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Dave Gordon Sr.

Dave Gordon Sr.

Category B - Bowhunters who have shown Excellence in the Design and Manufacturing of Archery Equipment


George, Don & Dave entered into a business partnership in the early 1950's producing translucent panels for industrial buildings, fiberglass diving boards for the southern California market and even dabbled with a composite body for a motor vehicle. Shortly after they started Gordon Plastics in San Diego, CA. they developed a fiber reinforced laminate for the facing and backing of archery bows. They were lifelong hunting and fishing enthusiasts, which probably motivated them to design and build the first of a popular line of bows, "Gordon Royal Bows." The "Standard B0-Tuff" laminate they developed worked so well that other bow manufacturers started using this material on their bows. The rest is history! About 1961 the three brothers also developed and manufactured the "Glashaft and Graflex" arrow shafts, which they enjoyed field testing along with the latest design in archery bows. 

During late August or early September, you could find the three brothers hunting big Muley's in the Jarbridge area of Nevada, or in Northwestern Arizona. They enjoyed primitive camping and the great outdoors that their dad shared with them during the early 1920's in the general vicinity of Torrington, Wyoming.

During the early 60's the three brothers were approached by Browning Arms to produce a line of hunting bows under the Browning name, which they agreed to do. Shortly after this time, they discontinued their line of bows and produced bows only for Browning Arms, Co. After three or four years, they turn-keyed all bow manufacturing over to Browning, and concentrated on producing Bo-tuff laminate for general use within the archery industry. Browning's bow business was purchased by a major manufacturer with the industry and is still being produced today. 

The three brothers foresaw the potential growth of the bow market and managed to expand the capacity twice by building a new facility in 1975 in Vista, CA., and encouraging the new managers of the business to relocate to Montrose, CO. in 1995. The company is currently housed in a 48,000 sq. ft. facility specifically designed for producing composites for the future. 

Today Gordon Composites produces frp laminate, and solid glass billet material for approximately 75% of bows sold worldwide. Also the company produces fiber reinforced products for infra-structure, industrial springs, marine products, & artificial limbs. 

George's expertise involved the chemistry behind the formulas that made the material perform and stay together. Don was the salesman with the personality that allowed everyone in the industry to trust the material they were using on their bow production. Dave's responsibility was to keep the shop running and to produce the highest quality product possible. Dave was also a member of the Pope & Young club and harvested a mountain lion from northwestern Wyoming when he was 70 years old. 

As of today George is the only surviving brother and continues to watch with interest the progressive evolution of archery. George is 92 years young!

Authored by Dave Gordon, Jr.
November 13th, 2003

 


 
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