We have contact.... Erie, PA

Joined: July 22nd, 2011, 4:46 am

September 11th, 2018, 4:29 pm #1

A while back, I sent a message to the President of the Erie Historical Society (I've learned to start at the top) regarding Goodenow manufacturing and got a response today on the best person to contact.  Talked to that nice lady today and we have mapped out a little research strategy  to find out what, if anything, we can learn about Goodenow, Erie, PA.  She will be going through the city directories of that time and also there was a local paper that did regular short stories on local manufacturers which she will look through the index. 

Took the time to tell her about how fascinated the American Vintage Airgun community is with this subject, one of the reasons being the remarkable quality seen in these "Erie, PA" guns and that, along with extreme rarity, make these some of the most valuable and interesting vintage airguns to today's collectors.  Just to try and dig the hook in a bit more, I promised a nice article about The Airguns Manufactured in Erie, PA, if we can verify the truth of that. She added that they have a running display at the society that features products manufactured in Erie (Erie has a history of being a manufacturing town) and suggested that there might be a lot of local interest in a display.  

With any luck, and the help of the very best researcher of Erie Historical Society, we may find out something.  

 Mentioned that there are some collectors who think the whole story about Goodenow Manufacturing manufacturing these beautiful guns is nothing but a hoax. Come on Erie Historical Society, show 'em that Erie, PA, spirit!

 
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oldcoot
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oldcoot
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Joined: April 29th, 2005, 6:57 pm

September 11th, 2018, 7:13 pm #2

That's the way to do it!

I tried to get a local historian living in the vicinity of the former Falke factory (est. approx 1949-59) interested. After I plugged away on this theme for some time a German chap named Volker managed to interview the elderly son of the late factory owner, giving us some of the story, but it was an uphill struggle.
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Joined: May 9th, 2018, 1:14 am

September 11th, 2018, 8:31 pm #3

I thinks that totally great !  

Any history on Goodenow that sheds light on what they may or may not have manufactured would be useful in determining the truth about something that  occurred 63 years ago in 1954. A little leery on how much useful info you can get from the city directory but you never know. But a newspaper short story on local manufacturer Goodenow would be fascinating. Hopefully if a News story is found they can send you a scan. Frankly I'm curious about Goodenow but I don't see how you can get around the Trademark Brand name belonging to Healthways. And the guns would be just as beautiful manufactured in California. 

Good Luck, you never know what surprising thing you may discover. I love to get to the incontrovertible truth about Goodenow.
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Joined: July 22nd, 2011, 4:46 am

September 12th, 2018, 1:09 am #4

"..but I don't see how you can get around the Trademark Brand name belonging to Healthways."  

One thing that I am sure of is that Healthways WAS a distribution company and did no manufacturing; for those product trademarks that they held, they had other companies doing the actual manufacturing.  Looking at the products of Healthways, it's notable that they had a lot of weights in the product line, iron weights for lifting; the center for the manufacturing of weights is PA, so, it's not surprising that Healthways would know where to find a manufacturer in that area.

The problem with  "could be, maybe, these beautiful guns were made in California" is that this is nothing more than wishful thinking. There is absolutely nothing to support this.  Which is not to say that it's wrong but when there is no evidence to support an idea.... it needs to be clearly stated.  It's just like the Carbo Jet guys who so hate the thought that there are no Carbo Jet marked guns or boxes, they refuse to accept the reality.  

 It's clear that a 2nd company, circa 1949/1950, restarted production of the pneumatic line for distribution by Healthways, no doubt at Healthways direction. We have numerous hard links to Goodenow in Erie, and, at present, there is no logical reason why it couldn't be Goodenow.   And, from a logistics standpoint, it probably makes a lot more sense to produce airguns in up state NY region, just like Crosman etc, than it does in Los Angeles, away from the regular distribution centers of mid America. After all, being located in California, could have been one of the reasons Plainsman, Eagle Rock, failed. 
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