Museum Minute: The Four Vagabonds

Oct 11, 2018

The lever action shotgun that belonged to Henry Ford.
Credit Image from the Cody Firearms Museum, Museum Purchase


In firearms history, there are many parallels between firearm production and automobile production. So Ashley Hlebinsky, the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, was excited to find one lever action shotgun that held significance to two tycoons in the automobile industry.

The Cody Firearms Museum has a serial #1 model of an 1887 John Moses Browning Shotgun. The shotgun was originally bought by Henry Ford of Ford Motor Company and then given to Harvey Firestone of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

Hlebinsky did a little of research and found that Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison and the naturalist John Burroughs travelled around the country in a Ford and would camp and hunt. They called themselves the Four Vagabonds. After 1924, the group had grown too famous and couldn’t continue their adventures without attracting too much attention.