A gentleman by the name of Jim Ferguson wrote me last year:
“I was cleaning out a home today and found a box of letters and photos dated in the 1940’s. They were letters to a Frederick T. Dickie at Stembridge gun rentals at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. The photos were of lots of neat guns and of some people whom I asume are related to the gun shop. I guess I’m wondering if anyone is interested in seeing this stuff.”
I wrote back of course, and said yes! Here’s what Jim found!
Do you have any records or pictures of the guns used for Gunsmoke,Bonanza or Have gun will travel. My Grandfather blued guns for the stembridge for years. I would guess the 50’s through the early 70’s. He was Al Andrews owner of Andy’s Gun Refinishing. He worked with Bob Lane from Paramount. I would love any copies of photos or records. Any information you could share about his work with your family would be greatly appreciated.
hello Judy, I am wondering if my father worked with your gradfather
Wow,I found a picture of my uncle, Gordon Worthington, in your collection. Thank you so much. Her worked there for many years and loved the owrk and the friendships! He actually took me on a tour of the gun shop when I was 10 (almost 40 years ago!) and it was a highlight of my childhood.
Very cool! Thanks for letting us know.
Sometime in the mid 60’s, one of the major gun magazines ran a long article about the Stembridge Hollywood rentals. As a (about) 12 year old, I wore that magazine ragged and dog eared. I sure wish that I could remember which publication it was and try to find a copy. I’ve never forgotten the fascination it instilled.
Thanks for the note Dale, I may have seen a copy if that article at some point. I have a copy, well the pertinent pages of a 1969 True magazine… sound familiar? I’ll load and add a link!
Here ya go: http://stembridge.us/pdf/true-magazine-stembridge-article.pdf
Very generous of you and I’d be interested in it. The one I recall was in one of the gun enthusiast magazines. It could have been “GUNS”, “Shooting Times” or maybe another one.
I fell in love with the shooting sports at a very early age and am still at it as I push 60 years old. This afternoon, I watched “The Train Robbers” with John Wayne again. I never get tired of the Westerns. I drive my wife nuts, as I notice historical errors in any movie with firearms………Thank You!
Click on the above link, it’ll download the article! I have a few more as well, will try to make a new update with some of those articles!
Thanks for your input!
Thank you, David. What a blast from the past! It’s an honor to speak with you.
I remember an article about Stembridge gun Rentals and the 7000 plus guns and I believe it was in Natioal Rifle Magazine. 70’s maybe? Same thing , I think I wore the magazine out just reading it over and over.
I believe this is what you were talking about: http://stembridge.us/pdf/true-magazine-stembridge-article.pdf
I am researching a movie prop gun based on an 1873 Trapdoor rifle that has brass components to make it look like a flintlock. The stock is stamped R&M and the trigger plate is electrostenceled with the name Ellis. I bought this last week here in North Carolina and was told it had been in some movies. Several people mentioned the Alamo and they did use this type in the 1960 production, but I also heard that this conversion was used in a lot of movies from the 30’s and 40’s. My gut feeling is that it is a much older conversion, possibly as early as the 1920’s. Does anyone have a reference for R&M or the name Ellis ?
You need to try contacting Stembridge Gun Rentals directly.
Back in the mid to late ’50s I was working at CBS in the special effects department and I was in charge of guns. I use to spend a lot of time at Stembridge returning or picking up guns. As I recall at least 3 or 4 of the workers there drove Jaguars and I was driving a XK 120 roadster so a lot of my time there was spent talking cars. My boss at CBS could never figure out why it took me so long when Stembridge was only 5 minutes away.
Another quick story, one of the shows we did was a Playhouse 90, “Seven against the wall” about the Saint Valentines day massacre of 1929. One of the weapons we needed for the show was a Thompson sub machine gun. So I picked one up from Stembridge and put it on the passenger seat of the Jaguar. Once again I spent a little time there talking cars and was in a hurry to get back to CBS so I wouldn’t get chewed out. I was going a little faster than the speed limited when I got pulled over by a police officer. He got out of his car and came over to my open roadster. When he saw the Thompson on the passenger seat his eyes got as big as saucers and he said “What the hell are you doing with that?”. Fortunately I had the paperwork right there so he just gave me a warning to slow down and everything was cool.
Thanks for sharing this Jim! Very interesting!!!!
On saturday November 13th 1999 I bought a Steyr Aug that came from Stembridge Movie Gun Sale. WSI of Bellevue WA was holding this auction for Stembridge. My question is as following: Is there any way I can find out what movies this gun was used in?