Thomas & Thomas celebrates half a century milestone
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Thomas & Thomas is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – and to mark the occasion the company will be displaying a commemorative bamboo rod at the IFTD show in Denver in October.
The rod will be available for consumer purchase shortly after the show, along with anniversary T-shirts, hats and other merchandise.
T&T was founded in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1969 by Tom Dorsey and Tom Maxwell. Working in a small workshop on the banks of a limestone stream, they eschewed the mass-production route, adhering instead to traditional, hand-crafted products of heirloom quality.
The pair relocated the bamboo operation to Turner Falls, Massachusetts, in 1974 and, while they had rejected fiberglass in the 60s, they began making graphite rods in 1977.
Dorsey sold the company in the 80s (Maxwell having left a decade earlier) and a cycle of ups and downs followed. It moved across the Connecticut River to Greenfield, Massachusetts, in 2001 but floundered during the financial crash of 2007 before being rescued by South African businessman and angler, Neville Orsmond, in 2014.
Orsmond has worked with Dorsey to rebuild the brand, winning the IFTD best saltwater fly rod award last year with the four-piece Zone 9’, 9wt model. Bamboo remains a strong part of the company’s product line to this day with the Sextant saltwater range.
“The company’s history is a reminder that relentless innovation and uncompromising performance in pursuit of perfection is always a worthwhile goal,” said Orsmond. “We can’t wait to celebrate the next 50 years.”