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The Winchester: The Gun that Built an American Dynasty

Thursday 30 March 2017

1 Hour


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BBC journalist and descendant of the Winchester family Laura Trevelyan tells the story of the iconic Winchester Rifle and the family behind its name.

The Winchester was immortalised in stories of Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley and sold hundreds of thousands around the world. The weapon was a defining symbol of both the pioneering spirit of the   American frontier and the brutal force of the expanding population – described by native Indians as ‘the spirit gun’.

Trevelyan is a BBC correspondent in New York. She is the great-great-great granddaughter of the founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Oliver Winchester. Trevelyan is also author of A Very British Family: The Trevelyans and Their World.