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Image 110520 Mitch Yates Gunmaker Artisan Field Trip 2

As part of the Museum’s Artisan Field Trip series, featuring interviews with living history artisans and makers as they demonstrate their Revolutionary-era crafts, Mitch Yates joins Museum Gallery Interpretation Manager Tyler Putman to discuss his work as a gunmaker using historical techniques.

Yates was recently commissioned to produce a highly accurate reproduction of an extremely rare 1775 John Christian Oerter (also known in German as Johann Christian Oerter) rifle for the Museum to use for public and educational programs. Yates, who joined us at the Museum over the summer to closely examine an original Oerter rifle in order to begin his work, called this rifle a “Holy Grail” for him and said it was an honor to work with a rifle with such history.

Your support will help us to complete this important project.

Learn more about gunmaker Mitch Yates and his work at and on Facebook at J. Mitchell Yates Colonial American Artist.

Read more about a rare Revolutionary-era rifle made by Oerter that was returned to its owner, the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, in a ceremony at the Museum in November 2019.

The Museum is grateful to the Contemporary Longrifle Association and their members for providing the funding necessary to start this project. Pledge your support today.

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Image 110520 Mitch Yates Gunmaker Artisan Field Trip 2

Artisan Field Trip with Gunmaker Mitch Yates (Part 2)

Museum Gallery Interpretation Manager Tyler Putman catches up with gunmaker Mitch Yates to discuss Yates' progress on reproducing a rare 1775 John Christian Oerter rifle for the Museum.
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Johann Cristian Oerter rifle from the Museum's Benninghoff collection

Rifle Made by John Christian Oerter

Moravian gunsmith John Christian Oerter made this rifle at his workshop in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia.
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Image 101417 Occupied Philadelphia Event 116 Jjh 5668

Living History Demonstrations

Dive deeper into Revolutionary era living history with Artisan Field Trips, Meet the Revolution interviews, cooking demos, and more.
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