Object Title

Elastic gun

Elastic gun



Object Number



Sold at auction. Lot 1659 in the Wallis and Wallis Sale of 12 September 1969.

Physical Description

The gun-shaped wooden stock is fitted with an octagonal barrel inscribed R.E HODGES PATENTEE 44 SOUTHAMPTON ROW, RUSSELL SQr LONDON. The barrel is slotted for most of its length, a cast brass feature at the fore-end incorporates two addorsed figures of Minerva, each in a helmet and flowing robes. Steel trigger-guard and butt-plate, a silver patch-box on the right of the butt, an octagonal escutcheon at the hand. The right side of the stock is stamped 98.
In use, a strand of rubber elastic is passed through the barrel slot and each end drawn forward and hooked over one of the bowed heads. The elastic, which is reinforced at its centre by a leather binding, is held under tension by a pivoted hook set by a wing-nut on the right and released by pressure on the trigger. The mechanism is contained in a silver-plated, metal housing with a horizontally pivoted lid.


Dimensions: Overall length: 47.3 in. (120.1 cm), Barrel length: 30.25 in. (76.9 cm) Weight: 5 lb. 1 oz.


.43 in.


Places England


Patent no. 12,623, granted to Richard Edward Hodges of Bycroft in the Count of Hereford on 29th May 1849, covered methods of 'Obtaining Mechanical Purchases by Means of Resilient Force of Caoutchouc, and Application of such Force to Projectiles'. A primitive version of this elastic gun is among the inventions described and illustrated. Hodges had premises at 44 Southampton Row from 1852 to 1871.
(See also XI.114)