Santa Claus and Stevens Arms: Blast from the Past

Stevens Ad

Frank Williams writes:

This 1903 ad is for the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Co. featuring the Stevens-Duryea automobile. Stevens Arms was founded by Joshua Stevens in 1864 in Chicopee Falls, MA. The company introduced the .22LR round and designed and manufactured a number of rifle, shotgun, and target pistol designs.

In 1901, Stevens entered into a partnership with J. Frank Duryea to produce the Stevens-Duryea automobile manufactured at a separate facility also in Chicopee Falls, MA. Stevens-Duryea’s first product was a two-cylinder, 5 hp Runabout that sold for $1,200.00 in 1901. No production numbers are known for 1901 but the firm produced 61 cars in 1902 and 483 in 1903.

Stevens-Duryea had labor and financial problems for several years and was purchased by Ray Owen (of Owen Magnetic) in 1923 to produce gas and electric cars under the Rauch and Lang brand. A new model Stevens-Duryea was announced but after only 28 cars were sold in 1924 manufacture continued only on an orders-received basis until 1927 when the company shut down.

Stevens Arms, under the ownership of New England Westinghouse, produced over 770,000 Mosin-Nagant rifles under contract with the Russian government between 1916-1917, of which 225,260 were delivered. The rest were sold to the US Government who supplied them to the American Expeditionary Forces, White Russian forces, Finland, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Stevens was purchased by the Savage Arms Company on 1 April, 1920 with Stevens operating as a subsidiary of Savage but in a semi-independent status until 1942. This merger made Savage the largest producer of arms in the United States at the time. After World War II they were renamed as Stevens Arms and sometimes identified as “Savage-Stevens” after 1948.

In 1960 Savage closed the Stevens Arms facilities in Chicopee Falls and moved Stevens production to various Savage manufacturing sites. In 1991 the Stevens name was discontinued but was resurrected in 1999 as the brand name for Savage’s budget line of rifles and shotguns.

Information source: Wikipedia
Picture source:
Ad source: December 1903 Country Life magazine


  1. avatar Mikial says:

    Simpler days.

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      Back when we were rational, reasonable people.

      1. avatar Mikial says:

        Sadly, all too accurate.

        I can’t see the human race lasting much longer.

  2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    I could just imagine how that ad would be received today.

    1. avatar MiniMe says:

      I think I hear the muffled “pop” of liberal heads azzploding from looking at this picture. LOL!

      1. avatar David P. says:

        If that was really the case I would chip in for a front page ad.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    I did not realise it was Stevens that produced the first .22 lr.

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    24 Dec. 2016 – Breaking News:

    President Obama made an announcement at 11 P.M. EST that a terrible tragedy had occurred.

    “It is with deep sadness and regret I announce the United States Department of Defense has told me a technical error has occurred in the over-the-horizon radar system keeping watch for a ballistic missile attack miss-identified a civilian aircraft without a fuctional transponder with one occupant as hostile and executed an automatic defense response that destroyed the aircraft and killed its occupant.”

    “Shortly after being hit, Arctic Air Traffic Control received an emergency HF radio transmission from the aircraft with one brief statement.”:


    (I’m so *mean*)

    1. avatar jwm says:

      “We have a red sleigh down. We have a red sleigh down…..”

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        With an unusually large quantity of fresh venison surrounding it…

    2. avatar peirsonb says:

      No one needs a bag capable of delivering that many toys that fast….

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I always thought he was greedy. I mean, who needs 3 ho’s?

      2. avatar Chadwick P. says:

        There should be a law!! Unless he’s Islamic or a demoncrat, then he gets a pass by dear leader.

  5. avatar Von Schmitto says:

    If Santa drove around in Chicopee Falls Ma. with that car load of guns today, the SWAT team would have his ass down pretty quick.

  6. avatar gs650g says:

    Did Santa complete a 4473 foe each gun and is he the end recipient?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Santa is a distributive socialist progressive, and as such, like David Gregory, gun laws don’t apply to him…

  7. avatar Raul Ybarra says:

    My 12 year old son’s favorite gun is his Stevens Springfield 53A that he inherited from my mom who inherited it from my grandmother. It’s about 90 years old and is a single shot bolt action that you have to manually cock for each shot and your fingernail is the extractor. It shoots a bit to the left and you have to compensate – there’s no windage for the sights; however it is incredibly accurate. The trigger is at most 2lbs, no slack and crisp as it must have been when it was new.

    I have personally watched him firing at a round ever 3 seconds putting a box of 50 inside the 4 ring at 50 yards.

  8. avatar LHW says:

    Delivering toys in Chiraq.

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