Updated: Nov 14
I've encountered many articles crediting Capt. Hughes with inventing this belt, and it's a familiar style even today. The legend in them is that Hughes, wounded in his right arm (with an arrow vs the legend), created the belt to enable him to carry left handed. Obviously a new belt wasn't needed for that! And we also know that the injury was late 19th century and the belt was introduced in Myres' catalog of 1930. Big gap.
By the time of reposting this blog entry about him and it, I encountered a somewhat different narrative with a mention of Bill Myres, one of Sam's several sons, who is quoted in other articles. In this one, he makes the point that the purpose was to carry TWO pistols on the belt so that a fighter could switch arms at will. Makes sense, the inventor of the Sam Browne belt had his left arm severed at the shoulder by a sabre in battle and hence his belt with its crossstrap to switch the load of the sheathed sabre from his left to his right shoulder.
Just to confuse you, the above is Berns-Martin's 'buscadero' belt for their Speed Holster. It's true to Hughes version with a short strap attached to the face of the belt which in this case is a banana-curved item. 1950s.
The Hughes version was originally a short belt on the face of the main belt, to hold the holster. From that I'd deduce that it, and the version settled on by Sam Myres, was to place the two pistols at a predetermined position along the belt. Otherwise just wear two holsters on a straight belt, eh? I have a pic of one such Myres -- somewhere.
This is the version that Sam produced and it is well known today as a 'buscadero'. This particular set, and its guns, were Ed McGivern's:
Read all about the evolution of today's gunleather during the 20th century in the second edition of my book, published 2022 and available at www.holstory.com .