Historic Firearms Museum
The Historic Firearms Museum at the Winchester Mystery House is a showcase for one of the largest collections of vintage Winchester rifles on the West Coast.
Here you’ll find a history of how the Winchester rifles involved, starting with Oliver Fisher Winchester.
Oliver Fisher Winchester was an entrepreneur who made a fortune in the shirt manufacturing business during the 1830s and 1840s. He took over a bankrupt arms manufacturing company in New Haven, Connecticut in 1857, which eventually became the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
The first Winchester repeating rifle became available to the public in 1866. In 1873 the model released that year is popularly known as “The Gun that Won the West.” Both editions are on display in the museum, along with many others from the Old West up through World War Two.
The museum’s collection includes firearms that are hundreds of years old, as well as facsimiles of Winchester rifles made famous by President Theodore and in classic movies starring legendary film stars John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Clint Eastwood.
Vintage Products Museum
After World War I, the demand for military arms in America was substantially reduced. As a result, during the 1920s the Winchester Arms Company shifted production to a new and growing market – household and sporting goods. Under the slogan, “More Than Just The Gun,” the Winchester Products Company developed a product line that touched virtually every aspect of American life.
At one time, there was 6,300 Winchester franchise stores throughout the U.S. Ordering products through the Winchester mail-order catalog was also extremely popular.
The Antique Products Museum, located in the gazebo adjacent to the Gift Shop, has many vintage Winchester consumer goods on display, along with Winchester Product Company advertising posters, which show how Winchester products were marketed to the American public.
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