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1924 Peerless Handcuff Letter to Smith & Wesson

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lee120275's loves12 of 246Vintage Fan - lovely Victorian setting/scenes.  Very agedunknown toy
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (261 items)

    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).


    1. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Link to Feb. 20th National handcuff Day:
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 2 years ago
      Very interesting Dave!! Great write up!
    3. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thanks for the appreciation:
      jscott0363 (thanks for the comment)
    4. Manikin Manikin, 2 years ago
      Great write up and I hope I never have to try a pair on :-)
    5. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thanks Manikin. Not the type of bracelets you want to wear out on the town.
    6. Manikin Manikin, 2 years ago
      No I haven't got a thing to wear that matches it lol
    7. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 2 years ago
      Very interesting reading, I enjoyed the history you presented with the post. My cuffs are S&W made long after these. Not sure I even know where the keys are anymore.
    8. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      fhrjr2, thank you for the comments. Most of the S&W handcuffs use a universal key with a couple of exceptions. The Model 94 Maximum Security Handcuff, introduced in 1969, with a pin tumbler lock that could be set to several combinations allowing a exclusive key to open. I think there are about 10 different key cuts depending on which one you have.
      The other one is a Model 104 Maximum Security, introduced around 1979, that have a specially designed key & key-hole bushing.
      If your handcuffs use the universal key & you cannot find yours, let me know & I can send you a couple.

      Thanks for the appreciation:
    9. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thank you for the appreciation:
    10. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thanks Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse for the appreciation.
    11. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thanks PoliticalPinbacks for the appreciation.
    12. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 2 years ago
      What fascinating history, plus interesting information -- THANKS for sharing! :-)
    13. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thanks AnythingObscure for the comments & appreciation.
    14. Wandlessfairy Wandlessfairy, 2 years ago
      Wow great post. Will keep my eyes peeled for antique handcuffs now.
    15. pw-collector pw-collector, 2 years ago
      Thanks Wandlessfairy for the comment & appreciation.

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