American used to be full of gunmakers, especially toward the end of the 19th century. From the big boys like Colt and Winchester to tiny guys like Krider and Tonks, these operations turned out everything from mass-produced pistols to top quality, custom made double-barrel shotguns.
Joseph Jakob was one of these tiny guys. Based on 1156 Passyhunk Avenue in Philadelphia, PA, he made guns of the highest order. Very little is known about Jakobs, though. It’s thought that he was around for about a decade — 1870-1880– and there are under 10 known surviving examples of his work in circulation today. These guns are all very hig quality. This side-by-side is an excellent example.
It’s a 10 gauge made around 1880. Even though it says JOSEPH JAKOB- MAKER 1156 PASSYUNK AVE PHILADA on the rib (that’s not a typo, btw), the action, barrels, and metalwork on this gun were not made in PA or anywhere else in USA. These parts were made in Prussia by Lindner, the famous double-barrel maker behind Charles Daly shotguns. These parts were then shipped to the USA and finished off by Jakob, or by people he employed for the task. This was a common practice and “makers” throughout the US did it with parts they brought in from the UK and Europe.