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Old 10-11-2018, 01:14 AM
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More of the 411 on A.W. Brill More of the 411 on A.W. Brill More of the 411 on A.W. Brill More of the 411 on A.W. Brill More of the 411 on A.W. Brill  
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Default More of the 411 on A.W. Brill

A new thread, why make it easy for future researchers by putting it all in just one?

A 1924 newspaper article in Austin, reveals that A.W. Brill indeed started up 1912, confirming what was already known from various sources. What was previously unknown was just how he accomplished this transition from being a clerk at W.T. Wroe, a saddlery and coachworks in Austin: Brill bought the business of the Kluge Bros. and employed them to carry on for him. That firm, founded 1885, appears in Old Cowboy Saddles and Spurs with just those matching dates 1886-1911.

Here he (A.W.) discloses that his firm has had a single craftsman (so surely one of the Kluge Bros) making his Texas rangers 'scabbards' in the thousands, for the past 12 years. The scabbard and belt set sold for $5.50. His biggest promoter has been 'a certain well-known Texas ranger' that we know from other sources was Capt. Hughes, as a 'kind of' affirmation of my Johnny Appleseed theory.

The two Kluge brothers died in '39 and '44 (another reference) so I'll deduce that N.J. Rabensburg was called upon to return to Brill to make their products because the Kluges had been working at least since 1885 and wanted to retire; and perhaps were in poor health in the meantime (when reviewing the health condition of others in their trade in that era).

Brill preferred leathers tanned from South American hides because, arriving in the wet for tanning, they hadn't the barbed wire scarring or grub worm holes of Texas cattle. A reminder of my Bianchi days when we were making those same kinds of decisions (a well-healed barbed wire scar, though, is a handsome thing, as are neck wrinkles; both appearing on 'shoulders' which was the cut we used for holsters back in them thar days).

A second article says their territory was West Texas.

Several more articles: the details of how A.W. 3rd, the grandson and popular gridiron star, was killed in a car crash in late 1945. Seems he and his mate were hitchhiking with a returned soldier who panicked while trying to pass a truck, then hit the truck instead, killing both boys but not the soldier. The Zephyr, it turns out, was a VERY expensive V-12; where did a Private get the funding for such a beast (and what 18 y/o boys could have turned down a ride in one in 1945?):

More of the 411 on A.W. Brill-lincoln_zephyr-jpg

That's the sedan; there was a convertible, and a coupe, too. The article does not specify. The model was the first to have a steel roof, so I'll speculate 'convertible' given the deaths: the other boy, surname Photo, died instantly and his body had to be cut from the car by police.
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Last edited by rednichols; 10-11-2018 at 01:50 AM. Reason: can't spell
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