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Old 10-08-2018, 09:39 PM
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Default WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON

I would like to get some information about this holster, I can't find anything similar with a google search, other than Wm. Read & Sons was a well known gun store in Boston around the turn of the century. they were taken over by Winchester around 1923. The holster measures 7"x 4" and a 3 1/4" .32 Regulation Police fits rather tightly. Stamped on the back is 180, 32, R. Above the stamping are the initials "KEX" with a line under the initials and the number "75" under the line. My guess would be some kind of a pocket holster. It is in quite good condition with all the stitching intact.

Thanks for any information.
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WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON-dsc04236-jpg   WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON-dsc04237-jpg   WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON-dsc04238-jpg   WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON-dsc04239-jpg   WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON-dsc04240-jpg  

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Old 10-08-2018, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by goatsnguns View Post
I would like to get some information about this holster, I can't find anything similar with a google search, other than Wm. Read & Sons was a well known gun store in Boston around the turn of the century. they were taken over by Winchester around 1923. The holster measures 7"x 4" and a 3 1/4" .32 Regulation Police fits rather tightly. Stamped on the back is 180, 32, R. Above the stamping are the initials "KEX" with a line under the initials and the number "75" under the line. My guess would be some kind of a pocket holster. It is in quite good condition with all the stitching intact.

Thanks for any information.
At least one catalog called the type a 'stiff back pocket holster'. The 180 would be a model number, the 32 a likely reference to a 32 cal revolver (with the pronounced cylinder well that is moulded into it). Here's a very close reference for you:

WM.READ & SONS, BOSTON-redhead-1928-jpg Redhead, 1928.

More common in the .32 Colt Automatic pistol, including Audley (which always used trigger guard locks) and others including hardware stores which had them made for them. Perhaps the origin of the use of the term 'hardware' for the weapons of pistoleros ('leave your hardware at the door'). Speculating only.

The celebrated L.A. Sessums holster, a collectible clone of the Brill, actually came out of the Fisher-Sessums hardware store, for example -- hardware stores sold guns and ammunition.

In the early 1900s it became quite taboo to appear in public with a firearm. In fact this was the origin of the invention of the Brill itself: even lawmen were not to be conspicuously armed. Heiser marketed a simple belt holster called a 'citizen's holster' for that purpose; Texas Ranger Captain Hughes was documented to go armed-but-concealed with a loaded revolver in the 1920s when even that was illegal in Texas (of all places).
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Last edited by rednichols; 10-08-2018 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:12 AM
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Red,

Thanks for the information and your insight. I guess they had bigger pockets back in the day.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:16 AM
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Yes, bigger pockets, apparently. I have one that measures 4.25" across and although it fits into a back pocket of my pants, it won't stay there if I sit down!
Here's another advertisement from the 1902 Sears Roebuck catalog.
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Old 10-09-2018, 11:43 AM
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Thanks Thadheth,
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