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Red Ryder Toy Rifle and Book
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This Red Ryder "Better Little Book," titled Red Ryder and the Code of the West, copyright 1940, 1941, is one of the many Red Ryder stories that boys read during World War II (WWII). Red Ryder was a hugely popular fictional hero; a book like this was the dream gift of most boys in the 1940's. Many commercial items like toy guns and clothing were also available so that children could dress like Red Ryder and act out the stories. As the nation became more mobilized for the war effort, Red Ryder's famed BB guns and air rifles became more popular. A Red Ryder BB gun, manufactured by the Daisy Gun Factory, came out in 1938. The Factory, which started out manufacturing windmills for water pumps, made a BB gun in 1888 as a free promotional giveaway with their windmills. Farmers liked the BB guns so much that the guns soon became the company's sole business. The toy rifle pictured here belongs to Christopher R. Pichette of Deerfield, Massachusetts, the seventh child of Robert Pichette of Ashfield, who served in WWII.
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