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December 16, 2020

An Ad for Iver Johnson Revolvers From 1904 Claimed to Be Safe Enough to Be Near Babies

The gun culture has deep roots in American history, dating to our colonial beginnings. By the turn of the 20th century, it was not uncommon to find guns in the homes of otherwise peaceable citizens. Gun ownership was promoted as respectable and sensible.
“Papa says it won’t hurt us.”
“Accidental discharge impossible.”
This advertisement for Iver Johnson revolvers, circa 1904, made no bones about the deadliness of the weapons, but claimed its “hammerless automatic” model was safe enough to be used as a child’s toy.


The $6 price tag sounds cheap. but that price would be about $175 in today’s money.

Incidentally, Iver Johnson handguns were used to assassinate President William McKinley in 1901 and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.




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