Adam Bogardus

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Adam Henry Bogardus
AH Bogardus and Sons by Eisenmann.jpg
Born (1834-09-17)September 17, 1834
Berne, New York
Died August 10, 1913(1913-08-10) (aged 78)
Elkhart, Illinois
Occupation trap shooter, inventor

Capt. Adam Henry Bogardus, (1834–1913) world champion and United States champion trap shooter as well as the inventor of the first practical glass ball trap, was born in Berne, New York. There, in 1854, he married Cordelia Dearstyne. (His ancestors and descendants are posted on the Berne Historical Project web site.) They moved to Elkhart, Illinois where he became the wing shot champion of the world. He is credited with romanticizing trap shooting.

Trap shooting with live pigeons began in the U.S. around 1825, with the first recorded match balls containing feathers, then clay targets. Bogardus invented the first practical glass ball trap in 1877. Glass spheres, filled with feathers, were used as targets, much as clay pigeons are used today. They were called Bogardus balls. One feature of them was ridges which helped ensure that pellets would shatter the sphere, rather than glancing off.[1]

In 1883 William Frank Carver defeated Bogardus 19 times in a series of 25 matches.

Bogardus and his sons went on to tour with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. Captain Bogardus remained with the show for a year.

Bogardus is in the National Trapshooting Hall of Fame. He died in 1913 in Lincoln, Logan Co., Illinois and is buried in Elkhart, Illinois.

External links[edit]

Trap & Field, December 2000


  1. ^ TV program "What the Victorians Did for Us", BBC, presented by Adam Hart-Davis, "Pleasure Seekers" episode.