Working at David Morgan is really fun when we can put people together to solve problems and preserve history. My father’s work in the field of whips did not just involve braiding the Indian Jones whips and other leather goods. It also included writing several books, including Whips and Whipmaking. Because of that, I occasionally field general whip queries.
A few weeks ago I took a call from a Mr. Patt Patterson of Missouri who was writing a book on stage coach whips. He asked me if I knew anything about them. I told him I had no information other than what was in my father’s books, but that I would check the list of whips that David had made. I checked and found Dad had a couple of stage coach whips in his collection, so I said I’d clean them up for him and send him photographs.
A few days later I took a call from Jimmy Wilson in Texas. He was looking for someone to clean up and put new falls on his wife’s whips. His wife was a wild west arts performer in the fifties and sixties. Jimmy also mentioned that he ran a business building stagecoaches. See his website here.
I introduced them by email and Patt is now busy fixing up the whips and having a new friend in the world of stage coaches.
After receiving the performer whips, Patt mentioned that some of the whips were made by the J.M. Bucheimer Co. I found a Bucheimer catalog or three in David’s files from the mid-sixties when they were in Frederick, Maryland. Along with the catalogs was correspondence that said David was interested in buying the Drovers and Performers whips. He then bought a couple, and later responded that they were advertised as 12 plait but arrived as 10 plait. Later Bucheimer catalogs described the whips as 10 plait. In 1967 the performer whips cost $10.60 to $31.00 depending on their length with extra long lengths available on special request.
The stage coach whips in David’s collection were labeled and measured as follows:
No. 94: Stagecoach Whip, Bert Hill, 1960s. He had made coach whips for Cobb & Co. See the Wikipedia entry.
11′ thong 6 plait dropped to 4. 12 plait covered handle is about 54″.
No. 95: Stagecoach Whip Bert Hill, 1960s. 9′ thong 6 plait dropped to 4. 12 plait covered handle is about 53″.
No. 98: Useless Thong by DWM on a Lungewhip handle by Millowick. Thong lacks weight in the belly. Handle is a bit under 50 inches.
It appears David had made an attempt at copying the stagecoach whip thong and failed. Thankfully David kept on trying his hand and made hundreds of functional whips–albeit not for stagecoaches.
Our best wishes to Patt and Jimmy’s respective and collective endeavors!
Some additional photos:
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