A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2013
“Vehicle insured by Smith & Wesson” (bumper sticker)

Smith & Wesson is a firearms manufacturer. A popular bumper sticker is “This Car/Vehicle Is Insured By Smith & Wesson”—that is, the driver carries a Smith & Wesson firearm for protection.

The bumper sticker slogan “This car insured by Smith and Wesson” has been cited in print since at least 1978.

“This vehicle protected by anti-theft sticker” is a jocular alternative bumper sticker.


29 June 1978, Boston (MA) Herald american, “The Paul Sullivan” column, pg. 28, col. 2:
BUMPER STICKER seen on Rte. 93 in Stoneham: “This car insured by Smith and Wesson.”

27 August 1984, The Capital (Annapolis, MD), “Elderly man kills assailant; wounds 1” (Associated Press), pg. 2, col. 4:
The dead man was found sprawled beside the truck’s bumper, which has a sticker that reads: “This Car is Insured by Smith and Wesson,” a firearms manufacturer, police detective William Eisentraut said.

Google Books
Cash Crop:
An American dream

By Ray Raphael
Mendocino, CA : Ridge Times Press; [Redway, CA: Available from Real Books]
1985
Pg. 168:
Signs displayed by local landowners to keep people off their property reveal a strong belief in the right of the individual to protect himself with force: “No Trespassing. Survivors will be prosecuted”; “This land insured by Smith & Wesson.”

Google Books
The Gold Flake Hydrant
By Greg Matthews
New York, NY: New American Library
1988
Pg. 223:
How about the Bronco 4x4 with the THIS VEHICLE INSURED BY SMITH AND WESSON sticker.

Google Books
Community and the Politics of Place
By Daniel Kemmis
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press
1990
Pg. 58:
Four-wheel drives are a must in those canyons, and their bumpers declare the rugged individualism of their owners with raw belligerence. “This vehicle insured by Smith and Wesson,” one bumper asserts.

Google Books
Be All That You Can Be:
12 Sermons on Developing God-Given Potential

By Michael B. Brown
Lima, OH: CSS Publishing Company, Inc.
1995
Pg. 19:
Is the bumper sticker, “This vehicle insured by Smith and Wesson,” compatible with his words, “Love your enemy, and pray for those who despite- fully use you’”?

Google Books
The History of Smith & Wesson Firearms
By Dean K. Boorman
Guilford, CT: Lyons Press
2002
Pg. 10:
Meanwhile, an automobile bumper sticker shouts, “Insured by Smith & Wesson.” These phrases evoke the fame of the Smith & Wesson trademark.

Google Books
Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson (3rd Edition)
By Jim Supica
Iola, WI: Gun Digest Books
2006
Pg. 392:
Insured by Smith & Wesson” bumper stickers may be a hot item at a buck a pop at the neighborhood novelty shop, but they won’t generally bring a premium from a collector ten years from now.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Sunday, January 20, 2013 • Permalink