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Boyt Harness Company

Boyt Harness Company, the hunting industry standard for gun cases and firearm storage and transport, traces their beginnings to a family owned regional harness shop in turn of the century Iowa. The industrious Boyt brothers founded Walter Boyt Saddlery in 1901. The Boyt brother’s burgeoning enterprise primarily manufactured fine driving harness for buggies, however, the Great War in Europe took the company in a direction that would frame it for the next 100 years.

The advent of World War I found the company building the first of many firearm accessories such as military pistol holsters for the then new Colt 1911 .45 pistol along with cavalry saddle bags and harness for artillery and transport horses.

In 1925, the name was changed from The Walter Boyt Saddlery Company to The Boyt Harness Company and a new generation of Boyt brothers continued the tradition of making harness, saddles, bridles and tack for farmers and stockman across the Midwest.

Struggling through the Great Depression and the dust bowl years, Boyt Harness Company developed a reputation for quality and delivery second to none and farmers across the country proudly tacked their draft teams in well oiled Boyt harness and collars each morning but the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor begin another shift to production for the war effort. From 1941 through 1945, The Boyt Harness Company produced millions of pieces of equipment destined for American offensives in both the European and Pacific theaters as tens of thousands of teachers, farmers, office workers and tradesmen were transformed into the largest standing fighting force in the nation’s history.

After the war, Boyt shifted production back to saddles and harness, but the mechanization of America had put most of the work horses out to pasture. For the first time, sporting goods became a priority and gun cases, hunting vests and cartridge bags begin to make up the majority of production. The Boyt Five Star canvas case, named for the five award stars that the company had been presented for their production efforts during the war years, was quickly heralded as the premier method of firearm storage of the times, a position that Boyt has maintained for almost 70 years.

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