Happy Father’s Day from us at David Morgan

June 14, 2024

Father’s Day means a lot to us here at David Morgan. For today’s blogpost, we wanted to celebrate the life of David Morgan and share some of the story of how we got to where we are today.

During the family trip to Australia in 1962, David Morgan discovered a whip making enterprise still operating as it had been during Victorian times. An engineer by training and vocation, and with a long interest in craftwork, he carried this interest back home to the United States. He and his wife, Dorothy, imported a few whips for sale initially under the company name of Austral Enterprises, with the company name being changed to David Morgan in 1978.

As David and Dorothy’s young family grew, so did his interest in braiding and leatherwork. Always a problem solver, David had each child contributing to the craft at an early age, first lacing dog boot sets at $.02 per set. David reflected on the several trips to Australia in the 1960’s, where he learned the inner details of the leather and braiding trade from some of Australia’s top whipmakers. Along with the details of whipmaking, they taught him the history behind whips and their uses and the teachings connected with David. By the early 1970s the business had expanded to include braiding supplies and braided goods manufactured in David Morgan’s own leather workshop.

Eddie Bauer, creator of the famous Eddie Bauer clothing company, opened a store in the Seattle area in the early 70’s. Eddie Bauer himself strolled into our store, then located in the Ballard area of Seattle, and was enamored by the authentic Australian products. Eddie Bauer took a particular liking to the Slouch Hat made by Akubra, the same hats worn by the Australian military. Soon after a collaboration between David Morgan, Akubra, and Eddie Bauer was made. Eddie Bauer called the iconic Aussie accessory the “Digger Hat” and the hat’s success was vital to the Eddie Bauer brand at the time. At home it was all hands on deck for the David Morgan family, unpacking the boxes shipped by sea from Australia, brushing each hat, adding the puggaree and chin strap before shipping out.

In 1973, the US placed an embargo on kangaroo skins and products, effectively stopping the supply of Australian whips and braided goods to the US. Throughout this, David decided to keep the trade going, producing an American style bull whip using an Australian braided belly construction. This whip style, the 450 Series, proved popular among stuntmen and performers, most notably Glenn Randall Jr who used them in a small film (at the time) called Raiders of the Lost Ark. Once the embargo on kangaroo products was lifted in 1981, David switched to crafting these whips from the stronger kangaroo leather and the company renewed the importation of Australian leather goods.

Once reaching mainstream popularity, The Indiana Jones movies were the catalyst for revitalizing an interest in whips. David’s No. 455 10 ft Bullwhip became an icon when it was so skillfully woven into the story by Glenn Randall Jr, the stunt director for the first movie. We supplied over 30 whips to the studio for the four Indiana Jones movies. The resulting publicity brought in more orders than we could easily handle.

Even when we had a two-to-three year backlog of orders, David was adamant that we not increase the price unduly as he wanted those customers who appreciated the craftsmanship to enjoy the whips, not just the rich. Instead, he focused on continuing to produce quality whips and training the next generation of braiders. We are still producing these whips to David’s specifications and quality, with grandson Alex Morgan and son Will Morgan contributing to the effort.

David Morgan died on July 8, 2015.

In the last few years of his life, David was challenged first by Alzheimer’s disease and later by a stroke. Through determination and hard work, David regained enough strength after his stroke to still enjoy his walks through the neighborhood. David was kind, helpful, gregarious, generous, and an excellent problem-solver.

Almost 10 years later, we try every day to hold the lessons that David taught us close to our hearts.

Father’s Day is just around the corner!

June 4, 2024

Father’s Day is almost here. If you order between now and June 7th we can confirm your delivery in time for June 16th. Here’s a few gift suggestions for those caring father figures in our lives.

Adori Leathergoods

Adori Leathergoods is an Australian manufacturer that has deserved reputation for outstanding quality in the top of the line wallets they produce. From the fine leathers used to the careful stitching and turned edges, these wallets will provide years of use and enjoyment.

Geier Glove

For over 90 years, the Geir Glove company has been producing some of the world’s finest leather gloves for men and women — for work, dress, driving, and riding. Geir is known throughout the West for their quality materials. Made from full-grain deer, goat, kangaroo, bison and elkskins – Geir has made a glove that fits any use case you made need.

Celtic Jewelry

The Celts were skilled metal workers, with a strong interest in gold, silver and bronze ornaments for themselves and for their horse trappings. Our authentic Celtic jewelry is drawn from both modern Welsh and older Celtic sources, with design as timely today as it was two thousand years ago. Most of our Celtic jewelry collection is exclusive and only sold at David Morgan.

We at David Morgan send our appreciate to all of the fathers who have been the mentors, friends, and life-long partners in our lives. We hope that we can help find that special something to help send your gratitude to those people who matter the most.