wesson. More research is forthcoming. The Smith and Wesson Model 10, produced during World War II, had a “V” for Victory prefix in the serial number. Smith and […]