The DAISY BB gun was first made by the Plymouth Iron Windmill Co of Plymouth, Michigan in 1886. It was given away as premium to farmers who bought a windmill. Soon, farmers started writing to them wanting to buy just the BB gun. By 1890, they had 25 employees making 50,000 guns a year. They stopped making windmills in 1895, changed the name to Daisy Manufacturing and made the air guns exclusively.
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The guns got the name Daisy after the inventor- Clarence Hamilton gave the general manager of the Plymouth windmill company, Lewis Cass Hough, a gun to try. After firing the gun he exclaimed, "Boy, that's a daisy!" It must have been a 1890's expression.
Daisy made a deal in 1938 with Fred Harman, creator of the Red Ryder comic strip. In 1940, the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun went on sale and became the XBOX, Cabbage Patch Kid, Talking Elmo of Christmas 1940. It was depicted as the object of Ralphie's desire in the 1983 movie- "A Christmas Story"
The BB guns remain popular and are now made by 100 employees at the plant now located in Rogers, Arkansas.