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One Man’s Collection of Early California Spade Bits


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One Man's Collection of Early California Spade Bits — The Legacy of Richie Morgan by Merrilee Morrell Doss

Born in Byron, California, in 1920, Richie Morgan had a life rich in experiences and heritage. He spent his 75 years working with horses and cattle. During these times he realized the value of not only a good bit, but of having the right bit. To him, that was the spade bit, and many of them. Over those 75 years, he bought, traded, fixed, and was given some very nice Early California style bits, most of them spades. At one point, this humble gentleman realized his tackroom held a collection. He and his daughter Merrilee photographed and recorded the history as he knew it of each one of those bits, including why he thought it was “a good usin’ bit.”

This book is the Morgan’s way of sharing that heritage with the reader. Each bit, 149 of his better ones, is pictured with the mouthpiece, sometimes a close-up of the engraving, maybe a detail or a picture of the full bridle. Richie’s words are right there explaining why he liked that bit or how he got it. There are family pictures of ranch work in the 1940s and 50s showing the horses working in those bits. And, a special bonus is the actual correspondence between Morgan and renowned bitmaker Eduardo Grijalva. Sit back in your easy chair and travel back 100 years into the world of cowboy to cowman, bridleman to bit collector, Richie Morgan, as you savor his legacy.

Softcover sepia print

Detail from Book


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