Colonel Edward Howland Robinson Green acquired the S.S. United States in 1917. As the son of notorious miser Hetty Green—dubbed “the witch of Wall Street” and the richest woman in the world at the time—Col. Green was able to indulge his wish for “the largest, finest and costliest privately owned yacht in the world,” as Rudder magazine described it.
Part of the yacht’s over-the-top opulence was a nautical arsenal that included 10 special firearms. Unfortunately for Colonel Green, his time to enjoy the yacht was short—less than two years after delivery, the yacht sank at its mooring in 16 feet of water. The shallow water made it possible for all of the yacht’s valuables to be recovered, including the firearms.
There were three Winchester .22 pump-action rifles represented in Colonel Green’s collection. Many called these “gallery guns” after the Coney Island shooting galleries became famous. The model 1890 was one of the more popular .22 rifles of the day.
These lever-action Model 1894 rifles were commissioned from Winchester by Colonel Green specifically for his yacht. Each rifle was factory engraved and gold-plated before the custom bird’s-eye maple stocks were fitted.
Another rifle commissioned from Winchester for Colonel Green’s yacht is this Model 1895 rifle. Like the others guns, it was displayed in a custom mahogany cabinet Colonel Green had built exclusively for the ship.