Thompson Submachine Gun - Advertisement

Auto-Ordnance released a submachine gun commonly known as the “Tommy Gun.”  When the product first came to market, its sales were weak.  World War I was just over and the new weapon had no proven battle experience.

The manufacturer needed to do something about its lack of sales.

Then ... Auto-Ordnance came up with a marketing idea.  During Prohibition, as gangs were using guns during their bootlegging turf wars, what if the company’s dealers only sold Tommy Guns to the “good guys?”  

Mindful that their product could wreak havoc in the wrong hands, the company had an agreement with their dealers:

Thompson guns are for use by those on the side of law and order, and the Auto-Ordnance Corporation agents and dealers are authorized to make sales to responsible parties only.

This image depicts an ad which was part of that marketing campaign.  One can only wonder if Auto-Ordnance executives ever fretted that so many of their weapons ended-up in the hands of the “bad guys.”

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.



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