looking all the way back to 1920


    When looking all the way back to 1920, the number of horseshoe brands and models are nearly countless. It would be an unbelievable number to project out how many single shoes have been forged out for our pitching pleasure. It is probable that the largest single producer has been St. Pierre Manufacturing Corp. St. Pierre first emerged as a leading shoe producer through their advertising in the 1940 Horseshoe World. Yet, they were listed as early as 1934 as a pitching shoe producer in the Thomas Directory of American Manufacturers, as the St. Pierre Chain Corp.

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    The first available pictured ad listed: Standard, TJ. Octigan, Leader, Good Luck and Royal models. Standard was a hookless shoe produced in the 1920s by the Standard Horse Shoe Company of Boston, and sometime prior to 1934, that company was acquired by St. Pierre. The Octigan was initially a hookless shoe produced by the Octigan Drop Forge Company of Chicago, IL (1929-1939) and was also acquired by St. Pierre, at which time the shoe was redesigned as a hooked tournament shoe and renamed T.J. Octigan. An oddity to collecting T.J. Octigan is to find one where the word OFFICIAL is spelled correctly. Even in the ad it is spelled "Offical."

    Leader, certainly one of the most common and easy to find hookless shoes, is interesting for it is one of the first 2 pound shoes made available for ladies and juniors through the Sears & Roebuck catalogs beginning in 1935. Royal models are most commonly found with + and 0 markings rather than the usual A and B designation, but they are the more recent models. As the Royals first came out in the 1930s, they were marked 1's and 2's with spike heel caulks running lengthwise rather than across the points. They were advertised in the Montgomery Wards' catalogs as early as 1935 and are a good collection prize.

    Another model by St. Pierre, which does not show up in the ad, but has showed up in many private collections/ is the "Star." The underside clearly shows St. Pierre, Worcester, Mass. So far there is little dating available for this model other than they did exist in 1933.

    For the more modern day the American model has been the St. Pierre tournament shoe, which began being produced in 1967.

    So, adding up the many decades and including the many models, St. Pierre has probably provided more shoes to the pitchers and more shoes for the collectors than any other manufacturer.


  • Below is a copy of the actual draft of a 1934 patent by J.B. Smith of Washington. The Oregon HPA museum would like to have one of these Smith Shoes for their display. If anyone can help, contact Lee Wallace, 503-623-6535, 505 S.E. Hawthorne Ave., Dallas, OR 97338.

  • A three-way trade can take place if someone has a pair of Durham bronze Ded-Locks to provide to the Lee Wallace and the OHPA. In turn, T.J. Durham has offered a new pair of Durham E.Z. Ringers to the donor.

  • In 1922, the Lucky Ringer Company of St. Louis, MO, manufactured the Lucky Ringer shoe. They were an incredi- ble model for the brand name covered the entire top side of the shoe. No Lucky Ringers have been announced in collec- tion, to this point anyhow. Does anyone have a Lucky Ringer shoe?
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