I use a monthly calendar to help organize my posting here on Forgotten Weapons, planning out what I’ll be writing and keeping track of which posts are finished and ready to go. As we started to approach the end of 2013, I needed to get a new calendar to keep going forward. And that’s when it occurred to me that the 2013 calendar I’m using is a kinda boring generic thing, and I’d much rather have some more interesting pictures to look at each month. Well, I have a whole bunch of cool and interesting older photos in my database – why not make a calendar using them?
Well, I spent some time sorting through, and put together a collection of 12 great vintage photos showing a interesting guns and men using them all over the world. We’ve got French troops manning a St Etienne 1907 HMG, Italians posing in feathered caps, a terrific example of the “Bren Gun Grin”, the business end of a Schwarzlose MG team, and more.
Those photos make the top half of the calendar look great, but what about the bottom half with the dates? I wanted that to be interesting to us gun folks as well, and I know that many of the folks reading live outside the US and aren’t particularly interested in knowing when Halloween or Mother’s Day is. Besides, there are always a zillion other people reminding us of those dates. So I took all the holidays off my calendar, and replaced them with the birth dates of more than 60 notable gun designers. Isn’t that a lot more interesting?
I hope that by including these birthdays I can help bring more interest to the work of these men. We all know about famous American names like Browning and Colt, but what about names like Aimo Lahti, Tullio Marengoni, and Karel Krnka (all from April, by the way)? You’ll find the birthdates of these inventors and many more on the Forgotten Weapons 2014 Vintage Calendar.
All of this is printed on a nice glossy 100# paper, with a thick backing sheet, clear plastic cover, and spiral binding. I’m really excited at how nice my initial printings look, and I’m really excited to make them available.
The price for the calendar is $14 plus shipping ($4 in the US; $14 internationally). Forgotten Weapons Premium Members will receive the discounted price of $9.99 plus shipping. I will be taking orders until December 1, and the calendars will ship out the first week of December (I may ship a batch in mid-November if there are enough orders to justify it). I am requiring prepayment, so that I know exactly how many to make.
Orders are closed – thanks to everyone who made a purchase!
An excellent and creative idea, Ian — thank you. The calender page in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph above is a quite well-known photo of the SAS armed Jeeps and their crews from the campaign in the Western Desert, taken not long after David Stirling and Paddy Mayne decided that a quick and efficient way to achieve total surprise and maximize damage to enemy aircraft on the ground was to boldly drive right across their airfields at night at high speed while firing into the parked aircraft with API ammunition, hence the multiple Vickers K MMG’s backed up by Browning AN-M2 HMG’s. This technique was also developed at a time when the SAS had learned enough of desert craft ( especially navigation ) from their LRDG partners to be comfortable in undertaking long-range forays on their own.
Yep, the LRDG photo will be pretty recognizable to a lot of folks – but it’s still a great picture, and I was able to find a nice high-resolution copy to use.
Thanks for the reply and clarification, Ian. I think you also meant to say “SAS” regarding the photograph, not “LRDG”. The two organizations were distinct and separate although they worked very closely with each other during the desert campaigns.
BTW, I’m ordering mine right now :).
Awesome idea! Can’t wait to get mine.
Will you have some extras to put on your table at SAR?
I’m not sure yet – but if you’d like to order one for pickup at SAR, I’m happy to oblige. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll set it up.
I thought Browning had the same birthday as Tam
Could have fun with made-up holidays: John Browning day celebrated in the US and Belgium. Lee-Enfield day in the UK and commonwealth countries. Garand day in the US. 30-06 day in the US. 12 gauge day would be world-wide. Mauser day in Germany. Stoner day and Klashnikov day ought to be 6 months apart.
There are some Holidays in the proper sense (Holy Days, religous feast days for patron saints) relevant to weapons: St Possenti (pistol shooters) Feb 27, St Dustan (gunsmiths) May 19, St Erasmus (ammo makers) June 2, and St Lawrence (armorers) Aug 10.
Pivotal gun fights, that changed firearms/ammo design or training, could go in: the Miami FBI shootout, the Newhall massacre, 1972 Olympics, etc. The date of the first Big Bear match ought to go in. As should the publication of “Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting”, and the description of it should be one big run-on sentence. Shot of the 20th century can go on the day when Herr Hitler took a PPK and his head target shooting.
Could make up a gun procreation day. The writer Patrick McManus had a creative way of explaining to his wife where new guns came from: “That shotgun, no I didn’t buy another one! Why, that12 gauge and that 16 gauge were locked up together all winter and what do you know, the two of them had a baby 20 gauge, and what a fine young one at that.” Don’t think his wife bought it, bit if a calendar pointed it out as a scientific phenomenon, well, who knows?
Any ‘extra’ calendars for us procrastinators?
Sorry, Philip – I have completely sold out. I did make some extras, and they have been snapped up too.
Hi Ian. I received my calendar in yesterday’s mail. The photos turned out quite nice. The heavy weight stock is a quality touch. May I make two suggestions for future calendars? You might want to add captions describing the photos. Some are obvious but there are a couple I didn’t identify. Also, is that Hiram Maxim in the center of January’s image? If so, this would be an excellent item to include in a caption. You might also want to add enough material at the page top to allow a pre-cut hole for wall mounting. I’m certainly going to save many of these photos and don’t want to punch holes in the image area. For now I plan to use a binder clip to hang this year’s calendar.
BTW, Happy Birthday “Uzi” Gal!