Not a lot is known about the American Archery Company, although those in the know consider their bows to be of high quality, which was reflected in their pricing. Early on the Company was located in Clarendon Hills, Illinois from the early 1940s. Ernie Root (Root-Shakespeare) was a part owner of American in the early years, left during the war, and then returned after WWII until he started his own line of Root bows. The company changed hands several times. Around 1968 it was bought out by an investment group and moved to Oconto Falls, WI.
Vintage American Archery catalogs are hard to come by, but American did frequently place display ads in the various archery magazines of the day during the 1950s and early 1960s (search our magazine section descriptions for American bow ads).
The most popular American bow was the Cheetah. American made the Cheetah Supreme, a high end target bow (pictured on the catalog page to the left) priced at $135 (imported hardwoods) or $160 (Rosewood) in 1965, and a Cheetah Hunter's Special at $74.50, and a Cheetah Standard at $55 (64" model). In the mid-1960s the American bow line up, from most expensive to least expensive, included the: Cheetah Supreme, Amarco Deluxe, Amarco Special, Cheetah Hunter's Special, Cheetah Standard, Barracuda, Shark, and Flash.
In 1969, American added a new top of the line target bow called the Pro Supreme, and a mid-range ($109.00) target bow named the Contender. They also had the Titleist target bow, and added a new high-end and very attractive hunting bow, the All-Pro Custom ($87-$109), and the Bubinga and Zebra Wood Super Nitro hunting bow.
As compound bows began to taken over the archery landscape, American dropped their target recurve line. The 1976 catalog lists 2 compound models, the aluminum riser Penetrator, and the wood riser Am-Mag. They also kept a line of hunting and entry-level recreational bows, including the Cheetah Hunter Special, American Hunter, Shortie (48" bow), Mark II, Varsity, and the Young American.
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American Archery Company