The Winchester Model 1887 lever-action shotgun was one of the first successful repeating shotguns on the market. It pushed Winchester’s lever action brand optimization into new markets. This gun is serial number 1 and has a John Ulrich engraving. It was made as an exhibition piece and ultimately bought by Henry Ford and given to Harvey Firestone (Heard of them?).
We don’t know the specific reason for the gift, but we do know that between 1915 and 1924, the two traveled the country with American naturalist John Burroughs and inventor Thomas Edison and called themselves, “The Four Vagabonds.”
Personally, I think they sound like a pretty bad ass group to road trip with – not to mention the cool ride. In addition, it’s pretty neat to see two people associated with the automobile industry owning and using firearms – especially since gun designers like Sam Colt’s advancements in interchangeability, production lines, and industrial machinery inspired Henry Ford.
Additionally, the automobile and firearms industries are often interconnected. For example, the automobile muffler and firearm suppressor were invented around the same time for similar reasons. Yet somehow one is now standard and the other highly regulated…hmmm. To some, guns can seem segregated from larger contexts in history, so it’s nice to see a gun that truly represents the interconnectedness of firearms to other facets of industry and society.
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