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  • Red Nichols, Holstorian

It's 1935. Do you know where your children are?

More happened outside of holstory -- called the macroenvironment -- than inside it, in 1935. And these events had big impacts on gunleather.


The image is not from '35! But I liked it so much after an FOH sent it along, for including both S&W and S.D. Myres in the same image.


In 1935, Ma Barker was killed in a shoot-out with DOI agents who included Doc White, he of Texas Rangers fame, while her son Arthur was captured by agent Walter Walsh who himself wore a pair of Berns-Martins with his 44s in them. He himself lived to be well over 100 y/o. I chose a 1937 image, below:



J. Edgar Hoover ordered three E.E. Clark shoulder holsters for the Colt .38 Super Automatic in '35; which would seem pretty minor except here they are, all three, on his first pistolcraft class with one of them on no less than its leader, Hank Sloan (notice the white shoulder harnesses on three agents; Sloan is the uppermost man). Sloan joined in April of 1935.



Sloan was the nephew of a Captain of the Texas Rangers, Tom Hickman, who wore a pair of the earliest Myres Threepersons holsters; and who ironically was pushed out of the Rangers during a dispute with the head of the new DPS in 1935. His holster below is one of a pair:



In 1935 the Berns-Martin 'Speed' holster patent issued to John Berns; and Jack Martin was about to leave the Navy where he had been making the Speed holster orders while aboard ship. That's the Berns patent number at bottom of this holster; the uppermost one was E.E. Clark's for a similar forward draw holster for which the new venture had taken a license:



Tex Shoemaker married -- and in bigger news, was appointed chief of police for the city of La Verne, CA. At age 21!



The Department of Investigation became the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July of 1935. The standard holster used by agents evolved then from Sam Myres' original 'quick draw' design to the one we know today as a Threepersons:


Above is Jelly Bryce in an image that is a decade later but makes a nice change from the well-worn image of his buddy Jerry Campbell's with his.


Speaking of which, the math says that Tom Threepersons' original holster, on which Myres based his versions, was given by Tom to a young man named Fred Wells who would become a sought-after riflesmith by the likes of Jeff Cooper. At the 48th Prescott rodeo.


Above is a Myres that may be a prototype because it is a literal copy of Tom's own (below); there are no other known examples of this construction in a Myres.


The Myres Threepersons holster changed by 1935 from this styling as carried by Ranger Hickman:



To this, worn by Walter Walsh with identical ones photographed on Campbell and Bryce:



Social Security was created -- this is the middle of the Great Depression with unemployment hovering around 20% when it was meant to be less than 5% -- and later, Walter Ohlemeyer who is best known for making General Patton's gunleather while at Myres, states that he thought little of SS when it appeared but he sure liked it now that he was retiring!


Of course this image is later, during WWII.


In August the Texas Rangers were joined with the Texas Hiway Patrol (correct spelling) to become the Texas Department of Public Safety aka the TX DPS. Rangers were then assigned detective roles and the uniformed Hiway Patrolmen were handed the Rangers' enforcement duties. It was at this time that the DPS embarked on a publicity campaign around their new department and these images, which are always incorrectly dated on the 'net, were taken to contrast the new with the old:


Above, Sam Myres is yet to grow his own beard; which he added in 1945 or so. Below that's a Hiway Patrolman at left introducing Hughes to the Thompson sub.

Below is Doc White at left with Hughes, both wearing their vintage Texas Rangers 'uniforms' for the camera. Hughes did not have the beard while he was a Ranger.


Smith & Wesson introduced the .357 Magnum and one of its first deliveries was to Sam Myres; personally, by Major D.B. Wesson in 1935:



E.E. Clark's 'winged' crossdraw on which Bruce Nelson later based his own winged crossdraw, appeared in a Pachmayr brochure. In the late 1950s it would appear in episodes of Dragnet.


The real Tom Three Persons, the Blood Indian of Alberta, made one of his rare crossings from his country into the northernmost reaches of MT; to compete at rodeo.


Above is a 1927 appearance by Tom. The car is described as being a $2,000 vehicle; in today's gold prices that's $200,000 so Tom was a wealthy man in his time.


And the man who made all of August Brill's 'early' Sunday holsters, Charles Kluge, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary after retiring in 1932 to hand over the role to the holster's inventor, N.J. Rabensburg. N.J. made enough improvements to his design that they are readily distinguished from each other (below, a Kluge is at right, the Rabensburg at left):



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