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Local business "buckles" it up!

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13th, 2013

Photo 1: It takes multiple big pieces of machinery like the one Kevin Bryant is standing in front of to end up with the Blevins Buckle pictured in the inset. Photo 2: Notice that at the time this buckle was made, the patent was pending; now it has run out. These versatile pieces of saddlery last a very long time. Photos/ Pat Mitchell.

WHEATLAND Coming to the stop sign at the west end of Mariposa will put you on Highway 312, unless you drive straight ahead under the overhead pole to a white house and a nondescript metal building. Go into that building, and you will be in a one-of-a-kind manufacturing business. If your fanny spends hours on horseback, you will know about these two small pieces of equipment manufactured there and found on most every saddle made the Blevins Buckle.

Like most businesses, this piece of ingenuity came out of necessity. During World War II, Earl Blevins (1906-1994) was in the US Coast Guard.

"It was while riding on horseback along the coast of the Carolinas, watching for German submarine landings, that he invented a device to vary the length of saddle stirrups."

When he got out of the military, he perfected the device and was giving them away at rodeos. According to his nephew, Kevin Bryant, who now owns the business, "Aunt Joan (Anne Van Kleeck Bryant's sister) decided he should be making these and selling them."

For the complete article see the 03-13-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-13-2013 paper.

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