Where Are They?


For some time during the 1930's there was a publication named the Pacific Coast Horseshoe Pitchers' Journal. It was a publication that served the pitchers of the western states. Strange, but in 1932 the title was changed to Western States Horseshoe Pitchers' Journal. The publication was produced out of Portland, Oregon by M.C. Athey.

   All this leads up to the January 1932 issue, about a new shoe about to hit the market. The article (reprinted below) tells a bit about the inventory and the shoe design. In fact, the article tells us about all we know about the Smith Stay-On shoe. No other information or ads have been uncovered. No Smith Stay-On shoes are reported in collection.

"J.B. Smith Inventor of New Pitching Shoe
Making Ringers Easy
A new type of shoe, specially designed to make ringers easily, is being put on the market by J.B Smith, 1809 X Avenue, LaGrande, Oregon. Mr. Smith worked out the style and specifications for this shoe himself and expects to spend much of his time this coming summer demonstrating the Smith Stay-On shoe.

The object of Mr. Smith's endeavors is to provide an improved horseshoe so constructed that it will stay on the peg when thrown on: that will readily encircle the stake: that will slide easily when pointed with the open end at the stake and that will slide less easily when the open end is away from the stake. The accompanying draft shows how the shoe is constructed. It is an evenly balance shoe and will increase your ringers 25 percent, according to experts who have pitched this new Stay-On. Mr. Smith was in Portland this month arranging for the manufacture of the horseshoes."

The drawing shown is the exact blackened drawing as it appeared with the article. What was not mentioned in the article is that Mr. Smith had applied December 3, 1931 for a patent and the approval was received on April 4, 1934. The draft from the patent application gives a better conception of the shoe design. The Smith design was advanced to other popular brands during 1931. The hooks were larger than the Ohio and Gordon shoes and Cordon was the only other shoe with a ringer breaker.

   Given the fact that the shoe received a patent and the shoe had been worked on for at least three years prior, it is puzzling why no specimens are showing up. If the shoe never entered the production mode, that would be a big explanation. Even if the shoes never achieved any sales, there sure could be some prototype shoes somewhere. Certainly a reason for collectors in the western states to keep an eye out for the elusive Smith Stay-On.

Trader Jottings

  • Just a reminder - the will be a Horseshoe Trader booth at the World Tournament in Red Deer, thanks to the efforts of Lee Wallace. Lee cannot commit to the duration of the whole two weeks, but will be around for August 4th through the 8th.

  • Also remember, if you have enjoyed the Horseshoe Trader series and to those who have joined those who are out looking to find the old artifacts of our sport, the NHPA collection is about to make it's permanent public appearance in Joelton, TN. The NHPF can use your financial support. Please make a cash donation at this time.