Powerbilt Irons and the Iron Designs of the 1940’s-1950’s

I have the first three model of Ben Hogan irons, Precision’s, Sabers, and Power Thrust. What strikes me when looking at the design of these clubs is the sole camber and radius. The earliest set, the Precision’s have a narrower sole, but ir has more camber or radius to it compared to the Saber or Power Thrusts which are wider, completely flat and a sharper leading edge. Because of this I find the Precisions much easier to hit than the other two.



Now that I got my orange Kaplan book, as I look at the Powerbilt clubs of the 1940’s up until the mid 50’s, their iron designs had much more rounded soles and look much more playable than the later flat sole irons. They are very Kenneth Smith like in their design and construction, using stainless steel for the head material.



It seems by the late 1950’s, iron design by every manufacturer had gone to the flat sole, sharp leading edge design. I’m sure this was done for course conditions of the day, but those designs aren’t really ideal for today’s courses.





So, the more I get intrigued by the earlier Powerbilt designs, I wanted to know if any of you guys collect and play that era of H&B Powerbilt’s and what your impressions are compared to the Wilsons, Macgregors, and Hogan’s of the day.
WITB
Macgregor M09 driver
Macgregor M85 Super Eye-O-Matic 3&4 woods
Cleveland Classic TC15 5-wood
KZG Forged Cavity 4-PW
Ben Hogan TK15 51* 
Ben Hogan Special Sand Iron
Ping bronze Anser

Comments

  • deejaiddeejaid Members Posts: 485 ✭✭
    WITB
    Macgregor M09 driver
    Macgregor M85 Super Eye-O-Matic 3&4 woods
    Cleveland Classic TC15 5-wood
    KZG Forged Cavity 4-PW
    Ben Hogan TK15 51* 
    Ben Hogan Special Sand Iron
    Ping bronze Anser
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,987 ClubWRX
    Deejaid-



    The Orange and Black Kaplan Compilations of the H&B/PowerBilt Catalogs- The one that only goes to 1980 model year.



    And which of those 1950s Stainless PowerBilt models would you fancy? Have a friend with some H&B/PowerBilts, but not likely that old.



    Good Luck.
  • deejaiddeejaid Members Posts: 485 ✭✭
    rex235 wrote:
    Deejaid-



    The Orange and Black Kaplan Compilations of the H&B/PowerBilt Catalogs- The one that only goes to 1980 model year.



    And which of those 1950s Stainless PowerBilt models would you fancy? Have a friend with some H&B/PowerBilts, but not likely that old.



    Good Luck.




    A few of the early 50’s models really look playable. These two in particular I’d love to get my hands on.



    19d15cbe6f878b19fdb60d8688fb1b75.jpg



    4f89d04967a2fc83f6fecb4e576a9e28.jpg
    WITB
    Macgregor M09 driver
    Macgregor M85 Super Eye-O-Matic 3&4 woods
    Cleveland Classic TC15 5-wood
    KZG Forged Cavity 4-PW
    Ben Hogan TK15 51* 
    Ben Hogan Special Sand Iron
    Ping bronze Anser
  • SteveNZSteveNZ Members Posts: 633 ✭✭
    deejaid wrote:
    rex235 wrote:
    Deejaid-



    The Orange and Black Kaplan Compilations of the H&B/PowerBilt Catalogs- The one that only goes to 1980 model year.



    And which of those 1950s Stainless PowerBilt models would you fancy? Have a friend with some H&B/PowerBilts, but not likely that old.



    Good Luck.




    A few of the early 50’s models really look playable. These two in particular I’d love to get my hands on.



    19d15cbe6f878b19fdb60d8688fb1b75.jpg



    4f89d04967a2fc83f6fecb4e576a9e28.jpg




    The illustrations on those catalogue pages are terrific.
  • JShawJShaw Members Posts: 321 ✭✭
    I find it interesting that the screws have been cut through in the wood in the top picture. I didn't know they came from the factory I like that. I always assumed that screws cut with groove lines happened at a refinish.
  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,296 ✭✭
    deejaid wrote:


    I have the first three model of Ben Hogan irons, Precision's, Sabers, and Power Thrust. What strikes me when looking at the design of these clubs is the sole camber and radius. The earliest set, the Precision's have a narrower sole, but ir has more camber or radius to it compared to the Saber or Power Thrusts which are wider, completely flat and a sharper leading edge. Because of this I find the Precisions much easier to hit than the other two.



    Now that I got my orange Kaplan book, as I look at the Powerbilt clubs of the 1940's up until the mid 50's, their iron designs had much more rounded soles and look much more playable than the later flat sole irons. They are very Kenneth Smith like in their design and construction, using stainless steel for the head material.



    It seems by the late 1950's, iron design by every manufacturer had gone to the flat sole, sharp leading edge design. I'm sure this was done for course conditions of the day, but those designs aren't really ideal for today's courses.





    So, the more I get intrigued by the earlier Powerbilt designs, I wanted to know if any of you guys collect and play that era of H&B Powerbilt's and what your impressions are compared to the Wilsons, Macgregors, and Hogan's of the day.
    The only PB irons I played was back in the mid to late 80s--- They were a set of 66 model Horseshoe Citations with X-100 shafts---- I actually traded a second set of 66 333 Custom Spalding Elites for them. I played those until 90 or so. I think those may have been a custom grind set because the soles were thin with a sharp leading edge.Looked just like a set of FCs at address minus the black faces-- They were darn near half worn out when I got them and I finished the job. Never could find another set like those. Most of the clubs in that era for PB had wider soles. Those irons were 2 thru 9 which I did not care because I kept the 333 PW--- Ended up getting my first set of VIPs and the rest is history-- And my PBs were not Scotch blades either totally different soles.

    deejaid wrote:


    P.S. also looking so here is my WTB thread



    http://www.golfwrx.c...ns-1940s-1950s/
    I flipped over to that and for some reason they had locked it down
  • OrangeGravyOrangeGravy WAMembers Posts: 1,167 ✭✭
    This is the one issue that keeps me from buying tons of old iron sets. I keep my eye out for sets that look to have a more playable sole grind, but it's hard to tell from photos for sure. It would be nice to have a list of models that were not ultra flat soled with super sharp leading edges.
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