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Old 04-01-2017, 10:41 PM
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Default Vintage Holster Maker Catalogs

I have a couple of the vintage Myres catalogs. I like looking through them. I realize that you can get them on CD's for next to nothing, but I like the real thing. Tonight, I was looking online for a Heiser catalog and saw this:

The Herman H. Heiser Saddlery Company . Catalog No. 23. by Herman H. Heiser

Holy mackerel! And it sold at that price!! Is this thing rare? Why the high price? I think it is from around 1920's and that is a long time for something made from paper to survive. But,........

I figure a few of you guys probably have one of these.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:51 AM
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Heiser catalogues are accurately dated by adding 7 to the catalogue number. Catalogue 23 was issued in 1930. Turnerriver and I worked this out separately and Packing Iron generallyy agrees. The formula struggles a bit beginning with No. 50 and extends to 51 and 52, which appears to be a 58 (100 years since founding in 1858). Then the issuance of the Heiser-Keyston-lichtenberger versions the compay appears to have taken Keyston's own founding year as the basis for the formula.

None of which addresses how one would pay so much for one. I only value the info in them so am happy with copies :-).

Now, if you want some real fun, try dating Myres catalogues. Another mate of mine and I have successfully done this with references inside to the macroenvironment, which can be dated. So far it appears there is only a single Myres catalogue issued during the 1920s, while Heiser issued a catalogue every single year from 1908 onwards.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:28 PM
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Heiser catalogues are accurately dated by adding 7 to the catalogue number. Catalogue 23 was issued in 1930.

So far it appears there is only a single Myres catalogue issued during the 1920s, while Heiser issued a catalogue every single year from 1908 onwards.
Thanks for your input Red. I never would have thought that Heiser would put one out every year and adding 7 to the number makes sense since they surely started with number 1. I would have thought they would put one out every few years with a "price change page" the years they did not put out a new one. Maybe that is what Myres did.

I would love to see pictures of early (1920's - 1930's) Heiser or Myres catalogs. Maybe some forum members have some of these!
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for your input Red. I never would have thought that Heiser would put one out every year and adding 7 to the number makes sense since they surely started with number 1. I would have thought they would put one out every few years with a "price change page" the years they did not put out a new one. Maybe that is what Myres did.

I would love to see pictures of early (1920's - 1930's) Heiser or Myres catalogs. Maybe some forum members have some of these!
It goes a bit deeper than that: Hermann Heiser died in 1904, and around that time what were used before catalogues -- 'cabinet cards' -- lost ground to offset printing. It seems that the company reorganised under the sons, incorporated, even started into automobile sales and service -- HeiserService they called it -- and we deduce that the first catalogue came out in 1908 by starting from the Anniversary issues (also have the number, and the date) and working backwards.

The man who has it all, is turnerriver: Heiser, Myres, and more holster catalogues. He cooperated with a chap who did an entire book on Heiser; he tells me to his regret because the catalogue dating there, and holster numbering, is quite wrong.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:05 PM
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Red, I liked hearing that I have it all and will just bask in that for the moment.
I do have a large collection of printed matter regarding gun leather but am still always looking. Here are some of my earliest actual catalogs, like Boykin mentioned, copies are readily available.
This is Heiser's number 19 catalog. Note the factory representative's stamp on the cover which matches the information on the order form. The customer dated the catalog and that matches the date on the order. I always pay attention to any paper found with old catalogs- dated envelopes, price lists, etc.


My earliest Myres catalog is dated 1931. The first photo shows the supplement and saddle advertisement that came with the holster catalog.


My earliest Lawrence catalog is 1938, it took me a long time to find it.

I wouldn't want to comment on Mrs. Peret's mode of dress as she appears to be well armed.
Last is a catalog showing a very young John Bianchi dated 1963 which was a long time ago.

I think manufacturer's literature is a great source of information as long as I keep in mind what Roy Jinks always says- they weren't making collectibles.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:16 PM
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turnerriver,
Thanks for the pictures! Those are awesome. What model holster is on the cover of the 1931 Myres catalog?
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:10 PM
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At least Sr. Myres had the courtesy to date his first holster catalogue -- 1931. Inside is a 1930 letter to Sam from Tom Threepersons himself, endorsing his new line for Sam. I have more than 200 print references about Tom and his life, in which he appears to have been 'born' in 1916 to join first a rodeo and then the U.S. Army; both in Douglas, AZ. Even the birthdate on his gravestone doesn't match up with his death certificate!

John, I've a pdf of his prior catalogue which both the marketer and my friend Michael have dated to 1925 because Myres references current events that are dateable; if you'd like a copy by email. More than 100 pages of saddles, 1 page of holsters and none of them Threepersons in name or style.

Sandra Myres tells us in her bio of Sam that he was losing money big time during the '20s and being hammered by the Model T; and the start of the Depression was the last straw: he left saddlery and went strictly holsters. Saddles became 'special order only'.
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Old 04-02-2017, 10:53 PM
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...What model holster is on the cover of the 1931 Myres catalog?
Looks to be a No. 445 - as shown in a Myres catalog from the mid to late '40s.

Mark
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Old 04-03-2017, 07:14 PM
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Looks to be a No. 445 - as shown in a Myres catalog from the mid to late '40s.

Mark
In fact it is Myres' "No. 545 - Holster, specially carved, edge laced, sude lined. Price - $25.00". It appears first in Myres 1931 catalogue, like the Threepersons Style range. Don't get too excited about the price; in context, a Model A of 1931 was $385 (note to self, increase price of holster range to 6% of a new car).

Myres generally called this type of holster a "Ranger Style" as opposed to what he called a 'Scabbard' (no fender, no cuff).

Ironically, Myres scabbards, which were made by all other makers of the era, do everything a Threepersons is thought to do -- but there is no welting to grip the pistol's frame, which is what a Threepersons REALLY is, when compared with other holsters of the era. Both Myres, and Heiser, point out the presence of this new-fangled thing we take for granted today: the thick leather welt(s).

Note, too, the 545's suede lining, which certain living holster company founders claim to have invented in the 1960s :-).
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:58 PM
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So, the difference between the 445 and 545 is that the 445 is elkskin lined vs. suede for the 545. The 445 is shown at only $20 in my catalog from the '40s. This catalog still has the order forms, so I think I'll place an order.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:39 PM
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Now, if you want some real fun, try dating Myres catalogues. Another mate of mine and I have successfully done this with references inside to the macroenvironment, which can be dated. So far it appears there is only a single Myres catalogue issued during the 1920s, while Heiser issued a catalogue every single year from 1908 onwards.
Red,
I forgot to ask this when you first posted, but can you pass along the the info you guys figured out on the different Myres catalogs?
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:49 PM
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Red, I liked hearing that I have it all and will just bask in that for the moment.
I do have a large collection of printed matter regarding gun leather but am still always looking.
Well, John, now you've done it. My monitor screen just turned completely green with envy at just a few of the original catalogs in your collection. Looks like I'm gonna have to do a system restore on my computer. I hope you're happy now.

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Old 04-14-2017, 09:38 PM
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Man I'd love to acquire just one original SD Myres catalog. I've never come across one. Where is the best place to source old saddlery catalogs?
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:08 PM
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Man I'd love to acquire just one original SD Myres catalog. I've never come across one. Where is the best place to source old saddlery catalogs?
PM sent, I have one I'll send to you gratis.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:37 AM
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PM sent, I have one I'll send to you gratis.
Response sent, thank you kind Sir!
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Old 05-06-2017, 11:45 PM
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Howdy,

Thought you guys might like these old catalogs I personally like the VLA Von Lengerke and Antoine. It was published right before the Saint Valentines Day Massacre. The catalog shows an ad displaying the Thompson .45 Carbines which by the way were purchased from them for the killings. It also shows an Ithaca Auto Burglar VLA also sold Herman H. Heiser Leather Goods. I also have several old catalogs the oldest being 1902-1903 plus I added one of my nicest SD Myres El Paso TX holsters and matching mag pouch with my S&W Model 59 for show.

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Old 05-06-2017, 11:51 PM
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In addition, I have added five more photographs of old catalogs.

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