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Dear reader: this is an unabashed picture book about gunleather. In particular, it is about the innovative holsters that were created by American men and women during the 20th century; specifically, during the saeculum 1905 to 1985 because that's when all the heavy lifting was done. And it's about their linkages . . . 'A Texas Ranger, born 1844, married a woman who, after she was widowed then married a Texas saddler 1908. 'That saddler in Austin employed a clerk who in 1912 began building unique holsters for the Texas Rangers. 'And that clerk, born 1872, bore a son in 1896 whose daughter married the Governor of Texas in 1940. 'That bride escaped the bullets fired at the President's car as she rode with him in November 1963. 'They were the McNellys, the Wroes, the Brills and the Kennedys.' 'Holstory' – a term the authors coined so they wouldn't be typing 'holster history' over and over again – is filled with just these kinds of linkages amongst real gunfighting lawmen like Capt. Leander McNelly and officer Tom Threepersons of Texas; D.A. 'Jelly' Bryce and J.C. 'Doc' White of the F.B.I.; and the gunleather makers like Sam D. Myres of Texas and Hermann H. Heiser of Colorado who supplied them. It's a tale that's never been told in quite this way. It is thoroughly researched and heavily footnoted so that you can delve deeper if you like. There are lots of full-color pictures of gunleather collectibles. This is the Book of Holstory that you've been waiting for.
About the Author
'Red' Nichols, full name Richard Edward Dale (R.E.D.) Nichols, made his start as a holster designer/maker by apprenticing to world-renowned holster authority John E. Bianchi in 1970. He spent the 1970s and 1980s developing the Bianchi Holster company's California-made product line and setting new benchmarks for styling, performance and construction. Then came the 1990s and his Nichols Innovation company was the world's first consulting-design service to the holster industry, where for a decade he created more industry standards for companies including Aker, DeSantis, Galco, Shooting Systems and dozens more around the world. And patents, lots of holster patents. Holsters have been his life-long passion since 1963 when Red's ex-Navy brother David introduced him to guns and holsters; and then 1966 when Red encountered Chic Gaylord's classic holster text Handgunner's Guide at a local library. Retired to Australia since the turn of the century, Red still builds advanced holsters.John Witty's interest in gunleather grew from a desire to pair his handguns with proper holsters. He was prescient enough to order holsters directly from Berns-Martin and S.D. Myres while still a teenager. He, of course, still has them. John's gunleather collection is focused on the first 70 years of the 20th Century and includes examples by H.H. Heiser, S.D. Myres, Berns-Martin, the George Lawrence Company, A.H. Hardy and many more. He maintains a huge collection of gunleather and its ephemera including catalogs and advertising. As with his firearms, condition and originality are important attributes that inform John's acquisitions. He is a Life Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association, an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association, and a member of the Smith & Wesson Historical Foundation. John is active online with Smith & Wesson Forum where he serves as Moderator and Expert Commentator. He is a native and life-long resident of South Florida and a proud Eagle Scout. Having recently retired, he can devote almost enough time to scraping the verdigris from his holsters. He is honored to have worked with Red Nichols on this Holstory.