E. F. Blanchard - Cowboy Spur Maker
Edward Fred Blanchard was a popular early spur maker in the southwestern part of the United States. He was born near Magdalena, New Mexico on September 26, 1894. Blanchard was a true cowboy spur maker. He worked on various ranches in New Mexico and made bits and spurs as a side line. From 1940-1948, Blanchard was in Datil, New Mexico during the summer months, working for the Forest Service as a fire lookout. He worked in Monticello, New Mexico during the winters of those years as a cowboy. Many of his spurs made after the mid 1940s were marked with the town and state of manufacture. San Antonio, N. M. is one such mark. Datil, N.M. and Monticello N. M. are others. The New Mexico marked spurs are very collectable.
E.F. Blanchard is shown on the right with friends in a vehicle. He is seated on the far right.
Blanchard moved to Arizona in 1952. He went to work for the Boquias Cattle Company in northwestern Arizona as a ranch cook. During that time he made spurs with the Seligman, Arizona mark. Because of the short time he was in Seligman, there are not many spurs with this mark.
Blanchard moved to Yucca, Arizona area in 1953. He bought a 20-section ranch 45 miles southeast of there on the Bill Williams River. Later, around 1959, he sold his ranch, moved closer to town, and became strictly a spur maker. He made most of his spurs while he lived in Yucca, Arizona. It is said he could make a pair of spurs a day. He told a journalist in 1962 that he made 350 pairs a year. The spurs are usually marked inside the heel band with one of six style numbers...2,3,4,5,6,8 and PS for plain steel, SS for stainless steel, or TS for tempered (or tool) steel and E.F. BLANCHARD YUCCA ARIZ (or other place name) in all capital letters. Since all Blanchard's spurs were hand crafted, some stamping differences and errors were made. Apparently, many of his early spurs were unmarked. Custom-made spurs were sometimes marked differently, often without style numbers, and many have silver or brass overlay decoration in the form of designs or brands.
During Blanchard's time in Arizona, he marked spurs with the state abbreviations ARIZ and AZ. The AZ markings can be dated as being made after 1963, the year the United States Post Office instituted two letter state abbreviations to go with the new zip code system.
Porter's Saddle Company of Phoenix, Arizona carried Blanchard spurs in their store. Walls Pharmaceutical Company gave the spurs as premiums to medicine buyers in the state's cattle feedlots.
Blanchard's spurs were popular in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California. Some also made their way into southern Colorado and to Texas and Montana. The spurs are expertly crafted and today's working cowboys still really like the way the spur fits a boot.
Blanchard's work evolved over time from forged one-piece spurs to welded, polished spurs. He also made spurs using stainless steel beginning around 1946. Stainless steel is an extremely difficult metal to work with. Blanchard produced high-quality stainless steel spurs using an acetylene torch.
One unique feature of most of Blanchard's spurs is the angled swinging style of the button. Short shanks and wide heel bands are also a definite mark of Blanchard's style. His design eliminated the need for "tie-downs" to keep the spurs in place.
The number-four style is the only one that has chap guards.
Blanchard continued to make spurs into his 80s and died in Kingman, Arizona on January 17, 1982.
Porter's saddle company of Phoenix, Arizona carried Blanchard's spurs and published a brochure listing the spurs by style number.
No. 4 Drop shank and chap guard
No. 2 Goose-neck spur
No. 3 Bronc spur
No. 5 Bill Simon cutting horse spur
No. 6 and No. 8 had no other description.
We recently received this addition to Ed Blanchard's tale from someone who was there:
For more information go to these pages: Blanchard Spurs - How to tell an authentic pair.
Blanchard spur photos and stories from our visitors. E. F. Blanchard Spurs - Examples
More pages about spurs: A number of interesting spur pages with more photos and information are listed below:
[ Garcia Bits and Spurs ]
[ Amozoc Spurs ]
[ Spurs: Prison Made Spurs ]