8 – August Buermann Spurs

By Museum of Northwest Colorado

These scarce spurs are the best of the best for this early, and eventually the largest, American spur maker. They are further proof that artistry wasn’t lost on the utilitarian items of the Old West. Far from it.
Born in Germany in 1842, August Buermann eventually moved to the US and enlisted in time for the Civil War. After the war ended in 1865 he began working for a saddle manufacturing company in Newark, New Jersey. Within a couple years he had already bought out his employer and renamed it Buermann Manufacturing Co. Besides being one of the earliest American spur makers, Buermann went on to become the largest.
Buermann Manufacturing eventually employed more than 100 people in various locations throughout the US – especially in the West to keep pulse of new styles and demands. They had a catalogue of 440 types of spurs and nearly 500 bit designs. His company also produced stirrups, buckles, conchos and various other decorative items that adorned the American cowboy. Though his company was known for being the first to mass produce bits and spurs, he also maintained a couple lines of hand crafted items for customers that demanded the very best. Of those specialty lines, the magnificent spurs pictured here are the very top of them all – the Roosevelt spurs (circa 1880). Today they are very rare – especially in original and exceptional condition. They are part of the museum’s extensive spur collection housed in our renowned Cowboy & Gunfighter exhibit.
Buermann handed over the company to his son in 1896 and it eventually sold to their longtime competitor, North & Judd, in 1926.