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Whilst I was looking around Texas last week, I stopped in at a spur maker in Gainesville and was shown a vice by Chas Parker and was told this was the same maker as the famous Parker guns. I hadn’t realised Parker was the maker of many other things and did a quick bit of research.

Charles Parker was born in 1809 and rose from poverty to become one of Connecticut’s leading industrialists. He also became the city of Meriden’s first mayor. He started his manufacturing career inventing and producing coffee mills in a small shop in 1832.

By 1860, he owned several large factories and employed hundreds of people, in and around Meriden. Parker products included hardware and house wares, flatware, clocks, lamps, piano stools and benches, vises, coffee mills, industrial machinery, and, after 1862, guns. Guns, however, never amounted to more than 10 percent of Parker’s business. Charles Parker died in 1901 and his descendants carried on his businesses until 1957.

The Great Depression of the 1930s took its toll on the Parker enterprise and it never fully recovered. Parker products have now become “collector’s items,” especially the Parker shotguns. The Charles Parker Company sold its gun facility and the rights to the Parker gun to Remington Arms Company in 1934, and Remington continued the Parker shotgun line until World War II.

The attraction by collectors to the Parker shotgun comes because of the gun’s inherent quality and beauty. The Parker gun is an American classic and examples of their highest grade guns have been achieving record prices at auction recently, up in the $100,000’s and more bracket!

Parker Vice


  1. I am trying to find any information about my great grand father Charles Green (1843 to 1923) born in Spencerport, Monroe County, NY. He was a gunmaker. Does the early history of your company have any information about him? I would appreciate knowing very much. Thanks, Gil Green. Jan. 27, 2015

    • I was doing a little research tonight on my vice only because of how great the condition is on my No. 973 1/2 Chas Parker pat. 1830 vice and I Just came across this article and didn’t realize the age and history behind it.
      Thanks for Sharing this article

  2. Hi, I am trying to find out information on a C Parker vice I have fond in my Fathers garage. It has casting marks that say, C Parker, Meriden, CT, no 21. It also says on the other side of vice,pat May 28 Nov26 Dec 10-17 1867. Please can you help?

  3. I know nothing of the vice, but I do have a Parker No. 2 vise wrench. exactly as in the photo. i was wanting information as well. Good luck

  4. I have a piano stool with “The C Parker Co, Meriden CT” on the spinner connected to the seat. My mom used it while playing her piano for years. It is beautiful, with 4 twisted wood legs around another thick twisted wood center. The feet are aged brass I believe (bird claws on balls). I know you cannot tell me the worth but I was wondering if you could tell me approx. how old it could be. I am guessing well over 100 years. Would I be close in my guess………. ?

    • I am afraid you are correct, I don’t know!, but I do think you are probably close in your guess!
      Seems they had their fingers in many pies!

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