Driggs-Seabury

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Driggs-Seabury Ordnance Company
Industry Artillery, Automotive
Fate Dissolved 1925
Founded circa 1898
Founder
  • William H. Driggs
  • Samuel Seabury
Key people
  • William H. Driggs
  • Samuel Seabury
  • Louis Labodie "L. L." Driggs
Products Naval artillery, Army artillery, motor vehicles

Driggs-Seabury Ordnance Company was founded in 1897 by William H. Driggs and Samuel Seabury, both US Navy officers, in partnership with Louis Labodie Driggs, originally to produce guns for the US Army and US Navy designed by the partners.[1]

History[edit]

Driggs-Seabury was preceded by the Driggs-Schroeder series of weapons, designed by W. H. Driggs and Seaton Schroeder in the late 1880s and produced by the American Ordnance Company in the 1890s. Driggs-Seabury incorporated the former Seabury Gun Company at its founding. Driggs-Seabury's plant was initially in Derby, Connecticut, in the former Brady Manufacturing facility.[2] Although Seabury died in 1902, followed by Driggs in 1908, the company continued (with an apparent interruption from 1915 to 1921) under the leadership of Louis Labodie "L. L." Driggs until 1925. The relationship, if any, between William H. Driggs and Louis "L. L." Driggs is unclear; L. L. Driggs was formerly with the American Ordnance Company, manufacturer of Driggs-Schroeder weapons.[2] The company moved production to Sharon, Pennsylvania in 1904; the US Rapid Fire Gun and Power Co. acquired the plant in Derby.[2] The company manufactured motor vehicles 1913-15 and 1921–25, but sold its weapons production and plant in Sharon to Savage Arms in a 1915 merger.[3][4][5] Under Savage Arms, the Sharon plant made Lewis guns in World War I. Dropping the Seabury name, Driggs was reconstituted as a motor vehicle manufacturer in New Haven, Connecticut in 1921, confusingly named “Driggs Ordnance & Manufacturing Corporation”. Driggs folded for good in 1925.

Weapons[edit]

Weapons produced by Driggs-Seabury included:

3-inch gun M1898 on retractable masking parapet carriage M1898, both made by Driggs-Seabury.
  • 3-inch gun M1898 (a.k.a. 15-pounder),[6] a coast defense weapon for the Army on a retractable "masking parapet" carriage, also made by Driggs-Seabury. 120 guns and carriages were built. It was later used as the basis for the 3-inch Gun M1918, an anti-aircraft weapon. Possibly due to the bankruptcy of Driggs-Seabury, the M1898 seacoast weapons were removed from service in the early 1920s.[7]
  • US Navy 3"/23 caliber gun Mark 13 during World War I. This had a semi-automatic horizontal sliding breech block. In this case semi-automatic means the breech opens and the cartridge case is ejected on firing, ready for the next round to be loaded manually.[8]
A Hotchkiss 6-pounder gun on USS Oregon (BB-3), generally similar to the Driggs-Seabury 6-pounder.
  • The Navy 6-pounder Mark 11 and 3-pounder Mark 14 were made by Driggs-Seabury.[9]
  • Two 6-pounder (57 mm or 2.24 inch) Driggs-Seabury guns were adopted by the US Army and designated the M1898 and M1900. Twenty M1898 and forty M1900 weapons were procured. Seventeen of the M1898 weapons were used on troop transports in the Spanish–American War.[10] For land service, the 6-pounders were on "parapet" or "rampart" mounts which allowed a wheeled carriage to be fixed to a pintle mount.[11] Some of these weapons were used at coastal forts in limited quantities beginning circa 1900, usually two per fort, and 12 were at Fort Ruger, Oahu, Hawaii 1915-19 under the Land Defense Project, which also included guns in the Philippines.[11][12] (The Marks II and III Driggs-Seabury weapons mentioned in some sources are actually earlier Driggs-Schroeder weapons manufactured by American Ordnance, possibly similar to the Navy Marks 6 and 8.[13][9])
  • A 3.2-inch field gun was featured in Scientific American in 1898, possibly an unsuccessful bid. It was not adopted by the US Army.[14][15]
  • The breech mechanism for the US Navy 3"/50 caliber gun Mark 5.[16]

Vehicles[edit]

The vehicles produced by Driggs-Seabury and Driggs (some of which were other manufacturers' designs) included:

1914 Twombly Model A cyclecar.

References[edit]

External links[edit]