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WSM Advertising

Originally posted: 01/01/2008
Last updated: 01/10/2014

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Field & Stream Ad

When the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker was introduced in 1981, Weber advertised the new product in magazines and on television. This ad ran in Field & Stream magazine in April, 1981:

WSM ad in Field & Stream magazine, April 1981

Click for a larger version of this ad

Father and son have already smoked a turkey and a ham, and they now contemplate smoking those fish, too. Mom looks on as she works on a quilt.

The photo in this ad is the same one used on the cover of the 1981-1988 WSM owner's manual. A slightly different photo was used on the original WSM box art.

If you compare the WSM in this photo to a current WSM Model 2820, you'll notice some interesting differences:

  • It has a smooth, non-textured steel access door. The current WSM has a textured aluminum door.
  • It has a horizontal line pressed into the door just below the knob. In addition to the horizontal line, the current WSM also has vertical lines along each edge of the door.
  • The access door is much taller than on the current WSM.
  • The screws for the cooking grate brackets are just a few inches apart, meaning that the cooking grates are very close together. The current WSM has more vertical space between cooking grates.

I would guess that this is a photo of a prototype WSM or an early production model that was subsequently redesigned as we know it today.

Washington Post Article Mentions WSM...Sort Of

On September 28, 1983, The Washington Post published an article about smoker equipment that discusses the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, but does not actually mention it by name.

The article describes the smoker as tall and narrow, including a special pan for water, and coming in two sizes: 14-1/2" diameter for about $100 and 18-1/2" diameter for about $120. Sadly, they published a photo of a Weber kettle instead of the WSM and called it "the Weber smoker."

Thanks to Irving Birkner for providing this article to TVWB:

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Wanted: WSM Television Ad

If you ever saw the WSM advertised on television, please contact me with the details.

The scanned images of the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker ad are Copyright Weber-Stephen Products LLC and are included here for historical illustration.
The scanned images of the Washington Post article are Copyright The Washington Post Company and are included here for historical illustration.

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