Early Winchester rimfire label patent date

Just an observation and search for enlightenment. Early Winchester rimfire labels (ca 1870’s) were misprinted with the incorrect Stetson’s patent date of Oct. 24 (correct date being Oct.31). References and research (by others) have not yet yielded a date for when the printing was corrected. So, uncovered from my boxes of boxes, I found this box/label. 38 Long RF with the early label, but with LESMOK sticker on top and ink stamp on end. Box is sealed so I assume unaltered. Since Winchester did not offer Lesmok until 1911 it would appear the misprinted labels (probably still in inventory) were being used into that period. The Lesmok loading was not a standard “on the shelf,” but rather a by order item (per a 1914 catalog). Per a 1920 catalog the Lesmok loading was only offered in the 22 RF line, by order.
I have a matching box, without the over label, that is open, so the cartridges pictured are NOT from the Lesmok box. As to the actual date that box was produced - could be anytime over a stretch of 40 – 50 years – maybe? Thoughts?


The “22 Box” website had listed that some of the 1890 series 22 boxes used the Oct. 24th patent date. So it appears the wrong date was used as late as the 1890 in new series 22 boxes.


Yes, I’ve seen that in my 22 box collection and it seems that, for 22 RF, those labels cease around 1906-08. My guess is that they had a lot of the larger caliber labels/boxes in stock. You can bet the company wasn’t anxious to spend just for a minor misprint.

Is it certain WRA had physical labels in stock, or perhaps printing plates from which labels were printed when needed? Altering metal printing plates is not child’s play and Winchester may have figured an incorrect patent date, particularly an expired one, was no big deal. Jack

From some source I remember reading that in the early years Winchester out sourced for printing and boxes to at least 2 different sources. Sometime around 1890 - 1900 (?) they produce their own packaging. Wish I had kept notes on that aspect. As to old label stock… seems likely, but to confirm such???