Who would have known that Daisy Air guns is located in Rogers, Arkansas and they have a great Airgun museum right by where we’re staying ?!! It was definitely a great find.
Daisy was started in 1882 as Plymouth Iron Windmill Company in Plymouth, Michigan. In 1886 the company started to give away BB guns with purchases of windmills. The gun was so popular the company started to sell guns instead of windmills. The gun received its name when General Manager Lewis Cass Hough fired one and enthusiastically said “It’s a Daisy!’ In 1958, the company moved the corporate offices and manufacturing facilities from Plymouth to Rogers, Arkansas.
First Poster for Daisy Air Guns
The sturdy little Daisy BB gun quickly became a staple with American youth, and youngsters all across America cut their shooting teeth on a Daisy.
A lot of BBs of have rolled out of the barrel since 1958 and Daisy still dominates the air gun category with tried and true models like the legendary Red Ryder. First introduced in 1938, the Red Ryder BB gun became an iconic American toy, and is still in production today. It has sold over 9 million units, easily making it the most famous BB gun ever built. Modeled after the western Winchester rifle, Red Ryder was the comic book cowboy hero created by Fred Harman, and from 1944 to 1949 portrayed in a series of B-Westerns by Wild Bill Elliott.
World War II During the war Daisy made 37mm canisters for the war effort and two models of wooden toy guns, the Chattermatic and the Commando. They also switched over to defense projects like the rest of American industry and focused on items ordered under War Department contracts and sub-contracts, such as the parts you see displayed in this case. Gaskets were produced for AC Spark Plug Division, switches for Square D Manufacturing, ball races for Palmer-Bee, washers for Ligon Brothers, and dies for Bendix Aviation, Nippert Electric and Pilgrim Drawn Steel. Of the company’s total sales from 1942 to 1945, almost 24% were from products for the war and the balance were from non-steel toy products.
“With a 1000-shot Daisy Repeater,
you can shoot both straight and often.”
– Daisy MFG. CO.
Daisy is one of the earliest makers of BB guns, creating a model in 1900. “BB” stand for “ball bearing.” Daisy has been a dominant brand for over a century.
“You’ll shoot your eye out”
A Christmas Story is one of Dave’s favorite movies. He remembers having a Daisy BB gun when he was a kid. We were also at The Christmas story house museum in Ohio another great place.
“I’m here to kick ass and drink whiskey. And Pilgrim, I’m out of whiskey.” John Wayne
The noteworthy thing about turn-of-the-century Daisy BB guns, said Penn State history professor Gary Cross, is that these “toys” were marketed to adults. One 1890 catalog billed its air rifle as “just the thing to make the neighbor’s cat scratch and growl and doggy fly for home”; another similar rifle was advertised as a parlor game. Pest control and family entertainment, not shoot-’em-ups in the back yard.
Over the years, Daisy has manufactured nearly 100 different models of toy guns and nearly 400 different models of bb and pellet guns for youngsters and adults and their still going strong.
They made their first firearm in 1968 which fired a “Caseless Ammunition” round. It was called the VL0001 and was fired with a revolutionary type of propellant, similar to rocket fuel. The ammunition was developed by a Belgian petrochemist by the name of Jules Van Langenhoven. Thus the model designation “VL”. The gun went out of production in 1969. In 1990 Daisy began manufacturing their “Legacy” line of conventional .22 caliber firearms. There were a total of six models, including: two single shot rifles, two bolt action rifles and two semi-automatic rifles. Three had copolymer stocks and three had hardwood stocks.
When we left they gave us this 50th anniversary of the Museum token. If your ever near Rogers Arkansas stop in and check it out. As Dave said it took me back years.
Today, Daisy (now known as Daisy Outdoor Products) focuses on manufacturing toy guns, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns and accessories. Their general offices and museum are still located in Rogers, Arkansas, but their assembly operations have been moved to Neosho, Missouri.