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"What is the number of your Winchester?" Advertisement
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Iowa
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January 25, 2017 - 4:25 pm
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I posted this on the GB forum a couple years ago… I would like to bring this up for discussion again. This is an odd advertisement that Winchester placed in numerous publications c.1896. It lists serial numbers of various models, and requests information on their whereabouts. This particular ad was in “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine” November 1896.

 What was the purpose of this?

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January 25, 2017 - 4:45 pm
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Can’t imagine the purpose, but $10 was a substantial reward in 1896…considering that a new ’73 could be bought for $18.

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January 25, 2017 - 6:17 pm
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I think of it as an advertising campaign where Winchester is encouraging folks to take a look in that closet to see if they have the opportunity to earn $10 and to remind them of things Winchester.  They mention the current and popular models at the time and not so much single out any particular model.  Im not that familiar with the Marlin firearms but they introduced several similar models in the 1890’s–the advertisement was a way to get potential buyers to think Winchester.  When they ask for the “full description of the finish on the gun” I think they are referring to potentially its configuration to confirm through their records it is the correct serial numbered gun.  Also, if there is a story that comes with the gun it may have been a way to use the story in a promotional manner. Much in the way information on the 1 of 1000 rifles was promoted for “Winchester 73”

Im sure someone has looked up the SN’s records on these to see if there is anything special about the firearms and if there isnt a commonality among them it leads me to believe the SN’s were chosen randomly. 

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January 25, 2017 - 6:39 pm
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All three of the 1873’s are in Gordon’s survey as 32 cal OB rifles.

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January 25, 2017 - 7:12 pm
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Since finish is specifically mentioned, I’d check to see if they were finished at the same time with the same finish?

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January 25, 2017 - 8:26 pm
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In the March 1982 issue of The Gun Report page 69 they did a article about that advertisement. The conclusion they could come up with was, it was a just that, a advertisement ad to get people to look at their Winchesters. They could not find any correlation between the guns. Here is a copy of the guns as they letter from the article.

Bob

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January 25, 2017 - 10:10 pm
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Interesting that the serial #2100 1893 shotgun was repaired and returned on December 8 and the ad was published in November.  I wonder if the owner collected the $10 and applied it to the repair bill, or if Winchester actually had the gun in their possession undergoing repair before the ad was even published.

I guess the ad was a good marketing ploy because it still has us entertained 120 years after it was published Laugh

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January 25, 2017 - 10:47 pm
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If it was a marketing ploy, it was a good one.  I’m hard pressed to think of any other item where that would work, back then but especially today.  What is laying around, out of sight and out of mind, that an ad by a manufacturer would get us pumped up again? 

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January 26, 2017 - 2:18 am
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Here is a scan of the article.

Bob

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January 26, 2017 - 3:14 am
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Tom Hall…I became acquainted with that name when I was still in Jr. High school, and one or two of his FREE serial number researches I still have.   

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