John H. Hall was a US gunsmith that invented a hybrid breechloading and muzzleloading rifle adopted by the US Army in 1819. But that’s not who we will be talking about. The John Hall we will be talking about was an auto mechanic. He lived in the small town of Wigton, Cumberland (present day Cumbria), in northwest England. Wigton had a population of 4000 people and was designated as a market town which gave it the legal right to hold a weekly market. In the late 1800s and early 1900s there were a lot of agricultural activities in the surrounding area including notable berry farms, livestock farms and many other types of farms.
John Hall owned a company called Station Road Works which was located on Station Road and very likely was the building that is the current Station Road Garage.
Hall was officially appointed by the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland and the Motor Union of Great Britain and Ireland as an automobile repairer for the Wigton area and listed in their Automobile Handbook. He referred to himself as an engineer and was likely a machinist that could fabricate parts needed to repair automobiles.
On April 2nd in the year 1902, Hall applied for a British patent for “Improvements in Apparatus for Scaring Purposes, Especially Applicable for Scaring Birds.” This application for his clock gun mentions existing similar devices that used a clock and had hands attached to levers that would release weights. He mentioned that these devices were very expensive and prone to wear over time. He also mention the dangers of how each barrel was loaded at the muzzle and detonated by a cap and that sometimes people would steal or mess with the powder since everything was loaded from the outside.