After more than five years of hard labor and 1,912 miles of track, the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met on May 10, 1869 in Promontory Summit, Utah. The impossible dream to connect the country with a single, transcontinental railway had been accomplished.
The creation of the First Transcontinental Railroad was arguably the single greatest engineering feat of the 19th century. It took the teamwork of thousands of politicians, businessmen, surveyors, tradesmen, engineers, and laborers to blaze a path across the Western Frontier.
When it was finished, Union Pacific engineer Silas Seymour said that there was “Nothing like it in the world.” As our nation observes the 150th anniversary of that historic event, it’s still hard to grasp the magnitude of what happened.
To commemorate this important historical event in American history, America Remembers proudly presents the Transcontinental Railroad Tribute Rifle. For this special tribute, we selected an Old West classic; the Model 1866 Rifle. This rifle was a fixture on the American frontier and was used by the workers during the construction of this historic American achievement. The Model 1866 was the first firearm to ever bear the Winchester name. Affectionately known as the “Yellow Boy” for its bright brass frame, the Model 1866’s ability to fire 15 consecutive rounds made it a favorite among cowboys, lawman, and outlaws of the Old West.
The Transcontinental Railroad Tribute is a working, lever-action Model 1866 Rifle in caliber .44-40 (.44 W.C.F.) with a handsomely blued, 24 ¼” tapered octagonal barrel. Rifles for this edition are produced by the artisans of A. Uberti, where master craftsmen have painstakingly reproduced the greatest firearms of history for more than five decades. This Tribute is offered exclusively by America Remembers and is strictly limited to an edition of 500. Craftsmen, commissioned specifically for this Tribute by America Remembers, decorate each Tribute in elegant 24-karat gold with a nickel embellished background serving as the canvas for the artwork.
The Railroad Race That Reshaped Our Nation
In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act authorized the creation of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad companies, who were tasked with connecting the line from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Francisco Bay. Both companies would earn land grants, government loans and bonds, but the railroad that built more and built faster would earn more.
The construction of the railroad became a race against time and a quest for treasure. Money proved to be a great motivator as workers for both companies performed almost superhuman feats of daily labor and endurance. The laborers, including Civil War veterans and recent immigrants from Ireland, China, and countries all over the world, proved themselves up to almost any task that was offered. There were no power tools or backhoes. They used muscle to fill 50-foot deep gorges, sledgehammer boulders, and set every railroad tie in place.
On May 10, 1869, locomotives from the two railroads met nose-to-nose at Promontory Summit in Utah. Crowds of workers, onlookers, and railroad dignitaries gathered as Leland Stanford drove the final spike that joined the rails of the transcontinental railroad. Stanford’s sledgehammer and the spike were connected directly to a telegraph wire so that the strike could be heard “as it happened” at stations across the country.
The First Transcontinental Railroad was a remarkable achievement that catapulted America to new heights. It displayed our boldness, tenacity and ingenuity. It was a technical feat that earned us the respect of the world, but it also connected our country and reconnected our hopes and dreams for the future.
Only 500 Available
Only 500 of the Tribute Rifle will ever be produced. Each Tribute is individually numbered and shipped with a matching numbered Certificate of Authenticity, which will confirm your place among the elite ranks of collectors. Order now and we will arrange delivery of your working Tribute through the licensed firearms dealer of your choice. As always, you will receive your Transcontinental Railroad Tribute Rifle with our 30 day guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied, you may return your Tribute to us in original, unfired condition for a complete and courteous refund.
The right side of the receiver features details from Thomas Hill’s painting, “The Last Spike.” The 1881 painting of the historic driving of the last spike features over seventy portraits of individuals who helped make the Transcontinental Railroad possible. On the left, Jupiter is shown, officially known as Central Pacific Railroad #60. On the far right, a group of workers are featured laying the last rail.
The left side of the receiver features the moment that the Union Pacific and Central Pacific met at Promontory Summit. CP Chief Engineer Samuel S. Montague (left) and UP Chief Engineer Grenville M. Dodge shake hands, surrounded by dozens of assorted crew, laborers and railroad officials. Pictured prominently to the scene’s left is the Golden Spike. The 17.6-karat gold ceremonial spike was driven by Leland Stanford to mark the joining of the tracks (it was quickly removed and replaced with ordinary steel). Union Pacific No. 119 is pictured to the right. The 4-4-0 steam locomotive was one of the engines that made history at Promontory Summit. To the left, a group of railroad crew and laborers pose alongside the Jupiter locomotive.
Since “Transcontinental Railroad Tribute Rifle“ is a working rifle, we will arrange delivery through a licensed firearms dealer of your choice.
I wish to reserve “Transcontinental Railroad Tribute Rifle,” a working rifle, at the price of $2,395*. Each rifle is numbered and registered within the limited edition of 500, and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Thirty day return privilege.
Please charge my credit card a deposit of $195 per rifle. I will pay the balance at the rate of $100 per month, with no interest or carrying charge
* All orders are subject to acceptance and credit verification prior to shipment. Sales tax is required in certain states and will be added. Shipping and handling will be added to each order. Virginia residents please add sales tax.