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Powerbilt Irons and the Iron Designs of the 1940ís-1950ís


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#1 deejaid

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 12:23 PM

I have the first three model of Ben Hogan irons, Precisionís, 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 Precisionís 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 1940ís up until the mid 50ís, 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 1950ís, iron design by every manufacturer had gone to the flat sole, sharp leading edge design.   Iím sure this was done for course conditions of the day, but those designs arenít really ideal for todayís 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 Powerbiltís and what your impressions are compared to the Wilsons, Macgregors, and Hoganís of the day.

In the bag...

Macgregor Toney Penna Super Eye-O-Matic driver
Macgregor M85 Super Eye-O-Matic 3 & 4 woods
Cleveland Classic TC 15 5-wood
Hogan Precision irons  TT Rocket shafts 3-E
Hogan Sand Iron
H&B Grand Slam Mars 70 putter

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#2 deejaid

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Posted 08 January 2019 - 01:03 PM

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

http://www.golfwrx.c...ns-1940s-1950s/
In the bag...

Macgregor Toney Penna Super Eye-O-Matic driver
Macgregor M85 Super Eye-O-Matic 3 & 4 woods
Cleveland Classic TC 15 5-wood
Hogan Precision irons  TT Rocket shafts 3-E
Hogan Sand Iron
H&B Grand Slam Mars 70 putter

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#3 rex235

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:26 PM

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.

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#4 deejaid

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:56 PM

View Postrex235, on 10 January 2019 - 09:26 PM, said:

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.

Posted Image

Posted Image
In the bag...

Macgregor Toney Penna Super Eye-O-Matic driver
Macgregor M85 Super Eye-O-Matic 3 & 4 woods
Cleveland Classic TC 15 5-wood
Hogan Precision irons  TT Rocket shafts 3-E
Hogan Sand Iron
H&B Grand Slam Mars 70 putter

4

#5 SteveNZ

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:03 AM

View Postdeejaid, on 10 January 2019 - 09:56 PM, said:

View Postrex235, on 10 January 2019 - 09:26 PM, said:

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.

Posted Image

Posted Image

The illustrations on those catalogue pages are  terrific.


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#6 JShaw

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:57 AM

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.

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#7 BIG STU

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 10:13 PM

View Postdeejaid, on 08 January 2019 - 12:23 PM, said:

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.

View Postdeejaid, on 08 January 2019 - 01:03 PM, said:

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
Driver: Homna G1-X Homna stiff shaft
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Irons 3 thru PW 1982 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts hard stepped-- Yeah MacHogans or Bastardized Macs
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PW Hogan White Cameo 50* Hogan Apex Wedge
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#8 OrangeGravy

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 05:43 AM

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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