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"What is the number of your Winchester?" Ad ques.

austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
edited March 2016 in Ask the Experts
Why did winchester place these ads?


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Comments

  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,596 ******
    edited November -1
    Maybe missing or erroneous ledger entries?
  • NOAHNOAH Member Posts: 9,690
    edited November -1
    FULL AUTO[:0][:0][:0]







    [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 10,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    $10 just for info was a pretty hefty price in 1897.. would seen it had to have something to do with lost serial #'s. I am sure burt will let us know.
  • gearheaddadgearheaddad Member Posts: 15,125 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Very Interesting! I will certainly be waiting to see what Bert has to say......
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    So if I have one of those and I send the information to them, will they still send the $10? Will it be adjusted for inflation?
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by NOAH
    FULL AUTO[:0][:0][:0]







    [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]


    Yessir! But no joke, John Browning converted an 1873 Winchester to full auto. He used a rudimentary gas system mounted at the muzzle, which operated through levers, return springs and a pushrod, to work the finger lever. The gun apparently emptied its magazine in one second.
  • merrbarbmerrbarb Member Posts: 138 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Very interesting snapcrackle. Do you suppose this was a low budget - and very unscientific - way of field testing an experimental finish on the gun? Three firearms per model, close SN range except for the 1890 and 1892. And then a cut-off date. Curious. I will be interested in hearing others views.
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    I have no idea what Winchester was up to with that request for specific serial numbers. I did look up all three of the Model 1885 Single Shot Rifle serial numbers, and there is no connection that I can see.

    65555 - received in the warehouse on 9/19/1893 (38-55 high-wall)
    68432 - received in the warehouse on 5/25/1895 (25-20 SS low-wall)
    69603 - received in the warehouse on 11/14/1894 (38 WCF low-wall)

    The ledger entries for all three serial numbers were complete, and perfectly normal in all respects.

    There is nothing about that ad that makes any sense to me.
  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,596 ******
    edited November -1
    Following the release of Jimmy Stewart's 1950 movie "Winchester 73", Winchester ran an ad offering a reward trying to locate and document surviving "One of One Thousand" Model 1873's.

    They offered a new Model 94 to the first 20 verified respondents.

    12308212_1.jpg?v=8CEDB11E371C670
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Bert H.
    I have no idea what Winchester was up to with that request for specific serial numbers. I did look up all three of the Model 1885 Single Shot Rifle serial numbers, and there is no connection that I can see.

    65555 - received in the warehouse on 9/19/1893 (38-55 high-wall)
    68432 - received in the warehouse on 5/25/1895 (25-20 SS low-wall)
    69603 - received in the warehouse on 11/14/1894 (38 WCF low-wall)

    The ledger entries for all three serial numbers were complete, and perfectly normal in all respects.

    There is nothing about that ad that makes any sense to me.


    Let's start an investigation and try to figure out what that ad was all about.

    For starters, where was that ad placed? I see, with a Google search, that copies (original and reproductions) have been sold of that ad; unfortunately, none of the results I looked at were saying what publication that advertisement was originally placed in (though I admit, I only spent a limited amount of time looking).

    So let's start with finding out where that ad was placed -- or even if it is a legitimate vintage advertisement? Maybe it was a counterfeit vintage advertisement someone made at some point when selling one of the mentioned rifles in some attempt to make their rifle "special"?

    Perhaps the moderators will keep this thread open while people investigate (and speculate) about this issue.
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    I have made this a Sticky Topic (for at least the next few months) so that we can stay focused on it.
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Bert H.
    I have made this a Sticky Topic (for at least the next few months) so that we can stay focused on it.


    I own the above pictured AD. Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance.
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by snapcrackle
    quote:Originally posted by Bert H.
    I have made this a Sticky Topic (for at least the next few months) so that we can stay focused on it.


    I own the above pictured AD. Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance.


    Do you have any information about the publication it came from? Name, publisher, issue, date of publication, printer, editor, etc.? It may not lead to anything, but with search engines, one piece of information might help to pull up some source referencing that ad.

    "Winchester advertising" has about 9 million results on Google; narrowing that focus with some other key word might lead to some explanation of that ad.
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    All the information I can get is that the ad is from the November 1896 issue of Century magazine.
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    Where was Century magazine located?
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Anyone have any more thoughts on this?
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have found another.

    Published in the Youth's Companion Magazine.

    64754550.jpg
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Winchester records to tie any of the listed serial numbers to one another. It is a flat-out mystery why Winchester chose the numbers that they did.
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Is there a correlation with the dates of manufacture of these rifles?
  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 10,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Bert could it just be a promotional gimmick? like one of todays give aways companies have. $10 would have been about a months ?? wages wouldn't it? since they want to know how the finish and such are holding up it may be quality control issue to see if anything needs changed ect.
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by austinsguns
    Is there a correlation with the dates of manufacture of these rifles?


    No, there is not. They are spreadout from 1890 through 1896.
  • Bert H.Bert H. Member, Moderator Posts: 11,274 ******
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by hillbille
    Bert could it just be a promotional gimmick? like one of todays give aways companies have. $10 would have been about a months ?? wages wouldn't it? since they want to know how the finish and such are holding up it may be quality control issue to see if anything needs changed ect.


    Possibly it was some type of promotional gimmick, or a quality control check, though I have to wonder why, as none of the guns were more than 7-years old at the time.
  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 826 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A few things raise additional questions to me: (1)"Desires information as to the present possession" and "any person, not a dealer" seems to indicate that they may be looking for proof that these guns actually were manufactured and are in use by individuals for some unknown reason. There has to be some reason they are not interested if a dealer has the gun but only if an individual has it. (2) On the other hand, "may be asked to give a full description of the finish" may suggest that it is an experimental finish. (3) Yet, if they had experimental finishes, why were they experimenting on 1873s in the 450,000s so late in its production cycle? And, why would they have already been messing around with experimental finishes on some of the very earliest 1890s,1892, and 1894s with two or three digit serial numbers? (4) If these guns were in any way special when they left the factory, you would think that this would have somehow been noted in the production record. I have to assume that these guns were plain Jane ordinary when shipped, but for some reason were selected later for special attention by Winchester or by someone else.(4) The 1895 was their "latest, greatest" around the time of the ad. Why are none on the list? (5) Finally, what's magic about the January 1, 1897 date? Why were they not interested anymore if the data was not back in time? A court specified date?

    Is it possible that some sort of financial turmoil was behind this? Creditors? Law suits?
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've been thinking about this. I'm wondering if it could have had nothing to do with the specific firearms themselves, but could have been an attempt to measure the effectiveness of their advertising?

    Today, there are companies that can give a potential advertiser all sorts of detailed information about the readership of magazines; when those ads were run, companies were pretty much on their own.

    They could certainly get some idea about interest in their products -- and the viewership they were getting to a specific advertisement -- by evaluating the requests they received for catalogs, but if they wanted to know if current owners of Winchester firearms were reading a specific magazine, they'd have no way of telling.

    Not only would such an offer have a promotional effect -- as it would potentially get people talking about their firearms with friends and family -- it would also give Winchester a way to gauge if their advertising was reaching a specific targeted audience (current Winchester owners).

    Perhaps the answer to this mystery will be found in learning about the ways companies tried to measure advertising effectiveness early in advertising, or trying to learn who made decisions about marketing and promotion during that time period and see if there is any indication there was interest, in the company, about trying to measure advertising effectiveness?
  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    This is just a wild guess -

    Perhaps a retailer has been engaged in the shady practice of removing the serial numbers, or selling at a lower than allowed price. Maybe they owed Winchester a bunch of money, or there is a commercial lawsuit involved.

    3 of each looks like a random sampling. I can almost hear a Winchester executive saying "Pick 3 serial numbers of each model, let's see where they wound up".

    I'm just thinking that Winchester was looking to gather evidence to burn someone.
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by MG1890
    This is just a wild guess -

    Perhaps a retailer has been engaged in the shady practice of removing the serial numbers, or selling at a lower than allowed price. Maybe they owed Winchester a bunch of money, or there is a commercial lawsuit involved.

    3 of each looks like a random sampling. I can almost hear a Winchester executive saying "Pick 3 serial numbers of each model, let's see where they wound up".

    I'm just thinking that Winchester was looking to gather evidence to burn someone.


    I'm not sure I'm really understanding what you're suggesting as a possibility, but if this was in any way connected with a lawsuit, it would be something that could be researched -- the courts records would still be around.
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Has anyone given this anymore thought? It still intrigues me.
  • hector15hector15 Member Posts: 14 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think they used them to re-call guns to the factory. The 1893 shotgun is on the list, and it was recalled when the 1897,s came out. This was about the time ammo maker's were switching to smokeless powder. The 1893's were not designed for this type of powder, and they were afraid people would keep using it in the 1897.If you owned a 1893 you could send it back to Winchester, and they would send you a brand 1897. Winchester destroyed every 1893 that was sent back, so if you have you better keep it. They are rare. The next ugly design they came out with was the 1911 self loader shotgun(nicknamed the widow maker)because it was so dangerous to load. They were trying took keep up with Browning A5, with no success. The late 1800's and early 1900's were tough times at Winchester. But we all know they survived by making high quality lever rifles.
  • bear bruinbear bruin Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    maybe these units were modified by someone? maybe someone or some company changed the bbl. ? maybe to shoot smokeless ? that could be why the request for the "finish" was asked.
  • pigfarmer05pigfarmer05 Member Posts: 86 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Maybe the Indians got them.
  • kimikimi Member Posts: 44,085 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This is an interesting thread. The comment that hits closest to what might be the truth of the matter to me has be that of MG1890, which has to do with a potential investigation by the company. The idea that it has something to do with advertising has some merit as well as I see it, although magazine companies more likely than not would have had all of their subscription data handy for any company upon request.
    What's next?
  • austinsgunsaustinsguns Member Posts: 143 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Found another ad:

    xo2WQ2.jpg

    5MtvPn.jpg

    Does anyone have any other theories on this?
  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 9,593 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I wonder if it had anything to do with how the guns were doing after they had been used? If registration of the firearm with the factory for any warranty work was not required when purchased then they would not have any idea as to where the guns were. I know of a few different people who've been contacted by Honda and asked if they would return their outboard trolling motors so that they could be factory inspected to see how they were doing. Honda offered them a free current model of their motor in exchange.
  • bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,357 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    To me, the last line might tell the whole purpose:

    "Send your name and address on a postal-card, and we will send you our 128-page Illustrated Catalogue, Free."
    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
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