History

Ben Pearson made his first bow after reading a book on making bows. He made his first bow and began practicing. He entered the Arkansas State Archery Championship in 1926 and came out next to last. He went back and built better equipment and in 1927 he won the Arkansas State Championship. He began making archery equipment for other archers in the area. He was successful, but realized that making archery equipment by hand was slow and expensive. He designed machinery to mass produce archery equipment, but the country was in a depression and funding was hard to find.


When Ben Pearson met Carl Haunt, an oil man with an interest in archery and an eye for business he got the backing he needed to begin Ben Pearson Inc. The first catalog in 1938 had only arrows in it. The logo was "ARROWS of EXCELLENCE". The machinery allowed the company was able to mass produce bows cheap enough for the average Person to afford archery equipment. The company was making several thousand a day. This production of archery equipment resulted is the spread of archery across the country. By the early 50's the company had an undeserved reputation making inexpensive archery equipment. Archery sets accounted for 80% of sales by Ben Pearson Inc. Only 1 1/2 % of sales were for custom bows. People viewed Ben Pearson equipment as good middle line bows, but not top of the line equipment. To change this perception a new line of bows was designed, there was a new advertising campaign, a new color catalog and a new "BRAND NAME" for each bow. Before this all bows had only a model number.


In 1958 bows were given names. There were two take-down models were kept in the line and named the Bushmaster and the Cobra. Three new bows were developed: the Cougar, Javelina and Safari. The Cougar was the least expensive bow in the line, the Javelina was a middle priced bow and the Safari was the top of the line. Later that year a bow was added. It had long working limbs, instead of the semi-recurved limbs of earlier bows. The limbs were wide to resist twisting, yet still have cast. The window was high, six and 3/4 inches. The machines that made the bow could work wood within 1/1000 of an inch. Thus the ad "Perfection by Pearson" The Palomino" was born. The success of the bow caused the factory to be six weeks behind on orders for the Palomino.


 

The bushmaster was one of the original bows in 1958. The first model had a laminated handle. The others were solid brown wood. It only lasted three years.

In 1961 the Sovereign line of archery equipment came out. This was the "elite" line of bows sold by Ben Pearson. The Locksley line was the lower line of bows sold by the Ben Pearson Company.

By 1963 the average daily output was 3,000 bows and 3,000 to 4,000 doz. arrows.

In 1967 The Leisure Group acquired Ben Pearson Inc. The Sovereign line was dropped. Several models were continued under the Pearson name. The company headquarters is moved to Los Angeles, California.

1972 The Brunswick Corporation bought Ben Pearson from the Leisure Group. The headquarters is moved to Tulsa Oklahoma.

In 1978 Ben Pearson is bought by an old partner of Ben Pearson and moved back to Pine Bluff, Ark.

1986 only traditional bow is OL' Ben longbow.

1978 only traditional bows are solid fiberglass archery sets.

1979 only traditional bow is a metal handle take down.

1983 Pearson brought back four bows: the cougar Bronco Ben, all American, and the Mercury Hunter.

The Ben Pearson bow that lasted the longest was the Cougar. It began in 1958 and lasted until 1977. The first Cougar was right and left handed. Over the years it was made in lengths from 58 inches to 64 inches.

The javelina was the only bow from the original line that never changed lengths. All models of the javelina were 66 inches.

Ben Pearson Inc has always had a logo on its bows, arrow boxes and printed material.

The logo changed some times every year or two. The same logo was never used very long. It is the easiest way to date printed material or arrow boxes. The logos have small differences to complete changes. Sometimes only the font changed. Sometimes the broadhead changed. Phases were added and taken away.


While Ben Pearson was an avid archer and loved the sport, he was a business man with a genius for manufacturing. He also made sewing machine parts, boats, boat trailers, corn cribs, cotton pickers and automobile pipe fittings. At the 50th anniversary party for Ben Pearson Archery, Governor Bill Clinton was presented with the six millionth manufactured bow and the 200 millionth manufactured arrow. Governor Clinton said the only thing he ever won was an archery contest in grade school with a Ben Pearson bow and arrows. By the time of the 50th anniversary Ben Pearson Inc. had 350 workers and a payroll of $100 million.

Ben Pearson, Inc Today

Ben Pearson Outdoors is a family owned, American based company which strives to exemplify Christian values through the archery sports and the operation of our company. Our ultimate goal is to, through this sport and this company; promote the life and values of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We appreciate your business and our relationships and whether you use our equipment or not, God Bless.