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Field Brothers - Edwin George Field

Birth place or City of origin: Santa Barbara
State of origin: CA
Last known City:
Last known State: CA
Start/Birth date: 1920
Death/End date: 2012

The Field Family has produced spurs for 5 generations in Santa Barbara starting around 1870 when Edwin Field (1820-1900) move to California from Connecticut. Edwin had two sons, John Chester Field (1862-1954) and Frank Field (1865-1942) who worked in the family shop and produced bits and spurs. John Chester has two sons and a daughter, Edwin Donald Field (1896-1983), F. Frank Field (1904-1981), and Marguerite J. Field Thornburgh (1899-1985) who was one of the few woman known to have ever produced bits and spurs. F. Frank marked his work “F.F.”, his two siblings did not mark theirs. Edwin Donald had two sons who also worked in the family shop, Edwin George Field (1920-2012) and Walter Eugene Field (b. 1922). The two brothers worked together and marked their pieces “Field Bros.” from 1945-1948. When working for himself, Edwin George marked pieces as “E.G. Field”. The Field family had a distinctive style and frequently used silver wire inlay in spurs and copper rollers on the braces of bits. Ed was a renowned, 4th generation bit maker who lived in Paradise, near Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County and learned his craft from his grandfather, John Field. John learned from his father (Ed’s great-grandfather,) John Field, who came out west with John C. Fremont’s California expedition, then returned to Connecticut, pack up his tools & gear, ultimately returning to Calaveras and then to Santa Barbara. Ed’s father (Edwin Donald) made spurs inlaid with silver and sold his products through Jedlicka’s Saddlery in Santa Barbara. Ed’s aunt, Rita Thornburg, made bits while putting her sons through college. Ed learned his trade while a grammar and high school student and also worked on ranches and for the US Forest Service



The Field family may have originated in Connecticut but with 5 generations of Californians they are about as native as the Spanish Vaqueros. John C Field was born in Downieville, CA in 1850 and moved to Santa Barbara when he was 9 years old predating even Al Loomis in Ventura County.

His father Edwin learned the fine art of engraving (according to his grandson Edwin G) from Tiffany. John C, with his sister Rita and brother Frank carried on the family tradition of unique hand made bits and spurs passing the torch to John’s sons Edwin D, and Frank F Field. Edwin D passed on the torch to 2 of his sons Edwin G and Walter Field. About 1934 the three of them began making bits and spurs for a diversified clientele in the Santa Barbara vicinity. Their bits in particular, were prized by the many ranchers in the County, and the Field Brothers would custom-make the most elaborate or basic style to a horseman's specifications and needs. Field's engraving is quite distinctive and unlike any other, easily recognizable by its tiny 'circle' patterns and often accompanied on bits with stamped floral conchos.

Family Tree, Eldest generation to present: Edwin - John C (with Sister Rita and Brother Frank) - John C’s sons: Edwin D and Frank F - Edwin D’s sons (Edwin G and Walter)

Information Courtesy of Diana Field Steele

 

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