Originally featured in Points West magazine in Summer 2019
Winchester Herald covers with baseball bat and mitt
A Winchester bat? A Winchester mitt? With baseball season well underway, how curious to spot America’s national pastime sporting the name of a rifle? It’s true.
“In 1919, attempting to recover from loans taken out to expand for wartime production, Winchester used the sources the factories possessed to produce consumer goods,” reports Kirsten Arnold in her Center of the West blog post dated December 16, 2018. “Merging with Simmons Hardware Co. and transforming a number of stores throughout the country to Winchester Stores, the firearms company began providing everything from fishing poles to footballs.”
One of the company’s marketing tools was its Winchester Herald publication which got the word out about their nontraditional Winchester products. Herald covers displayed everything from chisels, electric irons, lawn mowers, padlocks, hammers, carpenters’ planes, and wrenches to the baseball equipment shown here—each one “as good as the gun.” As Arnold put it, “Whatever it was, customers didn’t need Sears, or Montgomery Ward; they could find it all under one name, Winchester.”
After years in Washington, D.C., Kirsten Arnold escaped D.C. traffic and moved back home to Wyoming where she enjoys the mountains and open spaces. She holds a Master of Arts in Military Studies, Naval Warfare and is currently assisting the McCracken Library with the Winchester Manuscript Collections.
Winchester Herald, Vol. 4, No. 3, April 1923 (WH.1923.04.03) and Winchester Herald, Vol. 5, No. 3, April 1924 (WH.1924.05.03). Published by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.