Previous company with headquarters located in New York, NY circa 1874-1891.
Merwin Hulbert offered very high quality revolvers which were serious competitors with the Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Remington large frame single actions during this era. Their guns are believed to have been manufactured in a separate section of the Hopkins & Allen plant. Most will have both Merwin Hulbert and Hopkins & Allen markings on the barrel.
Merwin revolvers have a unique twist-open mechanism. The latch on the bottom of the frame is pushed toward the rear, while barrel & cylinder are twisted clockwise and pulled forward. This design was intended to allow selective ejection of empty cases while leaving unfired cartridges in the cylinder.
A unique and highly desirable feature of Merwin revolvers is "suction". Due to the exceptionally tight machining tolerances of these revolvers, when the barrel and cylinder were twisted to the right, drawn forward, and let go of, they would return to an almost fully closed position on the frame due to the "suction" created by these tight tolerances. Merwins with extremely good "suction" will bring a 10%-20% premium.
Merwins will often be found with a distinctive and unusual "punch dot" style factory engraving, often with some sort of simple panel scene (animal, bird, flowers, etc.) on one or (rare) both sides of the frame. These will usually bring perhaps a 50% premium in lower grades, while in higher condition may bring double or triple what an undecorated gun will bring. The highest quality factory Exhibition/Presentation grade guns may bring four to five times what an undecorated gun will bring. These are exceptionally rare!
During 1868, Joseph Merwin merged with Hulbert Bros. to form an import/export company. In 1871, Merwin-Hulbert & Company of NY became the sole agent for Hopkins & Allen products. Joseph Merwin passed away in 1878. During 1880-1881, the company made some bad investments, and was forced into trusteeship. In 1887, Merwin, Hulbert & Co. claimed ownership of the Hopkins & Allen factory in Norwich. But by 1896, another chaotic financial situation brought about the demise of the company, as well as Hulbert Bros. Co.