Guns of the Week: November 17 – 21, 2014
The Winchester Museum to the Cody Firearms Museum
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
Unloading the Myth – The Past
The Cody Firearms Museum got its start as the Winchester Museum. In 1975, the Olin Corporation loaned the Winchester Arms Collection, a collection of more than 4,000 firearms as well as archival records. This is a picture of what the Winchester Museum looked like when it was dedicated in 1980. The museum used to be housed in the basement of the Center’s Buffalo Bill Museum.
When Olin gifted the collection in 1988, the Center set out to build an entire wing that would become the Cody Firearms Museum, which opened in 1991.
Unloading the Myth – The Present
On June 22, 1991, the Cody Firearms Museum was opened in a brand new wing of the then Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The planning process and fundraising was a part of a five year process with installation costing $7.3 million dollars. Take a look at this picture of the wing completely empty and picture it with about 4,000 firearms in it. The Cody Firearms museum today has about 7,000 firearms and about 30,000 firearms-related artifacts. The collection spans firearms from 1425 – modern day!
Unloading the Myth – The Future
The Cody Firearms Museum has not been updated in about 23 years. Changes have been made, collections updated, galleries rotated, but the museum has not seen a major reinstallation in its lifetime. In the next five years, the Cody Firearms Museum will be given a face-lift, retaining what has made the Museum so popular in the past, but improving on it for future generations.