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
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
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