Ben Pearson (bowyer)
Ben Pearson (November 16, 1898 – March 2, 1971) was an archer, bowyer, and fletcher from Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He is most notable for starting the first company in the United States to mass-produce archery sets and equipment. In 1972, he was among the first inducted into the Archery Hall of Fame.
Pine Bluff Bowhunters hosts a 3d[clarification needed] tournament each May in memory of Ben Pearson. This tournament is the oldest and largest 3D tournament in the state of Arkansas. It attracts shooters from several near by states. Mrs. Pearson attends each year. May 19th and 20th, 2012 will be 32nd Annual Ben Pearson Memorial 3D Tournament.
Ben Pearson made his first bow based on articles for Boy Scouts by Dan Beard. In 1926 Pearson entered the state championships using his own equipment; finishing next to last. Learning from the experience, he made new equipment and in 1927 he became the Arkansas State Champion. Pearson continued in competitive archery, and by 1938 he placed seventh in the NAA National Tournament, just behind future employee Pat Chambers, and 24 places above Fred Bear.
Prior to 1938 Pearson marketed his arrows through a series of eleven pamphlets, resulting in the first full Ben Pearson Inc. catalog being listed as "No. 12". That first catalog also only listed arrows, with bows added in the 1939 catalog.
By the early 1950s Ben Pearson Inc. was best known for its relatively inexpensive archery sets. To make more people aware of the higher end custom bows and arrows Pearson was still crafting to special order; the 1958 Catalog introduced higher-end bows with names rather than just model numbers.
In 1963, Ben Pearson Inc. was selling 3,000 bows and 3–4,000 arrows per day. In 1967 the company was acquired by Leisure Group, which dropped the highest-end bows from production. In 1972, Leisure Group sold Ben Pearson Archery to the Brunswick Corporation. By the company's 50th anniversary (1988) it had 350 employees and $100 million in payroll. That year, the company presented Governor Bill Clinton with the six millionth bow, and 200 millionth arrow manufactured.
- Bridges, Kelly (October 12, 2004). "History of Ben Pearson Archery". ArcheryArchives.com.
- Huntington, Cliff (November 11, 2002). "Mr. Ben". StickBow.com.
- Bridges, Kelly (September 17, 2005). "Ben Pearson Archery". ArcheryArchives.com.
- Pine Bluff Bowhunters
- Official website
- Ben Pearson Catalog archive at ArcheryArchive.com
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