The Whitney “Two Trigger” Revolver,
In the 1840’s and 50’s one of Samuel Colt’s competitors was the Whitney Company, which had been founded by the late Eli Whitney in 1798. Since Colt held the patent to the single action cap and ball revolver, the Whitney Company had to come up with some interesting designs that came close to the Colt, but used different operating mechanisms from the Colt. One such weird contraption was the Whitney “Two Trigger” Revolver. As suggested by it’s name, the revolver had two triggers. However it was no normal single action revolver. While cocking the hammer on a Colt revolver rotated the cylinder, cocking the hammer on the Whitney did not. Its only function was to discharge the percussion cap on the nipple. Rather the cylinder on the Two Trigger revolver had to be rotated by hand. The purpose of the extra trigger in front of the trigger guard was to unlock, and lock the cylinder in place. The Whitney Two Trigger was chambered for .36 caliber.
The Whitney Two Trigger was a massive commercial failure. By then the use of a mechanically rotated cylinder was a staple of revolvers. In the end, the Whitney Two Trigger at best a laughable copy of the Colt, minus its single action mechanism. At worst the entire revolver was an impractical joke, as it was slow to fire, complicated to use, and often suffered reliability problems. One good point to note, however, was that many of the revolvers featured a lovely engraved scroll on the cylinder. Other than that it was a piece of junk. Only 50 were produced before production was halted.