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September 28, 2003

The Winchester Bullet Board

This piece has an interesting history. It's an early 1900's "Double W" board that shows all the ammunition products Winchester was producing at the time. As it was made at a point when the technology was shifting from black powder to smokeless powder, it's really a priceless asset in documenting the cartridge tech of the era. These are physical cartridges, not just embossed pictures as in the much more modern boards (though some companys still make 'em like this!). This is one of the better ones left - but it could have been one of the best, except... It came from the family hardware store in Paragould, Arkansas, after the last brother who ran the store died and no one else in the family wanted to continue operating it. It was complete at that point. A family member of mine was (and still is, behind the scenes) a politically connected fellow in Little Rock. He loaned it to the state, and it hung in the capital building for many years during Clinton's governorship. While I doubt Bill swiped any of the cartridges, someone stole several of the more expensive ones - which I've been replacing, bit by bit. What complicates the effort is these were purpose-built dummies, not just unloaded cartridges. Thus far, the real challenge has been finding the missing (and most expensive - why they were stolen!) shotgun shells.

Update: I should note that the board hangs in the living room - a testament to just how wonderful WonderWife (tm) v3.x is!