Lard shafts are exceptionally visual collectibles with hundreds of
holes hand drilled in a six sided steel shaft. Because they were
one of the earliest steel shafts commercially produced, Lard-shafted
clubs are also quite historic. Spalding sold these clubs 8 years
before the USGA ruled that steel shafts conformed to the rules of golf.
Complete with its original leather wrap grip, this 37 1/2" mashie is a solid example in all respects.
The perforated shaft was covered under two patents issued in 1916
to Allan Lard, but the back of the head is marked with January 12, 1914, and August 20, 1915, patent dates. The 1915 patent date refers to Lard's first patent, which was for a steel shaft made from four inverted "U"-shaped lengthwise ribs attached to a small tubular steel core. The 1914 patent date has nothing to do with Lard. Lard's perforated shaft irons were covered under his second US patent which was issued August 29, 1916. However, Lard's third US patent, dated March 6, 1917 provides the only patent illustration that matches the shaft as produced. But rather than get into great detail regarding the shaft, this 3rd patent describes how to attach a larger perforated handle to the perforated shaft.
Spalding offered these clubs in its 1918 and 1919 catalogs.
Spalding promoted Lard's metal shafts as a substitute for the best
hickory shafts, which were in short supply. Drilling out the metal to
create the hundreds of holes in the shaft was necessary to bring the
shaft to a decent
usable weight. Ironically, a shortage of
steel during World War 1 interrupted the production of Lard's steel
TCA2 Vol 2, p 658-659