Trumark Slingshot / Catapult History
Howard Ellenburg - Catapult Inventor
As seen on THE HISTORY CHANNEL the first advanced slingshot
COLUMBUS, NEBRASKA USA: Shown above is the first wrist-braced slingshot / catapult that was invented by Howard Ellenburg and his sons in the winter of 1953. Using a few simple tools, Trumark's first prototype slingshot was bent into shape on the bumper of a 1946 Willy's Jeep. A dog-collar was used to strap the brace to the wrist. • This proved to be successful. The next version eliminated the collar and incorporated a continuous metal brace that started at the bottom of the hand and wrapped (locked) over the top of the wrist. A recoil pad was added to protect the shooter's wrist.

This 2nd version was Trumark’s first commercial model and was called Howard’s Wrist-Locker Slingshot. The original production line was set up in an old abandoned beer hall in the little town of Duncan, Nebraska. The first company to distribute “Howard’s Wrist-Lockers,” the first wrist-braced slingshot, was the Dura-Pak Company located in Sioux City, Iowa.
The prototype slingshot / catapult (the dog-collar model, in the red circle) was originally invented to shoot snowballs that would penetrate the "enemy’s" (neighboorhood kids’) snowforts that kept springing up across the street! Since the powerbands had to be strong enough to hurl a snowball through a big slingshot fork, the wristbrace was created in order to withstand the heavier draw of the bands. To increase the power even more, the square frame was soon changed to a round rod so that surgical tubing could be tried as powerbands.

At the time, Chinese finger-trap tubes (nick-named “handcuffs”) were popular at the local carnivals, and the concept behind the traps worked successfully as the way to attach tubing to the slingshot / catapult without strings or glue! Attaching high-powered latex tubing to forks with PRONGS bent backwords towards the shooter was a breakthrough in slingshot technology and also lowered the costs of production. At the same time, Trumark invented the “tube-through-the-hole method” for tieing the pouch to the tubing. This eliminated the old way of using string to attach the bands to the pouch and further improved the "look" and reliability of the slingshot / catapult.

To this day most of the slingshots / catapults manufactured around the world are based on the ideas pioneered by Trumark in the early fifties. Although the original models worked well as wintertime “fort busters”, Trumark “evolved” the slingshot / catapult into models that could be sold throughout the year. Trumark has manufactured millions of slingshots over the last 50 years, and continues to lead the way in slingshot design and development...see THE-BAT ® !
Catapult history of Trumark Slingshots
The Classic Sling Shot - Since 1953
Trumark Slingshots are made in the USA
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