Gun Marketing in the Past

This even makes me cringe, so I can’t imagine what a certain someone would think of it. Flies in the face of modern assumptions about safe gun handling, in terms of not relying on mechanical safeties. Also clearly before the days when we sued people over anything. I can’t imagine a teddy bear maker today saying their product was “absolutely safe” let alone a gun maker.

UPDATE: I should probably make clear what made me cringe is a gun being marketed as “absolutely safe,” rather than children being used in the context of marketing guns, or being photographed with guns. Obviously I have no problem with messages like this, this, or this.

11 Responses to “Gun Marketing in the Past”

  1. Dann in Ohio says:

    Little girls, like those in the Iver Johnson advertisement, sometimes grow up to be big girls like Jessica Simpson…

    What do you think the Brady bunch feels about that?

  2. rkh says:

    Oh man. It’s an Iver Johnson. They were the Bryco Arms of their day.

    My family inherited one. What a piece of garbage. It’s a single action revolver with no loading gate. If the gun is aimed at a target elevated relative to the shooter, a loaded cartridge can slide back out of the chamber as the cylinder indexes, thereby jamming the gun.

    Other merits notwithstanding and contrary to the claims presented in the advertisement, I’d say the design is dangerous to the operator.

  3. Dann in Ohio says:

    PS: you will notice that Miss Simpson is wearing all the proper safety gear: eye protection, hearing protection, daisy-duke shorts…

  4. Tam says:


    Iver Johnson manufactured a wide range of firearms. Their top-break safety hammerless type revolvers were just fine in terms of quality. Maybe not as nicely finished as a Smith or Colt, but certainly better constructed than anything coming out of, say, Taurus or Charter these days.


    Oh, unclench. It was a different world back then; safety hadn’t been invented yet. Her daddy’s about to tell her to put the gun down and run down to the shops to get him some laudanum for momma and a couple of ceegars. It’s a wonder the human race survived through those barbarous times.

  5. Weer'd Beard says:

    “I can’t imagine what a certain someone would think of it.”

    That certain someone tries not to think if she can help it.

  6. Sebastian says:

    Well, back then safety was getting kids out of mines, and only working little Johnny at the cotton gin for 6 hours a day instead of 12. Life was cheap. That’s probably why they didn’t worry much about gun safety back then. If polio didn’t get your kids, something else probably would.

    Now everyone expects kids to grow up, and not only that but to grow old after that. When everyone dies young, it’s just a statistic, rather than a tragedy.

  7. uh, life IS cheap.

    We put a highly inflated, very artificial value on it, but it’s still cheap.

  8. Kristopher says:

    Sebastian: Iver Johnson was actually trying to do something about child safety.

    That revolver ad was for their internal hammer lemon squeezer … it was designed specifically to be difficult for young unsupervised children to cock.

    The ad was targeted at parents that were afraid that a toddler might get ahold of the bedroom revolver.

  9. Tam says:

    Life was cheap.

    Damn skippy. We were on the gold standard. :D

  10. Clint1911 says:

    “It’s a wonder the human race survived through those barbarous times.”

    Hell, in those days people had it easy. Look at medieval Europe. Life so so bad that an allotment of ale/beer was one GALLON per day. And that was for the monks.

    I don’t know what was worst that everyone was that drunk or that they needed to be that drunk.

  11. Ian Argent says:

    “Needed to be that drunk”. A gallon of water is about twice the recommended minimum for survival; and you *didn’t* drink the water of in medieval europe if you could possibly help it. Plus, beer has calories (and partiuclarly carbs) which are nice to have in a form that won’t get funky after a couple of days.

    Remember, grog wasn’t a shipboard staple because drunken sailors are preferred to sober ones; but rather a way to stave off scurvy and to keep the scuttebutt reasonably sterilized.