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Open Questions: The Research Continues!

Can you help us? Who was the elusive Mr. Bennett? Mr. Bennett (possible first names, George, Don or Cecil; or maybe his wife was Cecil) lived/worked in Southern California (possibly in Hollywood or Palm Springs). In the 1950s he created the still popular bolo tie fitting in his garage workshop, stamping them “Bennett / Pat. Pend. / C-31.” It has been confirmed that he never applied for a patent, and thus he never received one. However, like many inventors, he stamped “Pat. Pend.” on them to deter his competition from copying his ideas. So far, nobody (even people who actually met him) has been able to provide concrete evidence of his full name, residence, or what “C-31" actually stands for. To confuse matters even more, the same “Bennett / Pat. Pend. / C-31” text is stamped on fittings used for key rings. Bennett’s equipment was eventually sold to a Gallup jewelry supplier, and when they found out that there was no patent, they dropped the stamped text as they replaced the dies. Currently made Bennett clips or fittings, might have a single letter (S or L) stamped on them to indicate the thickness of the braided cord they can be used with.

We do know that a woman named Cecil Lavina Bennett died in Palm Springs on June 28, 1990. She owned an Indian Artifacts Gift Shop for 40 years, but there is no indication in the obituary of a husband or family.

The “Fat H” Hallmark

This particular hallmark is well known by many dealers and collectors, as there are many dozens of bolo ties with this mark on it, suggesting a bench shop of some kind. It is not listed in any of the standard reference works (Barton Wright, Bille Hougart, and Gregory Schaaf), nor do these authors know to whom it belongs. Do you know?


Additions and Corrections to the Book and Exhibit Encouraged

Our research continues, and if you have any further information that adds to our knowledge of the history of bolo/bola ties, please do send it to Norman Sandfield at