Thursday, January 10, 2019

Saddle Snaps

Sometimes research hunches lead to big or significant finds… and sometimes, they don’t.

This is a case of the latter, rather than the former.

I had always been curious about the snap fasteners used on Breyer snap saddles – specifically the ones used on the Western Horse, the Western Pony, and the #36 Racehorse. Was there an interesting tale to be told there?

Depends on your definition of interesting, I guess.

Most of these saddles used Klikit brand fasteners, which were manufactured by the Rau Fastener Company of Providence, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1911, and ceased to be in the late 1990s, when it was acquired by its competitor, Scovill Fasteners.

Here’s the trademark info:

Just about the only other thing worth noting about Klikit snaps is that they were extensively used in apparel, especially on the old-timey Western-style shirts favored by Hollywood cowboys and rockabilly artists.

However, most snaps – then, and now – were used on more utilitarian articles of clothing, where buttons would be either a hassle or a liability – like uniforms, outerwear, and baby accessories.

(And costumes, too. But I’m not thinking about that right now, I’m really not…)

Even though the Klikit brand has been out of production for at least 20 years, old warehouse stock can still be found on eBay – if you’re especially keen about restoring Breyer snap saddles or vintage clothing.

Snaps aren’t all that hard to assemble/attach, incidentally, as long as you have the right tools for the job. Easier than sewing on a button, actually!

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