The company was started by William H. and Ellis L. Baker in 1877. Leroy H. and Lyman C. Smith financed the new W.H. Baker & Co. In 1880, L.C. Smith bought the interest from the two Baker partners and continued production with "L.C. Smith Maker of the Baker Gun" marked on the rib and "Baker Pat." on the lock plates. Smith decided to drop the Baker name in 1883 but continued to manufacture this gun and a three-barrel shotgun/rifle combination in Syracuse, NY. The company was sold to the Hunter Brothers in 1889. A new company, Baker Gun & Forging Co., began making both the New Baker shotguns (see separate listing) and the Ithaca gun. The Hunter Arms Company made L.C. Smith shotguns for about 55 years, until the Marlin Firearms Company bought the business in 1945 and formed the L.C. Smith Gun Company in 1946 which produced shotguns until 1950.
Baker guns were originally 10 or 12 ga., and unusual in that the opening mechanism was operated by pressing forward on the front trigger. While relatively uncommon, most Baker guns seldom have much original finish remaining. Most are priced in the $300-$900 range, assuming the original finish is less than 10%. If condition is better than 40%, guns should be evaluated individually for accurate pricing.
Previously manufactured in Lisle, NY, production was done in Syracuse, NY 1877-1883.