Posted 4 years ago
The Peerless Handcuff Company that was incorporated by James Milton Gill in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 22, 1914, after purchasing the patent for a handcuff, by using a swing-through, self-locking arm system, invented and patented by George A. Carney and issued to him on Feb. 20, 1912, did not have the knowhow, facility or the machinery to manufacture the handcuffs; but Mr. Gill had a friend by the name of Joseph H. Wesson who was a very successful manufacture of handguns. So, he contacted Mr. Wesson and set up a meeting to see if Mr. Wesson was interested in joining this business venture.
2 years ago, I entered a post honoring Feb. 20th National Handcuff Day, that also gives a little history of the relationship between the Peerless Handcuff Co. and the Smith & Wesson Handgun Manufacturing Co.
This post is for a letter written by James Milton Gill on November 25, 1924 to Smith & Wesson, Inc. requesting them to manufacture one thousand (1000) pair of Peerless handcuffs in blued finish. On the bottom left of the received letter, written in pencil, is a notation by S&W of the serial number range of the 1,000 pairs of handcuffs (41001 to 42001).
About a year previous of acquiring this letter, I had purchased this set of handcuffs with serial number 41831 which is one of the 1,000 pairs mentioned in this letter.
I contacted Peter Gill (the grandson of James M. Gill) at the Peerless Handcuff Co. (still owned by the Gill family), and sent him a copy of the letter & photos of the handcuffs and he responded to me that, serial number 41831 was sold to C.D. Reese on June 15, 1926. This pair must have set in inventory for some time.
This had to be a rare chance, that I would end up with a pair of handcuffs and this letter requesting 1,000 pairs, and it happens to be in the serial number range that was recorded manufactured on the letter.
Thanks for letting me share a little history,
(I'm not sure the "powers to be", will allow this to be in the "costume jewelry" "bracelets" category).