Smoke Signals

Jul/Aug 2012  

Staff Writer

Sharing correspondence we receive from time to time.





"Research & field trials in the manner of our forefathers,

before production".


On Sun, 08 October 2009, Dave wrote:


Hey finally found you again, lost your address, then went to the web.

How about you or Concho let us ignorant pilgrims know what this outfit is all

about 'HRD'.

Dave K.......




I would like to inform everyone that the website is still up to provide some information on collections of our forefathers. As for the actual operation it closed its doors (office) in 2006 with James Rubinfine's failing health. This may be causing some confusion with the site still visible. I get inquiries several times a year asking about products we had and are no longer available.

"HRD" HISTORICAL RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT like the statement says "Research & field trials in the manner of our forefathers, before production" is just that. After good documentation with research on a given item has been completed, a sample may be made and worked with (field tested) to see if that item is worthy of being reproduced and made available to the public, then researched to see how marketable that item is (will it sell). HRD would produce models, schematics (blue prints) and documentation of the item to those that produce such things with like quality and offered to a marketing group to whole-sale that item.

Sounds like a lot for making something period correct, but that is how this sport has grown with the dedicated reenactor, historian and history buff. Those that want correct equipage to experience the chosen time frame that they were interested in.

We had some good folks involved in the HRD;

  • Betty Morris "Historical Society" (Retired) St. Louis, MO. [Deceased] 2007

  • James Rubinfine "An Earlier Time" magazine (Retired) - New England states. [Deceased] 2006

  • William Eaton "The Colonial Society" magazine (Retired) Williamsburg, VA. [Deceased] 2005

  • Buck Conner "Clark & Sons Mercantile (Retired) Colorado.

  • Concho Smith from the "Pennsylvania Historical Society" (Retired) [Deceased] 2001

  • Ben "Captain Hook" Thompson "African Trade Inc", "Buckhorn Rendezvous" (Retired) Colorado. [Deceased] 2009

there were several others friends of Concho's that I had not had the pleasure of meeting.

We were all experienced in a number of different areas of living history, museums, historical societies, etc., we were given a subject to investigate, research, document and then report our findings to HRD, it was found the time doesn't warrant the pay (more of a love of doing research and just learning about our forefather's and what life was like living then).

Items that went through the research and were manufactured in quantity:

  • HBC flags

  • NWC flags

  • 18th Century Men's Clothing (breeches, long pants, shirts, watch coats, weskits, frocks, stockings, hats and caps).

  • 18th Century Eyeglasses ranging from 1740 to 1800 styles.

HRD had a dozen items scheduled but canceled when James shut everything down. You would have liked the trade guns, knives, and small accourtrements that were carried in the day.

HISTORICAL RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT was a great idea for the buyer as well as the supplier knowing the item was correct in every way possible before produced.

I would do it again with a new team if the chance was available?

Damn Straight...

Thank you for asking and please spread the word that HRD is no longer open.

Buck Conner



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