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. While American Archery catalogs are hard to come by, American frequently placed 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).
In 1956-57 the first, and only, bow made by American was the Cheetah. it came in both target and hunter lengths. The Cheetah remained the most popular American bow model. American later 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 1958 American introduced the Amarco, priced higher than the Cheetah. In 1959 the Amachee (same price as the Amarco), the lower end Kit Kat and Fash models were added to the line. In 1961 the Barracuda, Shark, and Eagle models were introduced. In 1961 The Griffin model was introduced. In 1963 the Cheetah Supreme tournament target bow was introduced. In 1968 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. In 1969 they added the Titleist target bow along with , 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. In 1970 the Titlest target bow was introduced. In 1975 American added a compound model and the VIP Take-Down.
As compound bows began to taken over the archery landscape, American dropped their target recurve line, but kept several of their hunting and all-purpose recurve models. 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.
American Archery Company Catalogs