Forget Donner, Dancer and Blitzen, few things could be as cool as having the jolly old elf land on your roof astride a brand-new Steven-Duryea horseless carriage with five whole horsepower under the hood. Well, maybe that and a brand-new Stevens Favorite single-shot under the tree. Or a Stevens-Lord No. 36 pistol in my stocking? We found this great ad from J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. in Chicoppee Falls, Mass., in our December 1903 issue, and Santa apparently has plenty of .22 single-shots rifles, pocket rifles, pistols, pumps and hammerless Stevens double guns for those that have been nice and checked twice.
“SANTA CLAUS will get around more quickly this year, as he has adopted the ‘STEVENS-DURYEA’ automobile to speed him safely on his way. More than ever will St. Nick be welcomed because he is loaded down with Steven RIFLES, PISTOL and SHOTGUNS for the youths of the land. Give your boy that ‘STEVENS’ he has been wishing for so long, and make this Xmas time a memorable one for him. ‘STEVENS’ means SAFETY, ACCURACY and RELIABILITY to the highest degree attainable and MAKES MEN out of BOYS. Our line is a large and varied one, suitable for man or boy … .”
The Stevens-Duryea was one of America’s first automobiles, and J. Frank Duryea partnered with Stevens—which was looking to get into the car business—after he and his brother Charles went separate ways. Stevens-Duryea split off from the gunmaker and was out of business by the late 1920s. Savage bought Stevens in 1920, and although the Stevens Favorite Model 30 in .22 Long Rifle made a brief comeback from 2007-2012, it, like the Steven-Duryea, are not made today. Talk about a lump of coal. Maybe next year the classic single-shot will make a return.