By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Rubber band guns were old fun
When growing up outside of Ceres in the early 1930s, money and material things were scarce. A dollar meant a lot and a working man's wages were as low as 15 cents an hour. We had to do without many things and spending money for something unneeded was out of the question.

As kids we learned to improvise and make our own toys from whatever material we could find. We received very few toys bought at stores except for Christmas or a birthdays.

One such creation comes foremost to my mind. We made "rubber guns" similar to the pictured to the one shown here. No, they were not made of rubber, but shot rubber bands that we got for free from local filling stations. These rubber bands were cut from old discarded inner tubes with our mothers' scissors borrowed from her sewing machine and cut into bands about a half-inch wide.

I remember my mother asking me if I had used her scissors because they seemed dull for the necessary sewing work that she had to do!

The wooden gun was made from discarded or fire wood from the woodshed and sawed or carved to produce the shape of a pistol about six or seven inches long. In those trying days the rubber was real rubber, grown in the far east on plantations and would stretch much better than the synthetic rubber made today.

Behind the handle we would nail one of our mothers' clothespins so it would clasp the rubber band which was stretched over the length of the barrel. By pushing on the clothespin - after aiming this toy pistol - the rubber band would release and go on its way to the prey in its sights!

If a band was too long for the barrel of this imitation devise we would tie a overhand knot in it to shorten it to the proper length.

Bill Noble may be reached via email at