Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Notices

S&W Antiques S&W Lever Action Pistols, Tip-Up Revolvers, Top-Break Revolvers, and ALL Single Shots


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-19-2020, 05:19 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????

This subject has come up briefly a few times on this forum but I've never really understood the "timeline" of the boxes. Who made them has been addressed by a "singular" maker but I'm not a believer.

I'm also not a believer that "ALL" of these boxes originated at the factory since I'm finding several types and designs, colors, labels, various instruction designs, etc. All for the same models! (See photo's) Same models, different boxes, different labels, different designs on the labels, (Look closely) different instructions, different colors, etc.

**** I'm convinced that what we are seeing is different Major Distributors that are "boxing" these guns!!

Also, the concept that "all" the boxes had partitions doesn't hold water in my opinion since I'm seeing clear evidence that some did and some clearly did not. Especially for the "Green" boxes.

This from the same color boxes, same instructions, some with, some without. NO evidence in many cases that they ever had them! Perhaps different tools/bore brushes etc.

Some boxes even have a very thick base with sectionally cut partitions and grooves on the base. If removed or missing from these boxes it's obvious. Some also have very clear evidence of a different type of material used to cover the boxes. Some are a fiber type substance and some are a woven material type as found on the dark Burgundy colored boxes for the later 1 1/2 32cf S/A's.

Has anyone got any "real" information about these boxes other than opinion and theory? I can only say from my research of the boxes that there are "many" types for the same guns! Which to me "strongly suggests" that the Major Distributor was clearly involved with obtaining these boxes from different box makers. Perhaps "several"?

**** I forgot to mention that I have also documented several original boxes that show NO evidence that there was ever a gun within the box! Not a mark inside.
Even if a gun was say stored in the box on a shelf? It should leave a mark on the cardboard box from gravity alone.

This also strongly supports that the gun was not boxed until sold!! If they were shipped in the box the box would show clear evidence that they carried a heavy revolver within same.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-9899a50e-de71-4b2d-9196-960e7c3ff46d-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-2e397074-64a1-4bff-8d5c-a3074b02e1e7-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-af1e7dd5-4ff0-48dd-94c2-6b64fb8f5024-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-8559f3cb-f167-4c0b-9b5b-e03aca318a50-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-8b46c52e-a613-4db9-8481-bba27fd85713-jpeg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-19-2020 at 06:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Like Post:
  #2  
Old 09-19-2020, 05:22 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default 1 1/2 boxes

Here are a couple more photos of the 1 1/2 cf 32. I found 3 different boxes for these. Some have partitions and some do not. Some are labeled and some are not. There is also NO evidence that there ever was a label on them. Not even partial. I found several of those. Green, Blood Red, and Burgundy colors.

Murph.
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-4cd70c0e-ecfa-49e7-8bf5-67c56b1d04db-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-b3736424-6509-4f19-a3b6-c56b117db726-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-18c528d3-7e7c-493c-b6ad-e762c4e9f63b-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-561f3e50-bcf1-45b9-99d4-cc3221c8a65e-jpg  

Last edited by BMur; 09-19-2020 at 06:36 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 09-19-2020, 08:43 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is online now
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,632
Likes: 4
Liked 1,477 Times in 828 Posts
Default

The pasteboard boxes were not made by Smith & Wesson. I don't remember the name of the box manufacturer and there may have been more than one depending upon the Model and date, but, the revolvers were shipped from the factory in boxes. They were not boxed by the distributors. Cased, Yes; boxed No.

There was only one box produced by S&W inhouse and that is the rather rare wood box for the .32CF SA, aka, Model 1 1/2 Centerfire.

Nice boxes. There is also a mustard yellow, pasteboard 1 1/2 box.
__________________
Mike Maher #283
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 09-19-2020, 10:57 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is online now
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,632
Likes: 4
Liked 1,477 Times in 828 Posts
Default

My first reply didn't include comments made in the OP's post. ".."all" the boxes had partitions..". NO, not 'ALL' had partitions. "..I have also documented several original boxes that show NO evidence that there was ever a gun within the box!" This is possible because around the time the factory was moved from the Stockbridge address to Roosevelt Ave., there was a time where "scrappers" were allowed to 'pick' the facilities. We know that DB Wesson's office was removed and relocated at that time. Parts and pieces were in bins and on shelves and available for those wishing to have them. I should also say that not all pasteboard boxes show evidence of use. Today, a majority of the boxes DO show oil and abrasion from use but not all; there are gems out there if one looks hard enough.
__________________
Mike Maher #283
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #5  
Old 09-20-2020, 01:56 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default More Distributor Data needed

Congrats on a great addition to your collection Mike. One of my personal favorite Smith & Wesson Antique revolvers for sure.

I suppose the Baby Russian research is what got me onto this subject. Variations of labels, box colors, instructions, manufacturing materials, edited instructions in red ink? What's that all about?

Anyway, you can see from some of my research photo's that even the Baby Russian manufactured for only 1 year is included in the Partition/ No Partition list. There is no time line to this also. It's not like an early vs late box. Also the non partition boxes seem to have a longer bore brush. Not related to barrel length. Where as the Partitioned boxes have a short brush. That simply makes little sense to me unless we are talking about different Distributors?

In my Distributor catalogs I've found other Distributors that offered the Baby Russian in 1876. Henry Squire and Sons, N.Y. for sure without my notes on others. The obvious boxes are of course the Picture boxes for the Baby Russian but were they also sold in boxes without Picture labels?

What is very frustrating is the Covid issue has prevented me from making contact with fellow collectors that have outstanding collections of Distributor catalogs. "Original ones". I'm not sure the little shows that specialized in documents will ever recover after this is over. These are old timers that don't have computers and the old rotary phone is still working in their 130 year old homes in the Gold country. Getting a hold of them is near impossible.

There are some very small obscure shows in the Valley and foothills that have both original and reproduction Distributor Documents that they sell. The Grass Valley show, Nevada City. It's really too bad but they likely won't survive this pandemic. I've never seen any other shows that specialize in old documents. Without them unfortunately it limits my research.

At any rate, I think it's an interesting subject to follow up on if the shows survive and re-open.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-fc514dd4-7201-4a43-aec5-4df56d7e8db5-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-ea9619b2-0613-42ca-9d4c-c9dfcbe6fea3-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-7c211a04-6a3c-47ee-ac7e-9343b921c02b-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-b031d1e1-90ee-4580-8ec5-cddaafd011d2-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-4b8e7dcf-81a6-4e9c-bee3-b89824859040-jpg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-20-2020 at 02:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 09-20-2020, 07:56 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,398
Liked 2,467 Times in 788 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by first-model View Post
By the way, in a few weeks I'll be picking up a Baby Russian that has its original box.
You mean like these?

Boxes from this era were made by C. C. Taylor & Co., 17 Oak Street in Springfield. C C is Charles Claudius. Just like today, manufacturers specialize in certain products and it would not have been in Smith & Wesson's best interest to manufacture their own boxes.
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-20191213_135440-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-20191213_135427-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-20191213_135255-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-20191213_135341-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following 7 Users Like Post:
  #7  
Old 09-20-2020, 12:43 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Distributor preference in box type

These photo's also show the NON-Partition box types with longer bore brushes for the Baby Russian manufactured for only 1 year.

Notice also that the M. Robinson label is sharp and clear on one of the boxes. I have also seen boxes for the Baby Russian where the label has been "purposely" covered over. I don't think that M. Robinson would have appreciated that but another distributor would!

Just too many variations in my opinion for the factory to be involved. Corrections to the instructions in red ink, different styles of boxes, Distributors labels purposely covered over?

Seems to me that it would be very complicated for the factory to deal with such issues. More likely that the box makers were dealing with these issues based on Distributors preference prior to receiving the boxes.

Collectors like details if it impacts value. If these boxes can be attributed to specific Distributors the values go up and the dynamic increases (interest) in obtaining different variations of boxes from specific Distributors. That's the concept.

Murph
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-21-2020, 02:08 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default New Toy

Well I hope you share a photo with the forum once it arrives.
I'd certainly like to see it.

I'm actually not drawing any conclusions. Just making observations and thinking out loud. It just seems strange to me that there would be variations in the boxes for the same model during a one year time frame with different tools found contained within if the origin was in fact solely the factory.

Stimulates questions on my end as to why? I can't help but plug in multiple Distributors as a "possible" answer since it fits like a glove. I sure would like to look at the factory records just to see which Distributors received Baby Russians in bulk other than the obvious ones. That would narrow the search a lot.
I will also present this question to my records buddies once the shows open regarding the early Distributors boxing items received such as guns, small kits assembled perhaps, and if they are aware of variances in boxed items for the same products during that time frame. That might help some.

Murph
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #9  
Old 09-21-2020, 02:01 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Paper thin margins?

I'm not following you Mike,

The Major Distributor of the 1870's through 1890's were probably the richest businesses in this country at that time in history. Bar none! Especially those that resided in New York!

They had so much capital they could literally buy and sell gun makers many times over. Often owning large amounts of Corporate gun stock to purposely control them!

I won't get into the thousands of hours of actual research on various Major Distributors that I've spent but if they wanted partitions in their boxes? That's exactly what they got! They "ran the show"!!

I don't know of any Major Distributor that operated on a thin margin. They were way beyond wealthy! Especially during that period of time that we are focused on. Well, at least that this thread is focused on? 1870's through 1890's? We are not combining the Great Depression of 50 years later!

Schuyler, Hartley & Graham could have bought out Smith and Wesson many times over. They did in fact buy out Remington when they were in Bankruptcy. Their Capitol( Net worth) amounted to many, many, millions of dollars at that time. So, they clearly ran the show! There was no Thin margin about it. In fact, they had so much wealth, whatever they wanted, they got.
We aren't even talking about Bannermans Castle on the Island he bought off the Hudson! Or the multiple gun makers that Specific Distributors literally owned by shear volume of stock within various gunmakers in Norwich, Ct. that I have personally documented for book writing research.

Differences in boxes can "easily be attributed" to the Major Distributor of that ERA. No caution about it and what exactly is this "I caution you" regarding? We are talking about basic and enjoyable historical research not navigating coastal waters off Japan in low visibility with no sleep and 30 foot swells? Is there something that I should be worried about?

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-21-2020 at 02:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #10  
Old 09-21-2020, 04:11 PM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,398
Liked 2,467 Times in 788 Posts
Default

I'm not sure who the wealthiest American was in 1876, when Baby Russians were manufactured, but I believe the wealthiest Massachusetts resident at that time was Daniel B Wesson. John D Rockefeller, who was worth $900 million in 1913 was building his wealth then. Many more folks were wealthier than gun distributors at that time, and some are quite obscure today. Here is someone you likely never even heard of, John Emory Andrus, and yet he was the 3rd or 4th wealthiest American when he died in 1934. John Emory Andrus - Wikipedia

Sometimes wealth is vast and yet obscure.

Last edited by mrcvs; 09-21-2020 at 04:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #11  
Old 09-21-2020, 04:18 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Photos

Very interesting points made Mike & Mrcvs

I didnít think to differentiate between a business and an industry but itís clear to me now.

The wealthy tend to have very specific wants and desires that can often be seen as petty.

I suppose the term caution can have different meanings in severity to any individual. I personally would never use the term related to research. Only if personal harm or potential harm was involved.

Donít forget to post photos of your new collectable when it arrives.

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-21-2020 at 04:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #12  
Old 09-21-2020, 08:31 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Major Distributor 51% Stock holder?

Just a follow up comment regarding the Major Distributor?

From my in depth research? Primarily in Norwich, Ct. from the 1860's until the turn of the century? This including early Smith & Wesson, Hopkins & Allen, Bacon Arms Co., Norwich Pistol Co/ later Norwich Falls Pistol Co., Hood Fire Arms Co., and Thomas E. Ryan? Among others.

What is the advantage of the Major Distributor being a 51% stock holder in a gun manufacturing company?

During this time period the gun market was very hot and competitive like Mike mentioned. The clear advantage is to control the gun maker to maintain a continued supply of firearms. Not only firearms? but "specific" firearms that the Major Distributor has full and absolute knowledge is selling "right now" in their New York location from fresh off the boat pioneers and needs more of them "right now" !

If that same Major Distributor does not have 51% ownership in that gun makers business? This is the answer that they would receive ( not unlike today) from the same gun maker that they did not own majority stocks when they requested say a 500 gun shipment of Single action spur trigger revolvers in .38 caliber with the trade name "PIONEER" stamped on the top strap!

Sorry Pal, you are like 5th in line! We can get to your order in about 45 days...That's not an opinion of what was. That's an accurate depiction of what was happening on the gun market in the late 1870's to early 1890's and why you as a Major Distributor would own 51% of a company that is manufacturing a very hot item. Absolute control! Endless supply available when you wanted it, exactly how many you wanted, and in what specific details that you wanted the product made based on your "on site" opinion of what the average Joe was purchasing when they walked into your Distributor house! Simple as that.

Send me 500 guns NOW!!! Period! and make sure they are all 4" barrels, nickel plated and in partition boxes with PIONEER stamped on top with Indian and Buffalo grips, because that's what the customer wants and that is what is selling "Right now"!

So, it was a very clear advantage for several known Distributors to own a 51% share of the gun makers business at that specific time in history. NO question.

The real question to those interested? How did the Major Distributor obtain a 51% control of these gun makers?

I know, do you?

I mean there would be absolutely no advantage to the gun maker to be controlled by any one Major Distributor. Right in the middle of a huge contract you would have to stop what you are doing to supply them. That to me would be a headache beyond measure.

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-21-2020 at 08:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-21-2020, 11:25 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Distributors who sold the Baby Russian?

Mike,
In 1876 there were more than the two Distributors that you mentioned; Storrs and Robinsonís? Who sold Smith & Wesson revolvers. If we focus solely on the Baby Russian?

Just two from memory are Trimble and Kliebacher who sold those guns to not only the Baltimore Police but also the general public. Also Henry Squire and Sons of New York I am absolutely positive he sold them in 1876 during production. In fact the gun is clearly drawn in his 1876 catalog of which I have a copy.

There are other Distributors but I canít recall them without my notes. Yes, Iím that old! Iím only referring to the Baby Russian first and only year of production.

If we widen our Smith & Wesson models available? There were many Distributors selling various models throughout production. I have quite a few catalogs in my collection that clearly show Smith & Wessonís for sale from San Francisco to New York and many towns in between!

The monopoly concept is the ultimate result of a 51% ownership in a gun firm but it doesnít say ďHowĒ they achieved this position?

What firm in their right mind would allow any company to obtain a majority stock holding?

The answer is a classic Old West premiss and often applicable today!

The answer?......... FIRE!

The dreaded Foundry fire that would burn your business to the ground forcing you to go crawling to the Distributor for capital in which to rebuild! I documented 7 total and the most common result was: ď Sure, weíll help you outĒ but itís gonna cost you puppy! Hereís your leash! Put it on!


Murph
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #14  
Old 09-22-2020, 12:50 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default My imagination?

It's an amazing truth actually.

Anytime you perform some honest in depth research and discover or uncover a correction to a common belief? You instantly become a "dreamer", a "liar", a "know nothing", a "non conformist". "What do you know"? Who is this guy"

I've heard it so many times I'm use to it.

It's a fact that many Distributors were sent " Directly from the factory" Smith & Wesson Revolvers for sale during the Old West ERA. All over the country! Not in the volume that M. Robinson perhaps received but is that the issue? NO. If, as an example Curry & Sons in San Francisco received and sold a total of 1500 Baby Russians, do they count? I think they do!

The term "Old West" is often used not to denote a specific place, but also an ERA. A time gone by. Often A romantic term. I admit it. I'm guilty of using it a lot because I'm hooked on "THE OLD WEST"!

It's a fact that "I" uncovered that the Baltimore Police ordered the Baby Russians in volume and in a specific estimated total number "IN LIEU OF" the Railroad Riots of the late 1870's. "I uncovered that fact"....its not in any books!!

The "know it all's" will claim "Well, that's obvious"...but the truth is they had no clue! They never put it together! I did!

I am a published author and wrote a book that has pissed a lot of people off and continues too, with basically the truth and only the truth about .41 caliber derringers. Look it up on the internet if you'd like. Look up the .41 rimfire cartridge and read nothing but garbage. Bonehead research that is pure garbage cemented into the minds of the ignorant but hey, what do I know. Who is this guy? Those are rat and sparrow killers! Those aren't guns! and the same goes for all 375,000 clients who bought them during that "OLD WEST" time frame. This doesn't include my next book that will cover the additional 50,000 revolvers that chamber the rat and sparrow killing round. They were all idiots too!
"We aren't the idiots! They were all idiots!"

I documented 7 foundry fires and documented the firms begging for capitol from either Major Distributors or other fire arms Manufacturers. I also documented the "factual" results. I spent thousands of hours researching these facts! They are all well documented but obscure and difficult to compile unless you know exactly where to look. I intend to include this information in my next book. So, you can read the source "facts" in the back of the book. Period! Who's the dreamer? The one who knows or the one who knows nothing but wishes he knew?
Arson? A foundry fire Arson? Hello? Metal works or the melting of metal in your on site Foundry means basically that you have a controlled fire that is hot enough to melt iron! That's 2700 degrees F. That's a hot fire. Try to put that fire out in 1870 if it got out of control? GOOD LUCK!!

Oh, and as far as fire insurance? Most of the gun manufacturers were most definitely operating on a very tight budget and did not carry fire insurance. The larger firms did like Colt but they also had very profitable Government contracts so their margins were much higher than the smaller firms.

Not unlike today, where smaller businesses suffer the most in hard times.

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-22-2020 at 01:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 09-22-2020, 03:59 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Thank you MIKE

I do appreciate it Mike.

You asked for it. Here are several photo's from various Major Distributors in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. I have others from other States that also carried and sold Smith & Wesson revolvers. Including the Baby Russian.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-19e13c9d-0351-4b29-861b-53a505f10c16-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-e4d15605-c1b5-42c9-b19f-1ebc620762cb-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-edbade87-48f0-4934-b7f9-d37262e1d4bb-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-4dabf7ff-5384-4ebd-9a46-3ed9c6e19403-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-fe70a931-da65-4939-8c6c-0f22461d0098-jpg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-22-2020 at 04:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #16  
Old 09-22-2020, 04:00 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default photos continued

photos of more Distributors.

**** Notice also that they also offered Reloading tools.
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-22a80433-61fc-4ec7-8ce6-8fb718337e00-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-41dc76ee-bc08-49e6-b010-6812ed36b118-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-01f05c07-9787-4785-af40-687952493d67-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-332e93dc-3fc9-4745-a1a0-311e58ad879b-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-c996dc5e-e048-45aa-8cc7-45f43eb8f4f8-jpg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-22-2020 at 04:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 09-22-2020, 04:01 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default photos continued

Photos of more distributors.

**** Notice errors on Distributors offering them in .41 caliber? Don't we wish???
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-1c5bdace-dae1-4f70-8dd0-6e361f5a8ebe-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-a4baa269-b95c-48c8-9358-a4037f6e720a-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-7ffcdbca-41d5-412d-94cd-92a9a6df32ca-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-6ed619be-361e-450a-9e35-9114ee0ff097-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-7cc9cfe6-9225-4ca0-8b2f-c3a50921bfb8-jpg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-22-2020 at 04:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #18  
Old 09-22-2020, 04:02 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default photos continued

More photos of Distributors

**** Notice maximum barrel length offered for the S/A 38 is 5" in 1884?

**** Also Henry Squires (No sons yet) in 1876 catalog offering the Baby Russian for sale?

*** Perhaps we can start to imagine different box types related to the various Distributors?

I have so many more books from Distributors that clearly show Smith & Wesson revolvers for sale. Throughout production and always complimenting them as the Best Revolvers made in the World! It's daunting.

*** Also, if I was to compile say my research on "Express Guns" into this mix? We would prove that several thousand were sent to other Distributors besides M. Robinson. That includes Boston and Chicago offices directly from the Factory by order of the Express Purchasing Agents.

That's only one single avenue of research.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-11553cfc-aa51-40d8-a697-6918ebd4c423-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-2e5dac1a-d696-43a6-81be-c7f8e869f13b-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-d0d0ed28-f798-486d-9bef-0a9d1f4441d2-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-6f0f88aa-ec46-4ba2-975b-13695794fff2-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-fc3744d3-ba2e-45f3-b3c8-0f0e3cd51362-jpg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-22-2020 at 04:35 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #19  
Old 09-24-2020, 01:10 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Box comparison

Yeah,
Itís likely An impossible Task to evaluate the Baby Russian boxes since total production wasnít a really high number and with a single year of manufacture the odds on locating a surviving third type box is very low.
M. Robinson being Smith & Wessonís biggest client ( Distributor) it makes perfect sense that the vast majority of the Surviving Baby Russian boxes were sold From that firm. Many are in fact stamped with that Distributor name ďorĒ the name is covered over for some unknown reason just above the instructions on the inner lid. Iíve seen several!
I have a couple 1 1/2 boxes coming in the mail that are different colors and labels. Iím going to look closely at them. Also compare a couple 38 cal boxes and see if there are any obvious differences that would support different box makers. The seller is from New York so itís amazing to me being from the West Coast that I should have been looking closer at boxes at the larger shows here. The thought never occurred to me.
Collectors on the West Coast really value surviving collectables prior to the 06 Quake. Many of the Gun Distributors Burnt to the ground from that Quake. Thatís why Any gun or collectable that letters as shipped to San Francisco prior to 06 is quite valuable.


Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-24-2020 at 01:23 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-24-2020, 09:48 AM
Books Books is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Kansas City, Mo
Posts: 91
Likes: 51
Liked 76 Times in 36 Posts
Default

For what it is worth; here are some more boxes.

Alas; no Baby Russian. (Yet)

Books
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-boxes-4-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #21  
Old 09-24-2020, 12:31 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Shipped from Factory to ???

I just finished a 20 min search of Factory letters and confirmed ď Guns shipped From the factoryĒ directly to several Distributors including: Hartley & Graham ; Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlett, Chicago; Schoverly, Daley & Gales, etc. Didnít take much effort to find this factory documented evidence. Even found one That shipped to San Francisco, from the factory!

Definitely the vast number of letters I glanced at went to M Robinson but I think they were no way involved with these other examples shipped directly from the factory to other listed Major Distributors so that much at least we can confirm.

M. Robinson must have had a huge clientele of steady customers that represented both small shops and larger retailers but other larger Major Distributors based on These factory Letters obviously did not need to go through them to obtain volumes of guns.

*** Also, if you look closely at the Distributor photos I posted? They are very competitive prices. Some claiming the best price available. Doesnít seem possible to me that they could purchase guns from a Distributor in the same town ( New York) and still maintain a profit margin? Only! If they purchased directly from the factory.

**** Nice collection Books. I noticed you also have different instruction labels in your boxes as well!

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-73b305bd-ffbf-4db2-9cdd-1bd8303216c7-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-acbaf8c4-0bc0-4962-9eea-cb48de871bbc-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-c5c9f408-f055-48e5-a5bf-b6d45a690cd0-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-596fbb27-2416-4f7e-be76-361980aae19b-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-e2d0e8be-624e-43ac-a082-8d15b4738cfa-jpeg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-24-2020 at 12:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #22  
Old 09-24-2020, 12:34 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default More letters

Here are a couple more letters.


Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-d3f647c9-a5da-49fa-be78-f284303e28a2-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-cf534e62-05a2-40a8-a580-b705099cd802-jpg  

Last edited by BMur; 09-24-2020 at 01:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-24-2020, 01:00 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Public Forum

Mike,
This is a public Forum. There is nothing private about it. Copyright is only applicable to published And copyrighted material.

Look at the top of your browser where it says ď Not SecureĒ. Iím not selling any of this so there is NO violation. Itís a cut and paste world.
The photos I posted from 1800ís Distributor catalogs are Free Market material.
Iíve done my homework.
Itís up to you personally if you want to post photos of your collection, boxes, letters, etc.
Best practice is to block out personal information and I donít often post serial numbers but I have posted some of my factory letters to share.
You decide.


Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-24-2020 at 01:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-24-2020, 02:23 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Daunting Task

Youíve got your work cut out for you Mike.

Iíd start with all the Major Auction Houses that post Factory Letters on their websites included with the sale of the relevant gun of course, before you pursue the various gun sites that openly photo and post Factory letters ( for sale!). With the matching gun of course. Iím not sure they would want to participate? Daunting task.

Then you would have to address all of those violators who dare to make copies of their factory letters and sell them with the matching gun as an extra copy? Another daunting task.

Realistically though itís great for business! Posting factory letters is free publicity for the Historical Foundation. Generates interest and in my opinion it stimulates business! The desire to obtain a factory historical letter is a win/win for all of us.

Oh and the reference you posted unfortunately is obsolete. When you are published you receive updates regarding copyright issues and the Supreme Court just screwed over authors regarding copyright so you might want to refer to a more updated reference.
Who knows though, tomorrow things might change yet again. Sort of like gun laws in California. You have to read them hourly to stay up to date!

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-24-2020 at 02:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-24-2020, 04:53 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Back to the boxes

Anyway,
Iíll post more photos when my boxes arrive to see if there are any obvious differences.
I thought this would be a fun subject to discuss. I honestly appreciate all those members who have posted photos of their boxes and provided positive input with an open mind.
In my opinion, which seems applicable to only the bullied on this forum, Thatís how we learn and enjoy the hobby by gathering information and sharing what weíve seen and experienced.

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-24-2020 at 04:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #26  
Old 09-24-2020, 07:07 PM
delcrossv's Avatar
delcrossv delcrossv is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 2,980
Likes: 5,112
Liked 7,142 Times in 1,908 Posts
Default

Actually, since the requester paid for the letter to be written, it would be deemed a "work-for-hire". Copyright then resides in the requester, not Roy.

Secondly, if they're being copied (published) for educational purposes-as is the case here, and not for economic gain, that falls under the "fair use" doctrine.

No worries, post away.

Disclaimer: IP lawyer, but not YOUR IP lawyer.
__________________
SWCA #3356, SWHF#611
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #27  
Old 09-25-2020, 02:30 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Distributor boxes!

One of my boxes showed up today and believe it or not it is yet another box that I have never seen or documented before.
Iíve now documented 5 different Orange labels For the 38 TB that I have found so far. FIVE!!!
I also have started to look closer at the ď InstructionsĒ NONE of them is identical! NONE! They are ALL different! The difference can be seen if you look closely! They are copying instructions from another box and adding their own style of format! Even the wording is different!
Some of the instructions are actually ink stamped directly to the pasteboard. Some are not! They are stamped onto paper and the paper is then glued to the pasteboard like a label!
So, Iím really believing that these early boxes are Distributor boxes made up by their individual 3rd party contractor/ box maker!
There are way too many variations for one caliber Top Break box!
Check out just a few Variations of the Orange label 38cal box!
Iím also doing a serial number comparative to see if there is any pattern to early/ Late production.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-223b7aec-8be2-419e-aca3-cdda644099c8-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-21d91da3-fb4d-431d-b16d-5833d9095bba-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-e90beb65-089e-4d0e-95a3-8854ca4b4d47-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-06582583-5d58-48a5-a14f-2677a5ee6028-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-bf624297-a934-4e13-9924-8684ba554c77-jpeg  


Last edited by BMur; 09-25-2020 at 02:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #28  
Old 09-25-2020, 07:39 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,398
Liked 2,467 Times in 788 Posts
Default

If I were to guess, I still think it unlikely that the distributors had boxes manufactured on their behalf. I believe the variations you are seeing are because different vendors provided boxes to Smith & Wesson directly at various times, one of these vendors being C C Taylor & Co.

Smith & Wesson was in the revolver business, and their goal was to produce revolvers in economical fashion and ship to a distributor in a functional box that prevented damage in transit. Smith & Wesson would therefore have outsourced this as locally as possible. With companies such as C C Taylor & Co., this company being also located in Springfield. Given that there were many factories in the Connecticut River valley in that era, other vendors would have been locally sourced.

Also, a distributor is in the retail business, purchasing at a wholesale rate and selling at retail. Manufacturing boxes or paying to have them manufactured would have impacted the bottom line. The revolver shipped safely from Smith & Wesson in its original cardboard box, it could ship again in the same. The same is true today. If you buy a pair of Nike sneakers, they would have shipped from the manufacturer in boxes assembled in the factory but manufactured elsewhere. It's possible multiple manufacturers produce these boxes over time, the only difference being that uniform specifications exist today and could be provided instantly by e-mail. Whereas in the 1870's such uniformity didn't exist and communication was not so instant. Probably Smith & Wesson provided the dimensions of a cloth covered cardboard box desired and information desired on the label and, from this, the manufacturer created the box they envisioned Smith & Wesson desired, everyone's vision varying to some degree. Hence, the variations you are seeing today.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #29  
Old 09-25-2020, 10:15 AM
reddog81 reddog81 is online now
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: IA
Posts: 1,207
Likes: 361
Liked 969 Times in 517 Posts
Default

Just because there are variations in the boxes doesn’t mean different manufacturers. I worked a factory job during college and manufacturing changes can happen on a dime. If you can no longer source a certain material you find the next best option. If you think up a cheaper or better way to make something changes can happen quickly.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #30  
Old 09-25-2020, 10:31 AM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,398
Liked 2,467 Times in 788 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
Just because there are variations in the boxes doesnít mean different manufacturers. I worked a factory job during college and manufacturing changes can happen on a dime. If you can no longer source a certain material you find the next best option. If you think up a cheaper or better way to make something changes can happen quickly.
Right! That's very plausible and maybe C C Taylor & Co manufactured all boxes in this era and this explains the variation.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #31  
Old 09-25-2020, 11:08 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Theory vs fact

Look Gents,
This is just my method of research. As unorthodox as it is? It keeps me motivated to continue the search. All I am doing is "Thinking out loud"... What we need is more physical evidence. What we need in my view is more information about the boxes. We need members to look on the bottom of their boxes and share what numbers they see as compared to what type box they have.

I think with the box evidence that has been gathered by the forum we have collectively proven that there are several type of boxes. I mean several!! I didn't know that did you?? I could easily be dead wrong on my opinion of the origin of these boxes but we need more proof!!

Right or wrong doesn't mean squat to me. The information does! To prove me wrong we need serial number sequence on the bottom of the boxes to see if "ONLY" a specific serial number range is seen on a specific type of box. That would support a possible transition took place. Of course since guns were not shipped in serial number sequence one can argue that the serial numbers prove nothing? BS..If I see a 4th type 38 in a specific Orange label box and a 2nd type in the same box? That absolutely proves something! That proves that there is no pattern to the boxes. That does not support the Factory boxed origin. The only evidence that would support a factory origin in my view is a pattern. Otherwise we are looking at the Distributors. A lot of them!

I mean after all, we don't even know which model came in which box? I'm pretty sure at this point that the early Black label boxes with a very dark color exterior were the earliest boxes for the 38 DA but I'm not sure yet.

The Orange label boxes of which there are "MANY" could represent the entire line of 38's from the 2nd model to 4th? I don't know but serial numbers would help greatly.

It's based on what you see and document. I also don't agree with boxing any item today with boxing an item for shipping in 1880 as any kind of comparison! Two totally different times and totally different methods used. I suppose that really is my root motivation. I still can't see these guns moving on a buckboard in 1880 "inside" these boxes and not blowing through the box!

I would never call a fair comparison shipping an item on a buck board on a dirt road vs the back of a UPS truck traveling on paved roads at freeway speeds with modern boxes and packing material. Modern boxing the item is also often form fitted into foam packing. NO comparison.

With an open mind try to imagine a metal gun bouncing around "inside" one of these boxes from New York to Chicago and not being damaged! Tell me how exactly that happened? We've already proven that guns were shipped directly to a Chicago Distributor directly from the Factory. Even to San Francisco....."INSIDE" one of these boxes???? I don't care how much straw or horse hair you use? That gun is blowing right through that box!

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-25-2020 at 11:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-25-2020, 11:32 AM
reddog81 reddog81 is online now
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: IA
Posts: 1,207
Likes: 361
Liked 969 Times in 517 Posts
Default

I haven't seen many of the boxes in person but have viewed many online. The boxes all seem very similar. Small incremental changes are to be expected and would indicate one manufacturer. If the boxes were made by a variety of distributors the differences would be much larger.

If the box is otherwise the same, the inclusion or exclusion of of a partition is a minute change and would without a doubt indicate the manufacturer just made a small change in their process. A wholly new manufacturer would result in many more variations than a partition.

Variations in the labels would also be expected over the years. It's quite possible they could go from one label to a different label and then back to the original label for a variety of reasons. I would also suspect that S&W applied the labels to the boxes rather than the box manufacturer, but that is just speculation and assumes the same boxes are used over a variety of guns.

If S&W did not box the guns before sending out to distributors, how do you think they left the factory?
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-25-2020, 11:44 AM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Crates

I honestly believe that the only way these guns could have shipped safely in 1880 would have been crates. Packed individually in heavy paper on top of straw in sectional crates. It's a proven fact that the Schofields were shipped individually in crates. Packed tightly.

Also, the Major Distributor would not have appreciated damaged products! NOBODY appreciates damaged products.
I mean I have personally had antique guns shipped to me in modern boxes with foam packing by a seller who mailed the gun "INSIDE" the original cardboard box and even the Original Wood Distributor case and the gun "BLEW" right through the box!! Pissed me off! Even after I've told the seller "PLEASE" do not ship the gun inside the original box.

I can personally picture the boxes shipped separately from the guns from the Factory to the distributor? but then we have a problem with the serial numbers under the box? It's the only way that they would make it coast to coast undamaged! Mint condition.

The serial number issue is easily answered if the individual Distributor is actually marking the number under the box. The Distributor is already attributed as marking the box with various code numbers.

I've also seen many boxes that have NO EVIDENCE of a serial number ever being under the box!! Some are there but hard to read, some are only partial, some have absolutely nothing. If the factory is following a pattern? A pattern is what we should be seeing in my view. Factory work is all about patterns.

Also, regarding the partition issue. Its not just partition/ no partition. It's also different tools. The box without partitions are often found with a longer bore brush and with or without a small wrench. The box with partitions is found with a small bore brush and I've seen a few with a small oiler. This is a one year production gun for the Baby Russian.

I also agree with Mike Maher in that most of the boxes that survived are due in part that they have a picture label that makes them more attractive to keep and preserve.
The vast majority of boxes were destroyed, tossed out, damaged so badly over the years due to mold/mildew/etc that they were eventually thrown away. So finding variations of boxes for the Baby Russian manufactured for one year in 1876/77 would be a real sort of impossible task.

Why in one single year would Smith & Wesson manufacture two box types with two totally separate type tools? I can find "many" wood distributor boxes with separate tools/partitions/ labels/ key holes/ etc. Why not pasteboard boxes?????

**** You know that reminds me...If you are old enough? You'd remember going into that old store with the long wood counter and next to the old iron cash register is a long roll of brown paper that the store owner would actually wrap your item in before placing it into a bag for you to carry out of the store. I think wrapping items in heavy paper was very common back in that time period. Why not wrap the gun in heavy paper, then in straw in sectional crates for shipping? I can picture it myself. That method was common and it worked!

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-25-2020 at 12:58 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 09-25-2020, 12:33 PM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,398
Liked 2,467 Times in 788 Posts
Default

If these originally shipped in crates, I would expect a crate to show up from time to time at auction.

Or, do any members of this forum have an original shipping crate in their collection?
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #35  
Old 09-25-2020, 02:45 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is online now
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,632
Likes: 4
Liked 1,477 Times in 828 Posts
Default

There are many theories being thrown around in this thread. The variations in the manufacture of the boxes of the same Model can be explained by the batch manufacturing process; 250 today, 400 next month. The differences in the printing can be explained by the handset type used by the printer at the time of printing. The type was in cases as individual letters, ligatures and dingbats. Everything was composed by selecting the individual letters and locking them in a Chase to be printed by letterpress. When the print job was complete; the chase was unlocked and the type was redistributed back into the case to be used on the next job. The Mergenthaler Linotype was not invented until July, 1886 which gave one the ability to repeat a project exactly as it was printed before or make as many letters as one wanted.

I have never heard of any evidence to back up the shipping of revolvers in wood crates but I'd bet the crate was part of the contract between the Army and S&W. The crates are only associated with the Schofield contract and a shipment of 50 Revolving Rifles sent to Australia (the ship sank). It would be too costly to crate a one-gun shipment and pasteboard boxes did not exist for the Revolving Rifle.

I do not believe the revolvers would normally blow through the pasteboard box. I believe the revolver would abrade the inside of the box if jostled and is often shown by the mark left by the barrel, butt and hammer. I also believe most shipments went by rail; not the Overland Express.

"The serial number issue is easily answered if the individual Distributor is actually marking the number under the box. The Distributor is already attributed as marking the box with various code numbers." The serial numbers were placed on the boxes by S&W as a way to control inventory and record sales. To help the dealers, S&W developed a 'telegraphic code' whereby the dealer could order a gun (or guns) using this shorthand and the dealer would not be charged for long telegraph messages. Often, that code is penciled on the bottom of the box to identify it to the dealer. These are not distributor codes.
__________________
Mike Maher #283
Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Like Post:
  #36  
Old 09-25-2020, 03:55 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Shipping in crates

I can go along with methods of printing boxes that Mike posted since he is retired from the printing business. Way over my head.

However, I still think the guns would have to have been shipped in crates over any distance more than say a mile and not inside these pasteboard boxes. This is also time specific. I'm not talking about the 1920's or later. That's if you actually expected them to reach their destination unmolested.

Also, I'd like to know the source evidence to prove that only the Factory did all that work since the Distributor could have easily performed those tasks mentioned without any worry of any type of damage to either the gun or box since you would eliminate any possibility of shipping damage if you had the box made right down the street. Received the guns in a secure crate, removed the guns, wrote the serial number on the box that you had made (Sometimes there is a number and sometimes there is not!) and placed the mint condition gun shipped securely in a crate into the mint box you had made down the street. Place both together on a shelf in the back storage room until ready to be moved to the floor for sale? That to me seems like a very secure method of business practice during that timeframe and in my mind the only way you can minimize the real potential for product damage in shipping. I'm not BS'in about those guns I received in the mail. They blew right through the pasteboard boxes and one Colt I had shipped by the seller inside the Walnut case packed extremely well in foam packing? but it was inside the walnut case. When I opened the box I saw the barrel sticking out of the side and the side of the wood case was blown open with that wood piece at the bottom of the cardboard shipping box.

I can dig out my pasteboard box that's damaged. I wasn't able to repair it. I fixed the wood case by gluing the side back on.

Look with an open mind at the Pasteboard boxes. The hammer rubs easily against the top of the box and would easily tear or rip a hole in transit , The barrel rubs easily against the side of the case and with the gun weight alone could punch through the box. "MINE DID"! and the grip frame rubs easily against the bottom of the case. All 3 of these rub points could represent significant damage in shipping.


Here are a few photos. Granted most are Military type weapons but these are the only crates that would survive in their original condition in my opinion since we are talking about "Millions" of military guns shipped for War efforts during multiple Wars vs a few thousand shipped at most for the Civilian Market. Often 50 or less at a time. Notice how secure they are in those crates? vs a cardboard box??

How exactly did Smith & Wesson ship 550 Baby Russians to Baltimore in July of 1877? All in pasteboard boxes? Or did they ship them in a crate? I'm believing the crate myself.

So in my view shipping guns would require a secure type shipping. Especially during that time frame. Pasteboard boxes in my view from a common sense standpoint are not secure. They are a joke in my opinion from a shipping standpoint. And keep in mind that we are "Time Specific" I'm only talking about the 1870's through the 1890's timeframe.

I can't understand how anyone would consider shipping a gun or guns in a cardboard/ pasteboard box and actually expect it to arrive without damage? Again, Time Specific. I'm not talking about a 44 Mag in a cardboard box with form fitting packing material.

Photo 1 is exactly how I am seeing those Baby Russians 200/50/550 guns shipped to Baltimore in 1876/77. Secure crate shipping for a long train ride.

*** I've actually seen more gun show damage to these boxes than anything else. Asking the seller...."Hey what happed to that box"? Seller looking upset said it was a long drive from Denver! I've also seen heavy gun damage also from long drives to gun shows for dealers. That's modern roads, modern cars, heavy damage. Dings, dents. Sometimes horrible!



Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-ee4728bb-2a4b-43eb-98f7-15e316cb273e-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-ccea92c1-2843-426a-922c-7f7b1491e3cf-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-8af0f304-7558-4569-975c-356c8576712e-jpeg  

Last edited by BMur; 09-25-2020 at 04:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #37  
Old 09-25-2020, 07:17 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Product Guarantee

I just looked through some of my Distributor Catalogs and found one thing common to all of the Major Distributors of the 1870's through 1890's.... Written Product Guarantees.

Turner & Ross said it best: " We wish our customers everywhere, in Maine or California, to have the same privileges and satisfaction in ordering by mail, that they would receive if they made their purchase over our counter"!

How exactly can you meet this strict quality of product guarantee if you ship a gun in a pasteboard box from New York to San Francisco. Over 2900 miles by old rail, then by freight wagon from the old rail yard that I am very familiar with, to the foot of Samson Street on miles of dirt roads and cobblestone streets yet still meet this product declaration?

I'd like to see it done!

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-25-2020 at 07:21 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 09-25-2020, 07:18 PM
mrcvs mrcvs is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,852
Likes: 1,398
Liked 2,467 Times in 788 Posts
Default

I would think if crates were used to ship they would show up at auction now and again
Not the case.

Before I knew better, I purchased a few 1880 and 1881 production Smith & Wesson revolvers, and rode with them in my vehicle the better part of 100 miles, in original boxes over a century old. Therefore, more fragile cardboard than as new and also less stable than riding on railroad tracks. And I didn't have a problem.

A Smith & Wesson revolver in a cardboard box as new circa 1880 could ship in a new cardboard box across the country and the revolver would appear as new at its destination and the box would show little or no wear, in most cases. Maybe not 100% of the time, but nearly all of the time, barring catastrophic loss, which probably occurred on occasion.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #39  
Old 09-25-2020, 08:35 PM
mmaher94087 mmaher94087 is online now
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,632
Likes: 4
Liked 1,477 Times in 828 Posts
Default

"Written Product Guarantees.". "..to have the same privileges and satisfaction in ordering by mail..". I see no product guarantee; only that the mail order folks get to purchase the same items as "our counter" folks.

I find it irrelevant comparing the 1876 shipping of a revolver to the shipping at the present day. The 1876 revolvers did ship in pasteboard boxes and they arrived in acceptable condition. They may have been overpacked in larger boxes but there is NO evidence that they were ever packed in crates.

"Also, I'd like to know the source evidence to prove that only the Factory did all that work since the Distributor could have easily performed those tasks mentioned without any worry of any type of damage to either the gun or box since you would eliminate any possibility of shipping damage if you had the box made right down the street. Received the guns in a secure crate, removed the guns, wrote the serial number on the box that you had made (Sometimes there is a number and sometimes there is not!) and placed the mint condition gun shipped securely in a crate into the mint box you had made down the street.". I have no 'source evidence' only too many years collecting these revolvers. I can only ask: Who pays for that labor? That labor comes out of the profit. And when a new car is purchased at a dealer, do they expect to put the sparkplugs in or put the tires on the car? The dealer wants a complete product to sell and the consumer wants to bring it home complete.

The Military crate packaging photos are nice but has nothing to do with Smith & Wesson.
__________________
Mike Maher #283
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #40  
Old 09-25-2020, 11:32 PM
orbruce's Avatar
orbruce orbruce is online now
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: pacific northwest
Posts: 316
Likes: 24
Liked 291 Times in 94 Posts
Default boxes

I'm not sure what I can added to this conversation but I think dealers had other means to customize boxes that were much cheaper that having some special color design etc. Here are a few pictures of dealer customized boxes. The box with the small oil bottle is for a 32 DA, the other box with the label is for a 38 DA. Using rubber stamps and stick on labels would have been much cheaper and easier for a dealer.

B. Mower #662
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-img_9162-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-img_9163-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-img_9164-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-img_9165-jpg  
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #41  
Old 09-26-2020, 01:57 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Relevant input.

Great stuff B.Mower,
I don't mind telling you that I was getting somewhat distraught from sensational stories of joy rides and spark plugs as somehow relevant to the box study.

I have a couple boxes myself with period 3&1 oil samples inside of the same vintage boxes. Not only Smith & Wesson boxes but also for Iver Johnson, Harrington & Richardson, Hopkins & Allen, and odd bulldog boxes that in my opinion in some cases were also contracted out by the Distributor.
I also believe that the Distributor was the motivating factor regarding the partitions in the boxes to allow them to push the sale of the 3in1 oil product using these small samples to generate future sales of 3in1 oil. There is no other reason for the partitions in the pasteboard boxes. Very smart of the Distributor to push other products for future business.

These Smokeless stamps are likely the first of their kind to warn the purchaser that the contained revolver is not designed for use with Smokeless powder.

Also, and I have been holding back on a lot of researched information that I have already confirmed regarding boxed guns of this period, many gun boxes are already confirmed as Distributor contracted boxes. These include as one example The Old Hickory series and several other confirmed contract series guns that were often sent to the Major Distributor having no markings whatsoever on the gun. Only to have the Distributor stamp the gun with a Trade name to call it their own series gun. Such as "The Old Hickory".

This is just one example that I have confirmed via in depth research that was boxed by the Distributor. Iver Johnson was, in this singular case, the gun maker and they would often send spur trigger revolvers in bulk absent of any markings to Major Distributors. Only to have them personalize the gun with a Trade Name and box the gun with that same trade name "ON THE BOX"!

Murph

Last edited by BMur; 09-26-2020 at 02:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 09-26-2020, 04:13 PM
model3sw's Avatar
model3sw model3sw is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Posts: 3,568
Likes: 7,918
Liked 4,603 Times in 1,595 Posts
Default

Oh, geeze ! Gremlins !

__________________
ANTIQUESMITHS
LM1300 SWHF425
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 09-26-2020, 04:23 PM
gmborkovic gmborkovic is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: VA & SoFL
Posts: 6,030
Likes: 285
Liked 3,497 Times in 2,022 Posts
Default

Sal, is that your pic on the right side? Wow man, you gotts to get a little FL sunshine!
__________________
Mike 2796
SoFo Bunch member
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 09-26-2020, 04:28 PM
model3sw's Avatar
model3sw model3sw is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
Posts: 3,568
Likes: 7,918
Liked 4,603 Times in 1,595 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmborkovic View Post
Sal, is that your pic on the right side? Wow man, you gotts to get a little FL sunshine!
Hi, Mike. Nope ... I'm the Shatner character ( the guy inside the plane ) WITH the SMITH & WESSON !

In fact I may have used one of my Chrome 1905, 4th change revolvers in that scene.
__________________
ANTIQUESMITHS
LM1300 SWHF425
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #45  
Old 09-26-2020, 07:15 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Grand Entrance

Ok Sal,
Grand entrance. Thatís my favorite episode. Now how about posting some boxes! I know you must have about 50 in your collection!

Murph
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 09-28-2020, 03:50 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default I found one!

Well, I stand corrected. Here is one that shipped in the box and the gun still looks great! The box doesnít look too good after shipping but you guys are right! It can be done! Just a tube of glue and maybe a little scotch tape and youíre good to go!
It blew right through the box in the exact same place mine did! This one Took out the sides too but the gun is mint so no harm done!

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-d522ef27-5fcc-440e-8ff0-82c25e185b30-jpeg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-2fe64072-c799-43cc-9b78-8701690314d0-jpeg  

Last edited by BMur; 09-28-2020 at 03:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #47  
Old 09-29-2020, 01:48 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Single Action Box variations

I'm getting close to posting all of what I've found so far but wanted to touch first on the Single Action 38 boxes.

It hasn't taken much effort to confirm a total of 9 different types of 38 Single Action boxes. These include the Baby Russian, 2nd and 3rd model.

The Baby Russian so far is confirmed as only in Picture boxes having either Partitions or no Partitions. Boxes having different type tools/bore brushes. Differences to the instruction labels is obvious with various red ink corrections and several different variations of wording details to the actual operating instructions.

The 2nd model is found having an oval label on top of the box lid and not having a label on top. I have seen mint condition boxes with no label and no evidence of a label ever being on the box lid. Some boxes have partitions and some do not. Some actually have a thick 3 piece base and some do not.
Some with the thick base have cut outs where the partitions would normally reside but the box is often found lacking the partitions with no evidence that the partitions were ever installed.

The Rare 3rd model is the transitional box. Earliest guns are seen in late dark Green boxes with very unusual modified boxes that have voided the partitions. This is obviously due to the 3rd model often having a trigger guard and the gun will not fit in a partitioned box with the trigger guard. (Lots of questions come up about this modified box set up).

If you look at the photo you can clearly see the thick base having cut outs for partitions but lacking same. They are not removed. They were never installed. Look closely.

The later 3rd models introduced a new type of instruction label having the caliber and barrel length on top of the instructions on the inner lid. This is a consistent change
with later boxes and is found common to all calibers in this study. This later box represents a late 1890's to early 1900's time frame box design. Also a different darker black color to box material is the most common variation having a Black & white label. The label can also be found on either side of the box. The gun can also be found stored pointing in either direction. Normally having the barrel pointing towards the label. I've also documented this unusual feature on all of the double action models and boxes.

I'm not reaching any conclusions regarding this study since there seem to be "many" box variations and even "modified" boxes to conform to new gun types and the selling of additional gun products such as 3in1 oil, different tools, and bore brushes. This to me only strongly suggests that the Major Distributor was deeply involved in these box types/variations of same and also the partition issue can not be discounted as just a random feature! There was "purpose" to these partitions. Especially when they have been "purposely removed or not included, to fit a new type gun in the earlier model box"!! I still believe that the Distributor was the motivating factor to these box variations. To what extent remains uncertain.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-23381b1c-ba82-47a1-ab24-acbf56f7cf31-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-d6b751b4-7dbf-459f-a13f-bf3112951f20-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-6af438d4-de35-40ca-95ec-515ae63ffe5a-jpg  

Last edited by BMur; 09-29-2020 at 03:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #48  
Old 09-30-2020, 02:27 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Retailers boxes

Another rock solid avenue of research regarding these boxes is that I am finding a continued documented reference to a "Retailers box" in old catalogs. I'm also finding boxes that have been clearly customized by the Major Distributor for not only Presentation purposes? but also for additional product advertisements. I don't see how this would benefit the Factory in any way! Nor would the Factory be the source of these customized boxes.

The boxes are found lacking instructions on the inner lid. The instructions have obviously not been removed or pasted over. They were never there or applied to the lid to begin with. The boxes are identical to other boxes posted on this thread but are clearly lacking the instructions. One must ask "how exactly did that happen"?

This additional box evidence is definitely pointing at the Distributor as the source and the old references identifying these "early boxes" as a Retailers box is also pointing at the Distributor/Retailer as the source.

It also points at the Distributor as actually being the source or origin of the various types of instructions found on all the inner lids. The more I research this subject the more evidence I am finding that is clearly pointing at the Distributor as the source.

Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-2d193a7d-aa5e-43ea-9d27-b106a16a5458-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-f52741af-1b45-4aa3-9650-6f8eb8d44ba4-jpg  

Last edited by BMur; 09-30-2020 at 02:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 09-30-2020, 04:21 PM
first-model's Avatar
first-model first-model is offline
SWCA Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 1,031
Likes: 510
Liked 1,041 Times in 379 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMur View Post
Another rock solid avenue of research regarding these boxes is that I am finding a continued documented reference to a "Retailers box" in old catalogs.
It is not uncommon for the exact same product to be wholesaled with different levels of packaging. The "retailers box" could refer to a level of packaging that would have been suitable for retail sales, as opposed to a plainer box that would have been more appropriate for institutional type purchases.

Obviously, the "institutional" packaging would cost less than the full "retailers box" option, but that would save the end retailer from having to fuss with presentation boxes and such.

This is pretty common nowadays, and I suspect it was common then too.

The "institutional" packaging (that's my made-up term) may also have had a plain inside box lid onto which the retailer could affix their own advertising. If the boxes are otherwise consistent, then it lends more credibility to the theory that these boxes were being supplied by the factory. One would suppose that boxes made by individual wholesalers / retailers would show much more variability.

And in terms of the durability of pasteboard boxes: I think it's worth remembering that these guns tended to be shipped in bulk, and probably in some sort of larger (generic) storage container. The pasteboard box alone isn't that robust, but when the boxes are stacked like bricks there's going to be a lot more "collective" strength.

We're also talking about boxes that are 150+ years old ... so they're fragile now, but they weren't always that way. I have an Eagle Arms box from the 1860's that is on the verge of falling apart, but there's little doubt that the gun originally shipped in this box, when it was still quite robust.

Mike
__________________
SWCA (BOD) 2721, SWHF 388
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #50  
Old 10-01-2020, 02:24 PM
BMur BMur is offline
Member
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes?????? Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,110
Likes: 464
Liked 1,547 Times in 642 Posts
Default Time Specific

I think ultimately the huge piece of history that we are missing here is the " Transition" that took place with shipping products?

If one was to actually perform research you will find that prior to 1900? All items were shipped in shipping crates or " custom made wood boxes" by whomever was shipping the product. This is documented and easily found. I've also read this fact listed in a few of my Distributor catalogs from that period. Pre-1900. They had a box maker manufacture their own shipping crates and heavy boxes for shipping any product in bulk to a buyer.

(Photo one & two) show a single Winchester rifle pre-1900 shipped in a wooden crate by itself. "ONE" gun in a crate. What most often occurred when the "Distributor/Retailer" received the gun? They would remove the gun(s) from their crates and either place them into a Retailers box for sale on the floor Or no box at all.

Perhaps a smaller retailer would hang them on the wall, placed them in a glass cabinet for display and sale, or left them stored in the shipping crate until they were moved out onto the floor for sale.

After 1900 shipping changed dramatically. That's why I am constantly using the term "TIME SPECIFIC" to this thread. We can't mix the 1950's with the 1870's crating and shipping of guns. These pre-1900 pasteboard boxes are near identical from one firm to the next if you do your research? So box making at that time was near a carbon copy. The Distributor could have easily had the boxes made for any product that was "CRATED" to their location. This includes guns placed into a "RETAILER BOX" after being removed from from a shipping crate for sale on the floor.

So, after 1900 it's documented that shipping methods changed to eliminate the crate concept and introduced a shipping container provided in this case by the Railroad? that would compliment "form fit" cardboard boxing of products. (See photo) This would include guns. It would also include these pasteboard boxes that would be carefully packaged in shipping containers with much better packing materials. This was to eliminate the crate requirement for safe shipping at any distance.

If you think about it? This shipping container concept would eliminate a lot of "Product damage" from poor packing by the manufacturer or shipper and damage claims by either the receiver of the product or the shipping contractor (Railroad?). Claiming that the product was poorly packed to begin with! It's not our fault! You pay for damages! It would also reduce overall weight for the Train to haul. Imagine eliminating single crates for rifles and now shipping them in a bulk container provided by the Railroad. Still in a crate type packing but much more consolidated and form fit for safer shipping.

Prior to this timeframe custom product "CRATES" were the only method used to ship products long distances. This historically accurate concept explains a lot regarding the early pasteboard boxes found in "mint" condition and often appearing like a gun actually never "shipped inside the box"!! Because it didn't!

Not until after 1900, when shipping methods changed dramatically. Since box making was near identical from one firm to the next? No change would be seen in box designs. So no transition is visible. A "RETAILER BOX" would look identical to a "FACTORY BOX". Perhaps a different color material, a different designed label and different instructions? The boxes would look so alike that you couldn't tell who actually had the box made until after 1900.

If we look closely at the boxes? You can see a post 1900 ,or very close to that time frame, box change that took place with the photo's that I posted. The box instructions now included a very clear caliber marking, barrel length, and model. Also often having additional buy "factory" pearl grip adds to the bottom of the box. With a unique Black & White label never seen on earlier boxes!!!
I would definitely concur that these later boxes are most definitely "factory boxes" that just happened to appear in the 1900 time frame at the same time that shipping methods changed dramatically!! Making it possible to ship the guns in these pasteboard boxes safely and without product damage taking place. See last photo.

Prior to this timeframe? There is no way in my opinion to determine who actually had the box made. Also, who actually boxed the gun. I have documented a lot of very solid evidence from many early Distributors that clearly points to them as the source of the early "Retailer" boxes for various pistols/makes and models from several Distributor firms Pre-1900. It's also obvious that they could have very easily had these early boxes made and boxed the guns after receiving them in bulk in early shipping crates.

It's also obvious that the 800 Baby Russian 38 caliber guns shipped to the Baltimore police in 1876/1877 timeframe were shipped in Crates and not in pasteboard boxes! One of those shipments is factory documented as a 550 gun bulk order!


Murph
Attached Thumbnails
Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-4f1c5987-7818-43e2-a5ef-7938623c6d53-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-dc45a979-32de-4d8e-84c1-5839820e9380-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-1b4c24e2-0973-4af0-a248-0955a1a94145-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-fc4290d0-85d1-4203-899e-bba3835a2ef9-jpg   Antique S&W cardboard gun boxes??????-a0d6222a-2ef6-4eb0-8e59-1bf803426c4f-jpeg  


Last edited by BMur; 10-01-2020 at 02:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SW9VE shipping in cardboard boxes? the_hustleman Smith & Wesson SD & Sigma Pistols 31 01-18-2018 12:28 AM
S&W Cardboard boxes BigDog48 Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols 26 12-24-2015 08:34 AM
cardboard boxes and mildew??? snake803 S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 1 05-31-2013 07:07 PM
New 642-1's in cardboard boxes Sonny Crocket S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 32 12-30-2011 03:17 PM
S&W shipping new guns in cardboard boxes. Rule3 The Lounge 6 02-12-2011 10:44 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:56 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)