Eley Percussion Cap Tin
Eley Percussion Cap Tin. Eley No 1 percussion cap tin
It was founded by Charles and William Eley in London in the 1820s. The Eley Brothers purchased the patent rights to the “wire cartridge” in the spring or early summer of 1828. The patent for “wire cartridge” was issued by the English Patent Office on 28 November 1827 to Joshua Jenour under Patent No. 5570. Mr. Jenour had been born in Fleet Street, London in 1755 and had previously been the owner and manager of the Daily Advertiser, a London newspaper. The ‘wire cartridge’ consisted of a wire cage which held the shot together during the first stages of its flight.
In 1828 Charles and William Eley established a factory in Charlotte Street (London), later moving to Bond Street (London). Initially, Charles Eley had been the primary owner of the concern and the original wire cartridges had only the name of Charles Eley on them. The initial attempts to sell the Eley Wire Cartridge went poorly and Charles Eley withdrew from the business. During the mid-1830s, William Eley reinvigorated the company and began sell the “Improved Patent Wire Cartridges”.
In 1837 the company added percussion caps to their range and though William was killed in an explosion in 1841, his three sons helped carry on the business. His eldest son William Thomas forged an alliance with Samuel Colt, the two patenting a skin cartridge for use in the latter’s revolvers.
By 1860 they were making pinfire shotshells and first listed them for sale in The Ironmonger & Metal Trades Advertiser. On 13 April 1861 William Thomas Eley took out a patent for an improvement to the pinfire shotshell. The key aspect to this patent was to better fix the cap into the case and prevent the pin from flying out of the case on detonation.