While part having earned some renown before this time, it wasn’t until fully-fledged mass production began taking place and materials such as aluminum were being used that made the compound bow was what it is today.
It isn’t easy to pinpoint just one person as the inventor of the compound bow. Until that moment in history, the discovery of the bow and arrow would not have been possible without prior influences.
Every inventor builds upon the backs of their favorite inventors (who, we must admit, probably did not themselves come up with a compound bow). However, Allen is credited with creating his compound bow in 1975.
Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. and the Compound Bow
It is not an overstatement to say that Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. was one of the greatest archers in modern history. Compound bows are historically significant. They are known for being more powerful than their predecessors and use a system of cables, pulleys, and wheels instead of the traditional limbs.
Bow hunting used to be a challenge, and in old times one could expect to go days without hitting a single target. Thankfully, the compound bow has been invented, allowing hunters everywhere to enjoy an effective and humane way of hunting higher ranks of animals.
Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. was taking advantage of new trends and culture in the United States. Over 40 years ago, a lot of new bow hunters started experimenting with the sport. Since then, many people have become more and more interested in it.
Several negative aspects of the sport have affected its overall popularity as well as its desirability. In the 1960s, many people were interested in simpler forms of living and living back to nature.
Hunting had also become more popular during that time as it allowed one to have a greater appreciation for nature, especially when done with bows instead of guns.
When it came time to shop for a simple hunting bow, the new and improved designs were not as popular with hunters as they had been previously.
Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. designed the compound bow based on modern recurve technology. In 1966, Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. took what was previously a straight end and supplemented it with pulleys.
It took him quite some time to get his design right, but eventually, he did. He made the ends of that bow much thinner and supplemented their ends with pulleys.
He then walked around, testing his new design in order to get the right one. He invented it in 1966 and received a patent later in the same year.
Tom Jennings was one of his first bow makers. And together, the pair created a revolutionary new compound bow that more than fifty years later has remained more popular than all other types of bows on the market. The US market has been dominated by compound bows since the late ‘60s.
About Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr.
Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. could hardly be called an “educated man” in today’s world. In fact, he only had two years of formal schooling until his teen years were done.
He far more often found himself in schoolyards mimicking the sound of other kids’ foreign languages over the fence near his home.
After getting a high school diploma, he started his own business of making steel wire basket frames; he had experience as a salesman.
Holless was a man born into privilege. However, he managed to become a successful businessman like his father, who groomed him from a young age, first at his family’s financial firm and then with an apprenticeship at the bank that the firm did business with.
Holless was also a bow hunting enthusiast, so in some ways, he could be considered as “one of them” by local hunting enthusiasts and others involved in the culture.
Holless Wilbur Allen, Jr. was a man ahead of his time. He wasn’t afraid to think outside the box and make use of his innovations to help further human understanding and progress as a species.
He was a great entrepreneur who paved the way for modern archery with his recurve bow invention.