Category B - Bowhunters
who have shown Excellence in the Design and Manufacturing of Archery
Ben Pearson, “Father of Modern Archery,”
revolutionized the Sport of Archery. Beginning in the 1930’s,
Ben personally designed numerous specialized “archery related” machines
in addition to various archery products. He was the first archery
manufacturer to utilize assembly line techniques to mass produce a full
line of archery products. Bows-arrows-targets-target points-broadheads,
among other archery related items, were offered to the public at prices
within the means of the average person. The end result was a
renewed interest in archery that quickly propelled Ben Pearson & Company
to lead the world in volume production by the end of 1939.
Twenty thousand “skeleton ferrule” hunting
heads were sold in 1939 (the year they were first introduced). By the
end of 1941 over one hundred thousand had been sold. For the
year 1945, total Ben Pearson archery sales (wholesale figures) exceeded
one million six hundred thousand dollars with Pearson equipment being
sold in forty nine states and several foreign countries.
Sears, Roebuck & Co., Healthways of California, and Montgomery Ward & Co
were among the larger mail order houses that sold Ben Pearson equipment.
By 1956 daily production rates averaged three thousand dozen arrows and
four to five thousand bows.
In 1967 over a thousand archers competed in
The International Indoor Archery Championship, sponsored by Ben Pearson,
at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. The tournament was the
largest indoor event of its kind from its inception in 1959 as the “Ben
Ben Pearson Company was the world’s largest
manufacturer of archery equipment from 1939 thru the late 1960’s.
It all began with a 1926 article, on “how to make your own bow and
arrow”, by Dan Beard of Boy Scout fame. , Ben diligently followed
the instructions to produce a hickory bow of about 80 +lbs draw.
He soon entered a tournament to finish next to last. Refining his
equipment Ben entered the 1927 Arkansas state tournament and won.
He was soon making equipment for other
archers, founded the Pine Bluff Archery club and in 1929 co-founded the
Southern Archery Association. Some of Bens first place awards as a
target archer include Arkansas state champion in 1927 1938, 1945, 1954
and Tri-State champion in 1938 & 1940. He placed 7th at
the 1938 NAA (National) tournament in San Francisco. Ben
Pearson was also known across the country for his extraordinary skills
as an exhibition shooter. He typically ended his program by
shooting an arrow into a tossed ping-pong ball.
Bens’ favorite pastime, though, was bow
hunting. Various game fell to his famed “Bushmaster takedown” and
“Dead Head” broad head including two world record bear in the spring of
1965 (a barren ground grizzly and polar bear). Films of his
hunts were distributed country wide to various groups and viewed on
local and national television programs.
The following honors have been bestowed upon
Ben Pearson – all but the Compton medal were awarded posthumously: The
W.H.Compton medal of Honor, National Archery Hall of Fame as charter
inductee (1972), The National Sporting Goods Industry Hall of
Fame, The Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, The Arkansas Outdoor Sportsmen’s
Hall as charter inductee, & The Arkansas Bow hunters Hall of Fame
Ben passed away on March 2, 1971 at the age of 72.