Bona Allen

Catalog "64"

Buford, Georgia, U.S.A.

We feel very fortunate to have found this very rare original catalog, and to have the opportunity to share it with you.

Here's a few of the many Saddles displayed in the Catalog.

Bonaparte Allen learned the trade of tanning from his father, Washington Allen. Bonaparte opened the Bona Allen Company at the age of 27 and operated it as a tannery and leather goods shop. It started off making whiplashes, then followed with the production of horse collars. In 1903, a fire swept through the building and destroyed the business and the entire building. Allen lost everything. But, thanks to his established business track record, a local bank loaned him the money he needed to re-establish and rebuild his business. It didn't take Bonaparte long to restore his thriving business and pay off all of his debt. [1]  

In 1925, Bonaparte Allen died. He left everything to his sons, Bona Jr., John, and Victor. They took over their father's business and continued to produce what some people have deemed the country’s finest leather. The Great Depression of the early 1930s had a positive effect on the Company's tannery. The nation's farmers could no longer afford to operate their tractors, so they had to return to using horses. This, in turn, created a demand for saddles and collars, as well as all other horse related equipment.[1]

The Bona Allen Company received special acclaim in the 1950s for production of its classic saddles. During the peak of western movies, many of Hollywood's famous cowboy actors, including Roy Rogers, William F. ("Buffalo Bill") Cody, Gene Autry, Kenny Rogers, Lash LaRue, Gabby Hayes, and the cast of the popular TV show "Bonanza," preferred a Bona Allen saddle -- some even bringing their horses to Buford, Georgia, to get them custom fitted.  To head its saddle department, the Company hired Victor Alexander, a famous saddle expert from the King Ranch in Texas.[1] 

Even if you can afford to own this valuable resource guide, this is an opportunity to continue to use the information to document your collection and yet, not risk damage to your original version.

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88 pages of Cowboy History.

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