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  • Red Nichols, Holstorian

It's 1929. Do you know where your children are?

Blithely taken from the 1967 catchphrase "It's 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?": 'New York City, feeling the effects of the Newark riots, was one of the largest metropolitan areas affected. Mel Epstein, the Director of On-Air Promotions at New York's WNEW-TV, coined the phrase that summer as a reminder to parents to keep their kids off the streets.' (MentalFloss.com).


Here we're looking at the events of 1929 in holstory:


Wyatt Earp (above is actor Hugh O'Brien of the TV series of the same name) died in the same year as the Crash of '29. Don't be taken aback by my choice of images, the real Earp's tales were largely fictitious, too.



At the end of that year was the Crash of '29 itself, that led to unemployment of 25% (3-4% is 'normal') in 1933 and the near doubling of the value of all gold holdings by US law:



Tom Threepersons demanded a retraction after being called a killer that year -- and worse, a Texas Ranger; which is odd because the original story is based on an interview of his wife Lorene:



There are twelve notches on his revolver's ivory grips -- but they are not for the men he killed but instead are the result of his using a file to crosshatch the grip frame of that pistol:


Above is from a different 1929 article.


In a private collection (below) along with his holster and his badge:


Colt's introduced the .38 Super Automatic in '29, endorsed by Col. Hatcher himself (best known today for his studies of stopping power that are relied on by Col. Cooper). The Texas Rangers are early adopters (each man buys his own guns, and ideally in .45 Long Colt because ammo for practice is free to them then). Hatcher's own:



August Brill acknowledged that year that his business began in 1912 by buying out the Kluge Bros. saddlery of Austin. One of the Kluges became the man who made the Brills for August until 1932 when it was Rabensburg himself (he invented it) who was called in from Llano TX where he had taken over the mayorship there from Brill's brother-in law. This one is by Kluge for Brill (the holsters of the two makers are readily distinguished from each other's, and so their age) and is for the 1911 frame that Rangers used in both .38 Super and .45 ACP:


Arno Brill, August's son, is working at S.D. Myres in 1929; my reference states he is learning to make holsters there but that's bloody unlikely given that the Brills have themselves been in the holster business since 1912. Rather the other way 'round because I reckon he was there for the creation of Myres' Threepersons range of holsters that appeared the following year.


Jelly Bryce killed his first two men (the second man noted as wounded later died) while a detective at Oklahoma City PD. B. 1906 he was just 23 and had been a detective for less than a year. In this case his .44 Spl revolver Lucky was 'Unlucky' for these two men:



Eugene Cunningham, celebrated dime novelist who manufactured all of Tom Threepersons' legends with the help of Tom's wife Lorene, becomes the books editor for El Paso Times where he remains until 1936 when soon he will rejoin the Navy as an intelligence officer for WWII:



Tom sells two of his weapons to collector Tom Powers who owns the Coney Island Saloon in El Paso -- so named because Powers is from NYC originally -- for U$50 that in gold then is U$5,000 at today's gold prices. They were one of his two Winchesters and his Triple Lock that today are in a private collection together:


Powers is a suicide in the following year, on the anniversary of his wife's death that also is her birthday so perhaps a suicide, too. Actually, Powers is a suicide attempt in 1930 but dies of prostate cancer in '31 instead of the shot to his chest.


Holsters appear for the first time in Lawrence catalogs (just the two pages below). Prior the company was best known for its saddlery and for fishing creels of all things -- and even auto supplies:



The Bureau of Information, which is J. Edgar Hoover's agency before it is renamed the F.B.I. in 1935, issues the B.O.I. Employee Manual setting out that agents must have the Special Agent in Charge's permission to be armed. By 1934 Hoover is hiring men like Jelly Bryce specifically because they have killed in the line of duty; to fight the heavily armed gangsters of the 1930s. Below is from Larry Wack's site that was devoted to the early agents:

Frank Nichols, who was Lorene Threepersons' first husband and divorced 1918, moves his new wife Stella Fisher's entire family to Hythe, Alberta. Canada had free lands on offer and the Fisher family remained there until their deaths in the 1950s. Frank d. in El Paso and Stella's fate is uncertain. From Hythe's fire department today; I supposed this means the pool is closed:



So saith The Chronology, which records all the events relevant to holstory including macroenvironmental events such as wars and gold prices.


1930 is a MUCH bigger year for holstory, not least because all the players 'report in' for the 1930 Census :-).

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