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Old 07-20-2017, 10:56 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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Default And an update on Heiser's history :-)

Legend has it that H.H. Heiser, whose founder was long dead since 1904, was sold first to Denver Dry Goods, a massive retailer in Denver, then to Keyston. Completely true but the dating is not quite what we have been led to believe, and there is a 'twist' in there as well.

Today I received a small book that is exclusively about Denver Dry Goods; and sure enough, the appendix refers me to the page that advises DDG bought Heiser in 1945 and sold it in 1950. The 'twist' is that a newspaper article of 1955 announces Keyston's merger (not a purchase) with Heiser. Ewald Heiser, H.H.'s son who managed Heiser throughout its holster era, was killed in 1949. So: who owned Heiser 1950-1955?

All this explains an anomaly: Heiser's catalogues through 1945 are similar; they change in format 1945-1950; they change again 1950-1955; and become Heiser-Keyston after 1955; then become Heiser-Keyston-Lichtenberger. Keyston is still in business to this day, supplying sheet goods to automobile and outdoor products suppliers.
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Last edited by rednichols; 07-20-2017 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:56 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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Red, you're teasing us. Now give us more!
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:31 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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Red, you're teasing us. Now give us more!
You mean this?

"So: who owned Heiser 1950-1955?"

I genuinely don't know! I meant to point out that we now know the before and the after, but we don't know this particular bit.

It's a bit troubling that the author of The Denver Dry Goods book, didn't dig very deeply on this one; so states that Heiser was founded in 1859 when Denver had been a city only a year -- but HHH wasn't in Denver in 1859, Hermann was barely off the boat in NYC in 1854. He didn't reach Colorado until just before 1870; and to pour salt on the wound, was only a saddle cub in 1857/8/9 that Heiser claims as founding, so not in business for himself (by definition as an apprentice he was working for a master then) anyway.

I speculate that Hermann had tuberculosis and that was what drove him from Saxony (now part of Germany) to NYC and he kept moving west towards drier climes because that's all that could be done for TB then. After the death of his youngest in 1903 he visited Germany in 1904 and succumbed to his illness there. Ironically plenty of 'our' historical figures of the era succumbed to TB in dry climates, notably Capt of the Texas Rangers Leander McNelly (famous in his own right), of course Doc Holliday, Erne Egland who designed Tom Threepersons' original holster, likely Eva Myres second wife of Sam Myres, and more.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:19 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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Red - always love reading your posts about the history of the industry. Great read and insight as always.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:26 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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My Granddad gave me a saddle for high school graduation. That was in 1961. I got a Heiser catalog and filled out an order form. Two weeks later, my Dad and I drove down to Denver and to the Heiser show room to pick up my saddle.. I can still remember the aroma of the leather and all of the stuff in the display cases.

Still have the saddle too.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:26 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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My Granddad gave me a saddle for high school graduation. That was in 1961. I got a Heiser catalog and filled out an order form. Two weeks later, my Dad and I drove down to Denver and to the Heiser show room to pick up my saddle.. I can still remember the aroma of the leather and all of the stuff in the display cases.

Still have the saddle too.
I wish I could roll back the clock and go to the Heiser showroom! I love the smell of new leather.

How about a picture of your saddle?
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:17 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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Trouble is, if I got it down off the rack out in the garage, and took pictures, I'd probably want sell it rather than try and put it back.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:19 PM
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A few years ago we were vacationing out in Moab, UT. Because it was part of a jeep event, daytime was king and evenings kind of dead. So we did the tourist thing and walked the stores/tourist traps. In one particularly good one, The Old Western Scrounger, we happened upon a saddle. Firmly mounted to a barrel. There on the back was the H H Heiser Maker stamp. Because I was driving a Jeep, I had no place to tote it home. When I got back here after the trip, I posted about my find.

The following year and on the obligatory tourist hike, the saddle was gone. I asked and the proprietor said the funny thing happened. Some guy called from far away and asked about it. Then he gave them his credit card numbers and had it shipped UPS to him. I kind of wondered if it was one of our posters here.

As far as Iggy's problem goes, he should wait till he gets a visit from a tall guy like Dave Keith to help him getting his saddle down. Just be careful, Dave's been known to travel with a bunch of young uns'.
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Old 07-24-2017, 02:28 PM
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And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-) And an update on Heiser's history :-)  
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Dick,
I'm taller than Dave. *G* Yup, he was here a week ago with a grand son and a new gun.
They came out to shoot some pasture poodles.. They only had one afternoon, and didn't get their minimum required quota of 100, so Dave's bringin' another one next month to live up to their family obligations.. *G*
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