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Archive for the ‘Daisy Air Rifle’ Category

Only one wall of the famed Daisy Manufacturing Company’s Plymouth factory stands.  In truth, it is merely a facade of one wall of what used to be a manufacturing facility that cranked out millions of “air rifles” aka BB guns from the early to mid 20th century.

I’m linking some articles here (one written by me) that lay out what’s going on.  The long and short  of it is that the Developer of what is now Daisy Square was supposed to preserve at least one wall (and that was after the original agreement was renegotiated) and incorporate it into a new structure.  That never happened and the project is 7 years old at this point.  The fate of what is left of the Daisy factory could be decided at next month’s Planning Commission meeting.

http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/articles/public-hearing-on-fate-of-daisy-wall-set-for-november

http://plymouth-mi.patch.com/articles/historic-wall-or-eyesore

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Anyone familiar with Plymouth history probably knows that our town is known for b-b gun manufacturing.  The Red Ryder gun of A Christmas Story (maybe the best Christmas comedy ever) fame was made here in Plymouth.  The Plymouth Historical Museum will be honoring that history, tying it into other themes from the movie, in an exhibit that opens next week.

When the Plymouth Historical Museum reopens Nov. 18, officials will showcase their newest exhibit, “A Red Ryder Christmas Story.”The exhibit draws its inspiration from the popular 1983 movie, A Christmas Story, in which the main character, Ralphie, longs for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Throughout the museum’s Main Street there will be vignettes of scenes from the movie and from the original story upon which the movie is based.

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The museum’s exhibit seeks to recapture that nostalgic spirit by displaying period toys, clothing and other artifacts.

Read the full Plymouth Observer article here.

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20091112/NEWS15/911120574/1032/Plymouth+Pipeline

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daisyadIf you’ve seen the movie, A Christmas Story, you’ll know that line.  If you’ve been around Plymouth very long, you’ll also know that air rifle used to be made right here in town.

Michigan History Online has a great brief history of Daisy (and the air rifle industry more generally)

http://www.michiganhistorymag.com/extra/2008/marapr/its_a_daisy.html

Red Ryder was a character created by the company, during the Depression, to market Daisy Air Rifles to kids:

The 1930s also saw the introduction of a cowboy theme with Daisy guns honoring teenaged rodeo and movie cowboy Buzz Barton and movie cowboy Buck Jones. However, Cass Hough was always concerned about a celebrity endorser becoming entangled in a scandal and hurting Daisy’s image. He found a solution in the form of an imaginary cowboy, a comic strip hero whose name and association with Daisy have become legendary. Late in the 1930s, Daisy met Red Ryder. Actually, it was Fred Harman, author-artist for the Red Ryder comic series who came from Colorado to Plymouth to sell Daisy on a pistol concept he had whittled from wood. Harman and Cass Hough hit it off and before long they joined with Red Ryder owner Stephen Slesinger in joint promotional efforts. Daisy’s Red Ryder phase, including the No. 111 Model 40 Red Ryder Western Carbine, was among the most profitable eras of the company. The Daisy Red Ryder air gun was immortalized in the 1983 classic movie A Christmas Story, featuring Ralphie’s quest to get a Red Ryder air gun despite everyone’s warning that “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

The whole story of this industry and its origins in town is fascinating.  Check out the entire article.

Merry Christmas.

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