President Abraham Lincoln loved all things mechanical, especially firearms. During the War Between the States, the president squabbled constantly with the U.S. Ordnance Dept., and he even tried new designs, such as the Spencer and Henry, on the White House lawn. My, how times have changed.
In the early decades of the 20th Century, a number of makers offered a new class of gun called the pocket pistol. These were among the very first semi-automatic pistols ever made and they attracted a great deal of attention. There were many makes offered—Browning, Beretta, Mauser, Walther, Astra Star, et.al., in Europe, but the American makes were fewer.