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Image 110520 Mitch Yates Gunmaker Artisan Field Trip

Miss our first Artisan Field Trip with Mitch Yates? Watch Part 1 for an introduction into his work with the Museum.


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, Museum Gallery Interpretation Manager Tyler Putman caught up with gunmaker Mitch Yates to discuss Yates' work on producing 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 called the Oerter rifle a “Holy Grail” for him, spoke with Putman about the work he recently completed on the reproducing the decorative brass wire inlay found on Oerter's rifle. Plus, don't miss behind-the-scenes clips of Yates' work!

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 their support of this project.

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Image 110520 Mitch Yates Gunmaker Artisan Field Trip

Artisan Field Trip with Gunmaker Mitch Yates

Mitch Yates discusses his work as a gunmaker using historical techniques and recreating a replica Johann 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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