AJ Aubrey


The '''Meriden Firearms Company''' of Meriden, Connecticut, USA manufactured small arms from 1895 to 1918. Meridan made both sidelock double-barrel shotguns and single barrel shotguns, as well as small revolvers.

The Meriden Firearms Company was formed when Sears, Roebuck and Company purchased the Andrew Fyrberg & Sons firearms manufacturing plant in 1903 and moved the plant and machinery to Meriden, Connecticut, circa 1904. The company started manufacturing firearms circa early 1905. They made guns mostly for mail order companies (Montgomery Ward and Sears). Around 1906 Sears acquired a Savage Arms held patent for the Model 15 slide-action .22 Long Rifle rifle that was not introduced until 1913. In 1918 Sears announced that the Meriden Firearms Company would discontinue the manufacture of sporting firearms.

The company also imported Belgian guns and sold them under the Meriden name. These will have Belgian proof marks.

From 1895 to 1915, Meridan manufactured their line of "pocket pistols", which were double-action top-break revolvers chambered in either .32 S&W or .38 S&W. The revolvers came in several barrel lengths and were offered with both exposed and enclosed hammers. Finish was Nickel-plated with rubber handgrips.

Meriden Firearms represented a selection of good quality, relatively low cost firearms of which many survive in operational condition more than 100 years later.

The shotguns were well made and available in several grades. All had automatic safeties and cocking indicators. Barrels could be had in twist, damascus of several grades, armory steel or Krupp steel. Hammerless or hammer shotguns with varying amounts of engraving were available.


Albert James Aubrey was born Feb 23, 1863 to John Aubrey and Mary McKenna.
John Aubrey was born Jan 1, 1826 in Birmingham, Warwickshire.
Mary McKenna was born May 13, 1828 Talywain, Monmouth.

In 1856 John made the crossing alone from Liverpool to New York on the ship Atlantic. He brought over his wife and 2 children the next year.

Altogether John and Mary had 4 children.
Elizabeth Jane Aubrey b 1852, d 1931
Alfred J. Aubrey b 1854, d 1933
William Henry Aubrey b 1857, d 1922
Albert J. Aubrey b 1863, d 1947
Clara May Aubrey b 1868, d 1939

In 1880, John was working as a Silversmith in Meriden. This was most likely at the Britannica Silver works. Also in this year, Alfred is listed as a clergyman, while Albert is working in a factory. No indication is given in the census about what type of factory Albert was employed at.

Eventually, Clara married Arthur Proudman. By 1900 she had her father living with her growing family in Meriden, CT.

In the 1890 Meriden City Directory, William was an engraver.

During the first half of the 1890s Albert was the plant superintendent at Wilkes-Barre Gun Co. in Wilkes-Barre, PA. After that operation folded, Albert was listed in the Wilkes-Barre City Directory as "removed to Elmira, New York."

Albert married Blanche Boomer, known as "Annie" to her friends and family, in Fulton, NY. Blanche had been born in Oswego, NY on Oct 22, 1871. In 1895 Albert J had a daughter, Clara, who was born in Penn.

In 1896 Albert's mother Mary died in Meriden on Nov 20th.
In 1906 Albert is the VP of Meriden Firearms for for Sears.
In 1907 his father, John, died on Nov 14th.
In 1908 Albert is President of Meriden Firearms for Sears.
By 1910 he is no longer working in Meriden. Albert is in Santa Clara, CA employed in Sporting Goods.

At this time, the shotguns labeled AJ Aubrey now used Meriden Arms. There were a few shotguns made using the Berkshire brand name.

During his time at Sears, Albert filed for and received 8 patents related to firearms.

Description City Filed from Patent Number Date Issued
Improved Safety for breakdown guns Hopkinton, MA 859477 9. Jul. 1907
Sight For Firearms Meriden, CT 839535 25. Dec. 1906
Sight For Firearms Meriden, CT 835091 6. Nov. 1906
Automatic Shell-Ejector for Firearms Meriden, CT 887569 12. May. 1908
Fore-Stock Fastener for Firearms Meriden, CT 887568 12. May. 1908
Gun-Lock Meriden, CT 902639 3. Nov. 1908
Safety Hammer Meriden, CT 911362 2. Feb. 1909
Rifle-Barrel Construction Meriden, CT 918491 20. Apr. 1909

According to the Sears archives, Meriden guns were no longer listed as of the fall 1918 catalog.

In 1920, he is shown in the census as a gunsmith. He is living with his wife Blanche Boomer Aubrey and their daughter Clara. In 1942 Blanche died on Dec 26th in Santa Clara, Ca. Albert died on Feb 3, 1947. He had out lived all his siblings.

William Gough was the engraver for the Aubrey and Meriden shotguns. Gough also engraved for Parker, Remington, Colt and AH Fox.



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