Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Smith & Wesson Company Records
Scope and Contents of the Collection
Records, approximately 10,000 items, are comprised of incoming sales and service correspondence, with some outgoing correspondence, and administrative and financial/legal subject files. The bulk of the sales and service correspondents represented in this collection are individual gun users, sharpshooters, pawn shop owners, gun clubs, gun dealers, collectors, policemen and police organizations, military personnel, boys clubs, schools, exporters and foreign agents. Of special interest is the correspondence of the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) (1926-1927, 1943-1944), Small Arms Industry Advisory Committee (1941, 1944), United States Revolver Association (1927-1928), and other letters from gun legislation factions, firearms manufacturers and foreign countries. The correspondence, from U.S. and foreign sources, contains original handwritten and typed letters, carbon copies, and some printed form letters.
Administrative and financial/legal records, comprised of materials found scattered throughout the papers, have been reorganized into manageable subject files. Among these files are items from the following categories: ads and advertising, American Railway Express, audits, counselors at law, debtors, insurance, legal actions, newsletters, patents and trademarks, personnel, photos, sample parts, sideline ventures, stocks and bonds awards, Western Union Telegrams and others as identified in the various series.
This collection offers resources for researchers interested in the history of firearms, firearms industry and labor, gun legislation, and gun-ownership around the 1920s and early 1940s.