It's no secret that the game of darts has been around for a very long time, in some form or another. Recently, I've taken notice to some dart gear from days gone by entering the market on auction sites like eBay or CraigsList.
The latest "vintage" dart I found struck me as being quite unique. The ad referred to them as being manufactured by Widdy. I'm not certain about that being true.
I do know that in looking at the darts, with the lead weight in the nose being inserted the way it is - as opposed to being attached to the tip - I'm reminded of the Vogelpiks made by VanHoutteghem brothers.
They're certainly "vintage" darts. Widdy darts have rounded feathers, and they dont' feature that "natural" feather color. They have a different weighting system completely and thicker barrels as well. Actually, there isn't a single thing about a modern Widdy that resembles the darts in the photo.
The only other "pik" style darts I've seen that are not VanHoutteghem products are the C & L Woodworking darts I spied online once. They are described as being "Belgium type" darts.
Widdy Wood Boards
It was a sad day when Widdy announced that they wouldn't be putting out wooden dartboards anymore. I'm still not happy about it. But, I guess that means that the old review of Widdy Wood Dartboards now belongs in the Vintage section of the site.
Widdy cabinets are probably not completely off of the market, yet. But they manufacture them so rarely, and sporadically that if you find yourself with a fist full of cash, and in search of one of those classic "Green Cabinets" made by Widdy - I expect you'll be out of luck.
For that reason, I've moved my review of of Widdy Dart Cabinets into the Vintage section of the site.
This is one of the items that disappeared before my eyes. At one time, I had Darto Darts listed for sale here on the website. They were making them up until probably 2010, 2011?
But, they ran into an issue with the company that supplied some of their parts and decided to just turn their attention to making boards and cabinets. As a result, I've moved the darts information I have about Darto Darts into the "Vintage" section.
Dart Shark is a brand of dartboard that was manufactured by the now defunct Wood Specialty Company.
Dart Equipment Company
The Dart Equipment Company is also known as "Deco". I have several pictures of vintage Deco darts and boards on their web page.
I ended up gathering so many pictures of Champion Darts, from the haecker Industries Company out of Philadlphia, that I put them all on their own page - Champion Darts.
Munro Wooden Darts
Here are a couple of pictures of some darts I found online. The company name on the box is "Munro" although I've never heard of them.
If anyone has any information on them, feel free to send an email my way!
Indian Archery and Toy Company
These darts I do have some information on. In 1961 the Indian Archery and Toy Corp. shortened its name to Indian Archery Corp. Judging from the name on the box, it looks like this particular set of darts was made in the 50's or earlier.
Also judging from the "#2" stamped on the box, and the pictures, these seem to be the larger No. 2 darts that are used in dartball.
Apex Pheasant Feather Darts
One of the items I'm seeing for sale are what the sellers are referring to as pheasant feather darts.
These darts are No.2 Apex creations that have an attractive "natural" feather coloring. They are still cropped at the tail section in the traditional Apex manner.
I'm not sure when these darts were manufactured, but some of the sellers claim they come from the time right after WWII. It's hard to hold on to a set of American Darts for fifty years without ruffling some feathers, so many of the darts I'm seeing offered are no longer in good shape. Still, in looking at the lots some darts have retained their form, and they certainly do have a nostalgic appeal, if not a collector value to them.
To go along with the darts from yesteryear, Apex also has a set of specialty dart boards as well.
Even More Vintage Darts
I recently picked up a few sets of "Marksman" darts, and since this page is getting kindof crowded I decided to add a page dedicated to Marksman Darts. It includes photos and a full description of these wood barrelled, feather-flighted darts.
I also have a set of darts from the "Innovation Products" company out of Chicago. They are certainly different from most wooden darts. for some picts and a full description of these vintage darts, visit the Innovation's V Dart page.Other dart companies that had produced or marketed American style darts include:
Here's a picture I found on the net of a wooden dart made by Spalding. I don't know if it's the same popular sporting goods manufactuer that makes golf balls, basketballs, etc.
You can see that the way they use the lead weight in the dart is completely different than most other types of darts. The shaft is thicker, and then tapers down significantly. The flights are feathers, but they have a rounded shape that doesn't resemble any of the modern darts.
The points are basically needles that come out of the nose of the dart, and aren't part of the lead weight system. They're an interesting version of a wood/feather American Style dart.
Sports R Fun
Another set of darts I found were packaged in the plastic bubble/cardboard backing style. I can easily see these hanging ona retail shelf in either a hobby store or a sporting goods store.
They are labelled with the generic phrase "Sports R Fun", and I doubt that there is a Sports R Fun dart manufacturing outfit somewhere. I'm thinking that they were made somewhere and are being repackaged.
Either way, the darts are the thicker barreled style with a lead weight that wraps around the dart. This is different than modern darts where the lead weight is in the nose of the dart, with the needle sticking out from it.
If you take a close look at the darts on the right, you can see the point sticking out of the wooden tip of the dart.
You might also notice that these darts were made and packaged at a time when you could buy three tournament darts for a grand total of 69¢.
Vintage Dart Boards
I've been collecting vintage darts, but only really "watching" the vintage dartbaord activity. There ARE vintage dartboard collectors out there. And I've recently stumbled upon pictures of one fellow's collection that was amazing. I'm telling you that if you are interested in vintage wooden or American dartboards, check out what Mark Brindza has hanging on his walls!
The board on the right was described as a cork board bound by an outer ring of metal. The obvious point values for the different rings make the scoring method used on this board self explanatory.
The darts pictured came with the board, and are probably the common darts of that era. This board really sets up a game of "cork, or close to it" which is something that can't be shot easily on an American (or a pub board, for that matter) with it's small round center target, and the surrounding, expanding pie shaped areas.
It's also an example of a dart board that lacks the wires you'd find in modern boards that help clearly delineate between the different target areas.
Dart boards as old, and unique, as that really have a "one of a kind" aura about them. But, there are other boards that offer unique dart play, but are still in supply (although it is rather short supply).
The following boards have had their manufacturing run. There are a very few left for sale, and there are no plans to make any more. Since they are of limited supply, and aren't new, I would think of these as potential collector's items.Still Available . . .
Some of these boards are still being stocked by different retailers, so you can buy them. But, they are no longer being produced with no plans for further production, so I thought I'd list them here.
Card Dart Board
The "Card Dart Board" has a target area for evey card in the deck, including a single joker area. Having this many targets, and so accomodatingly named, leaves dozens and dozens of gaming possibilities open. If there's a card game you can think of, you can probably translate it into a dart game on this board.
If you have a deck of cards to go along with this board, you've probably doubled the possiblities. Simply draw a card, and hit the corresponding target. Or draw a hand of 5 or 7 cards, first to kill his hand by hitting the targets wins. But, these boards will soon be a thing of the past.
Golf is a game that closely mimics darts in at least one way. If you find yourself in a jam, you're the one that put yourself there. No one was playing defense against you.
This dart board is designed around the game of golf, and comes with a set of scoring rules that takes things like the "hazards" on the board into account. This is another Apex creation that is no longer being produced, so once these boards have been used, this particular version of the game of darts will fade into history.
Apex Alternative Baseball Board
This board is only going to lead to a lot of confusion. I found it available online, but I think that production on this series has been over for some time.
The targets on the board correspond with the game of Baseball, and I'm sure the gameplay (if not includded with the bard) can be discerned from the available target areas. Some of the targets include a "strike" area, and places for each of the possible hits in the game surrounded by "out" areas.
In case anyone has surfed here and is not familiar with the traditional American Dart game of Baseball, it is not played on this specialty board. Here are the rules to the popular version of Baseball Darts.
This is another specialty wooden dart board. I hope that the instructions for gameplay are included with the board.
The target areas are the different pins in a bowling set-up. The only things I can think of are to get awarded for the number of pins by the number in the target where your dart lands (which looks to be a game that loses it's fun pretty quickly).
Or, you can shoot the "head pin" at the bottom and then be allowed to continue shooting darts at targets that are connected, and at a higher level. So for example, if your first dart hits the you'll get 2 darts for aiming at the 5 or 6. If you hit the five, you'd get two darts for aiming at the 1 and 2.
That's the fun of darts though, you can make up games.
The Coca Cola Board
This board appeared in an ad at an online auction site a while ago. It certainly is an American Style board, but it also looks like it's been put out as a promotional device. That's probably not a bad idea, to be honest.
It also looks to be a cork board, so I'm not sure how that would affect the costs of making it, but it sure seems like the lifespan of the piece would be pretty limited. I guess if was an ad piece though, there's a chance that it just doesn't matter how long it will hold up. It probably won't be played heavily (as in tavern dartboard heavy) anyway.
Here are some picts of Coca Cola darts. You'll notice that the darts don't have a lead wight in the nosecone. In fact, it doesn't appear as if they're weighted at all. So, they might fly in an awkward manner.
They do however, come titled as "Streamlined Darts". They have that in common with the Milton Bradley darts.
Old Apex Board
Here's a pict of a very old Apex board. As you can see, there are only two scoring sections per inning. There is also a close up of the board, so you can see the wires and the fasteners involved.
English Style Wood Board
This board is pretty unique. It looks to be made the same way you make an American board, except the targeting on it resembles the Engligh dartboards with the "trips" ring inside of the doubles, instead of around the outer edge. There is also a shot of the back of it, which has a board for playing a "baseball" type game.
Vintage 40's Dartboard
This appears to be the more familiar basswood construction. And if you look closely, you can see some additional scoring areas that are set up in the corners of the board. Who knows what roles they play, in what games. Those areas have lost their place on the "modern" boards.
Here's a copy of the flip-side of the board, with a baseball theme . . .