Made by the Bridgeport Gun Implement Company of Bridegport, Connecticut, this putter is from the Fred X Fry collection and bears his inventory label on the shaft. The 34" shaft, stamped "BGI," and sheepskin grip are original to the club. The head is clean with the exception of two small dents in the wood on the underside of the heel. There is also a model number stamped on the shaft, but the second number in the model number is covered by Fry's label. It is likely to be a model 95 or 96. Both were for a splice neck putter which appears to be either very similar or the same clubs with different inventory numbers for different catalogs, depending on the year. BGI was operating between 1897 and 1904. Most of the BGI putters that remain are either brass or iron putting cleeks.
As mentioned, this club is from the Fred X. Fry collection. Fry, the dean of American
collectors, was busy building his
collection forty years before the Golf Collectors Society (now The Golf
Heritage Society) was formed in 1970. Collecting with
great passion, Fry amassed approximately 450 clubs, mostly putters. He
cataloged, displayed, and cherished his treasures. A copy of Fry's
inventory page is included with this lot. A number of national
magazines ran articles about his putter collection between 1936 and
1963. For more on Fry and to view some of the articles, Click Here.