Jean Samuel Pauly, Henri Roux, and Successors by Georg Priestel
This book is an excellent source examining the company of Jean Samuel Pauly and his successors. It dives into the earliest documents and patents surrounding this revolutionary improvement in firearms design.
It is, by far, the most detailed contemporary look at these inventions and does a great job piecing together the information that was available to the author and updating many unfounded sources published in the past.
The book was released for free by the Author and able to be shared freely.
Preface – From the Author:
The creation of this book, which is in principle based on a happy coincidence, requires an explanation. In the course of my decades of dealing with the development of American ammunition in the 19th century. I also looked at the first European, i.e. French metal cartridges with central outside priming. The cartridges made by Pauly. Pottet and LePage between 1812 and 1832 were very attractive to me. After all, they are firmly anchored in literature as the forerunners of modern central fire cartridges. They essentially combined everything that only became standard 40-50 years later.
Regarding the early cartridges of Jean Samuel Pauly. I believed that everything was described in sufficient detail in the extensive literature on the subject. Berkeley R. Lewis (1972. 1973) and later also George Hoyem (1990) and Robert T. Buttweiler (1998) classified the known examples of the above inventors according to the time of their supposed manufacture. And publications from e.g. Lewis Winant (1959) and Matthew Schneiderman (2015) provided detailed explanations of the weapons of the Pauly system and a look at the associated ammunition. Everything seemed to me to be dealt with comprehensive correctness.
But my previous picture of Pauly’s ammunition changed suddenly and dramatically when I was advised to contact the French collector and ammunition researcher Amand Leveau. One of his areas of specialty is “Pauly”. The fact that I got in touch with him in spite of major problems with the French language proved to be a kind of blessing for the reappraisal of those important and formative years of French ammunition development.
In addition to a few simple questions, e.g. for markings on the Pauly rosettes, I also offered Mr. Leveau to present my small collection in the form of an image file. In order to keep my descriptions of the illustrated specimens as precise as possible, I named them “Type I”, “Type II”, “Type III”, and “Type IV” depending on the chronological order in which I thought they were manufactured. Mr. Leveau’s reply came promptly. What I would have called “Type I” is “Type II”! My “Type II” was “Type III” and my “Type III” was not Pauly at all, but a Roux according to his 1823 patent. My original specimen believed to follow Pauly’s 1812 patent was a first improvement by Pauly from 1813 or, much more likely, invented by Henry Roux and shown in his 1816 patent. And even worse it concerned what I had classified under “Pauly cartridge for ignition with compressed heated air” (Type III). It is a brass case with a steel nipple for percussion caps patented by Henry Roux 1823. More detailed explanations can be found in the descriptions of the original French documents and the cartridges that actually exist.
With this short explanation my “Pauly world”, which had been intact until now, was turned upside down, even completely out of joint. I had to change my mind radically. With Mr. Leveau’s tireless willingness to provide me with copies of the original documents the first step had been done. The second important and decisive step in understanding the events at that time was the extensive discussions with my German collector friend Stephan Rudloff. Because of his good French language skills, his keen eye for key words in the texts and his excellent knowledge of weapon technology, he finally cleared the scene and made a significant contribution to understanding the processes as they really were from 1812. My sincere thanks go to both gentlemen!
This work should serve to explain the historical background and events of ammunition development with its brilliant inventors J. S. Pauly and Henri Roux, and to put those inventors in a better light than it had previously been. Under no circumstances should this be seen as a criticism of previous researchers and authors. Since all the documents (patents, reports and letters) now cited are “hidden” in the archive of the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI), Paris, easy access to them was missing. Much of it can now be shown here and thus presented to a larger group of interested parties.
The structure of the content is based on the chronological order of the documents still available to us today in the form of commission reports, patent documents, letters and a contemporary publication (H. Roux, 1822). And last but not least, existing original ammunition examples in collections can underpin the developments with the illustrations shown here.
The presentation of ammunition development is an absolute priority. The technical peculiarities of the weapons are dealt with if this appears necessary in connection with the description of the cartridges. Detailed and good information on the weapons can be found in various publications (see bibliography).
To complete the picture, after the treatment of the French cartridges from 1812 to 1832, the way forward is also shown with examples that have been patented and manufactured in the USA. Stephan Rudloff and the author, we are proud that we are able now to rewrite the early development of the Pauly and Roux cartridges. The composition of many individual pieces of a puzzle gives a fairly coherent picture of how the story went from the beginning to the modern central fire cartridge.
The author, who has summarized the whole in the form of this book and would like to make it available to you, the readers, now hopes to have shed some more light on the darkness of such important beginnings.
Moers, Germany, April 2020