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MARCH 2013 issue of
Rental Management

Garrett Metal Detectors: Metal detecting and military history
Garrett Metal Detectors: Metal detecting and military history

Moore mixes marketing career with writing books

Steve Moore, marketing communications manager for Garrett Metal Detectors, Garland, Texas, has written far more than the usual press releases and marketing copy. During his years at Garrett, he not only has written books on using metal detectors for treasure hunting, but he also has authored books on military history — 14 books in all.

“I’ve always been in advertising and marketing, but worked for the school paper back in college. It was interesting to come to Garrett, which had a book arm to the company. Mr. Garrett has always encouraged us to go out and communicate with the people who use the products, so we travel a lot,” Moore says.

Moore co-authors the seasonal company newsletter, The Garrett Searcher, comprised of 24 to 44 pages chock-full of articles, some written by the company’s founder, Charles Garrett, himself. Topics range from tips on relic hunting to success stories from users, along with photos and details on finds. Garrett’s son, Vaughan, vice president of the company, hosts a “Favorite Find of the Month” contest to win a Pro-Pointer and these finds are featured in the newsletter as well.

Garrett has three divisions: Hobby, Security and Countermine/ERW (Explosive Remnants of War). All three have grown substantially since Garrett, the founder, president and CEO, established the business in 1964 in his garage (see story on page 55). The hobby division finds a particular niche in the equipment rental market.

Moore says the metal detecting hobby, which has a large following, has grown in the past decade or two. The company has a long history of communicating with many of its customers and that includes book publishing. Garrett published the first edition of “Successful Coin Hunting” in 1974, which led to his creation of RAM Publishing. The growing popularity of treasure hunting, along with Moore’s writing experience, prompted him to write a few books on relic hunting, which were published by the company.

Garrett Metal Detectors has a large international presence, so the first step was writing a guide for the benefit of European customers and international detector dealers.

“They are not looking for 100- or 200-year-old coins. They are looking for 2,000-year-old artifacts,” Moore says. “So, we wrote a book about European metal detecting also, supported by the Garretts.” The guide, “European Metal Detecting Guide: Techniques, Tips and Treasures,” was published in 2009 and was followed by “Relic Quest: A Guide to Responsible Relic Recovery Techniques with Metal Detectors” in 2011.

The relic hunting book includes tips and techniques on how to be successful at relic hunting, including doing the proper research and what equipment works best when hunting on different types of terrains, Moore says.

“‘Relic Quest’ also includes more than 1,000 color photos of various items to help with identification of finds. This includes sample photo galleries of different Civil War bullets, military buttons and belt plates that can be found,” he says.

Garrett Metal Detectors has hosted hunts in various parts of Europe and a recent trip for Moore included Spain, France and Italy. “These occasional trips to Europe are vital to Garrett’s marketing for several reasons,” Moore says in the most recent Garrett Searcher newsletter. “We get the chance to meet with our dealers and distributors face to face to see what they need. We get to talk directly to the end users in the field to see what they want. All of this knowledge goes directly into evaluating our current products and into future planning.”

Moore also has taken up the hobby himself and is interested in the historical perspective of it. “I’ve found some Roman coins in Europe that are approximately 2,000 years old, so I consider those my oldest finds. One of my favorite American finds is an 1830 8-reale silver coin from the Republic of Mexico. It was found in Arkansas near an old frontier fort site,” he says.

Moore also writes books about various wars and battles, especially in Texas. Many of the books contain photos, which come from personal photo collections, the National Archives, the Texas archives or similar sources.

One of his books, “Last Stand of the Texas Cherokees: Chief Bowles and the 1839 Cherokee War in Texas,” combined his knowledge of metal detecting and his interest in history. The Cherokee battlefield was in East Texas, and Moore decided to use metal detectors to find some relics on the site.

“The interesting thing was, once we got out there, we couldn’t find anything on the property,” he says. After doing more research, he learned the actual battlefield might be on adjacent ground. After getting permission from the land owner, he and the other searchers drove to the new site.

“We got there and saw the hill, and thought, ‘This is it.’ We started turning up bullets, musket balls and buttons. I sent a couple items to experts. They gauged the caliber and confirmed the time period of the early 1800s. That was fun, proving where something actually happened,” he says.

The resulting book details the finds with photos and historical facts. Moore donated some of the artifacts to the local Cherokee tribal representatives. “One of the ladies was in tears when we gave them the case. We also gave a case to the museum in Waco, so we honored both sides of the battle,” he says.

Moore’s interest in military history developed early. “My dad served on a carrier long ago and, as a kid, I always looked at those slides. That led to a book I did with some former aviators, called ‘The Buzzard Brigade.’ They had a reunion group, but weren’t sure how to put it together, so I said I would help with that,” he says.

Moore originally collaborated with Stephen A. Austin State University professor Bob Gruebel and Confederate Air Force historian Bill Shinneman to write “The Buzzard Brigade: Torpedo Squadron Ten at War.” His second book, “Taming Texas,” was a biography of his great-great-great grandfather William Sadler, who was one of the first Texas Ranger captains in 1836, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, a Texas legislator and a leader during the Texas Indian Wars. Subsequent books include photo-filled tomes on World War II and Texas history.

When he was writing “The Buzzard Brigade” in the 1990s, he says the reunion group had upwards of 50 members. However, many have since passed. Time is what makes interviewing veterans harder to do now. “Their numbers are getting slim. Many of the pilots are 96, 98 years old. It’s amazing that they are still alive. I enjoy it. I have at least one more book in me, I think,” he says.

Turning metal detection into a business

A garage invention launches hobby and security products


Charles Garrett, a formal naval officer who worked on technology planted on the moon by Neil Armstrong, began building metal detectors in his garage in 1963. In 1964, he and his wife, Eleanor, went into business, introducing the dual searchcoil Hunter to the market as their first metal detector.

Business at Garrett Metal Detectors grew and, in 1968, Garrett set up his first hobby trade show in Southern California. By 1971, Garrett had improved the stability of his metal detectors by eliminating oscillator and searchcoil drift. The Zero Drift revolution put Garrett’s company to the forefront in metal detecting technology. He moved on to invent the first low-cost metal detector, The Mini Hunter, the company’s first transmitter-receiver metal detector. Garrett also began distributing the Gravity Trap Gold Pan.

In 1974, Garrett published “Successful Coin Hunting,” establishing both a coin hunting classic that would be updated several times, and a new publishing arm of the company. In 1978, with gold prices at an all-time high, Garrett received requests to open international dealerships. The first was opened in London. In 1979, Garrett established The International Treasure Hunting Society, sponsoring hunts around the world.

In 1980, the company published its first newsletter, which continues today, featuring treasure hunting stories, technique tutorials and personal articles. In 1982, Garrett taught the Utah Fish and Wildlife authorities how to find bullets in animals, which would lead to poachers. The seminar eventually led to the establishment of the Garrett Academy of Metal Detection in 1997.

In 1984, Garrett developed a walk-through metal detector for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, as a way to prevent the type of terrorist events that happened at the 1972 Games in Munich. The company also has provided security training and products for the Republican National Convention, the PanAm Games and the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

After being awarded the first U.S. patent for the use of microprocessors in metal detectors in 1982, Garrett introduced the first microprocessor-driven detector in 1990. That year, Garrett continued its work in security training with the U.S. armed forces
in Kuwait.

In 1992, Garrett provided security metal detector training for the Barcelona Olympic Games and introduced the first talking metal detector. During the 1990s, the company also introduced the graphic target imaging (GTI) metal detector with digital signal processing (DSP) and a new pinpoint, multi-way walk through metal detector. They also provided security at the 1996 and 1998 Olympic Games.

Over the past two decades, in addition to providing security at all the Olympic Games, Garrett has produced a number of new products in response to growing demand. In 2001, the company introduced the SuperWand hand-held metal detector and, the following year, supplied the wand to all U.S. airports. In 2003, Garrett introduced the PD 6500i walk-through metal detector with 33 distinct pinpoint zones including left, right, and center detection, and became the only U.S.-based manufacturer to meet Transportation Security Agency (TSA) guidelines for walk-through and hand-held metal detectors.

In 2004, the company introduced the Graphic Target Profiling (GTP) 1350 metal detector and the ACE series of low-cost metal detectors. In 2009, Garrett launched a new Countermine/ERW division and introduced the RECON-PRO AML (All Metal Locator) 1000. Garrett also provided security at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, for which Charles, Eleanor and Vaughan Garrett and Bob Podhrasky, vice president, served as early Olympic torch runners.

Most recently, Garrett released new hobby detectors for the ACE series, as the ACE 350 in America and as the EuroACE™ for its overseas version, and the new Super Scanner V security hand-held screening detector.

Garrett has continued its string of successful launches with the revamped Super Scanner® V hand-held metal detector and the CSI Pro™ evidence recovery ground search detector for law enforcement use. On the hobby side, Garrett’s most recent introductions include the Pro-Pointer, which the company says has become the world’s best-selling pinpointer for target recovery; the AT Pro™, an
all-terrain mid-price-range detector which is fully submersible to 10 ft.; and the AT Gold™, an all-terrain gold prospecting detector.

The company, based in Garland, Texas, joined the American Rental Association (ARA) in 1991 and has been an exhibitor at The Rental Show for 22 years.





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