Simon was born in London, England. On the death of his father in 1968, his mother emigrated to South Africa, where he was raised. He has had an un-ordinary life with four careers in four countries. He has worked as a detective in the South African Narcotics Bureau; a rough-neck on the North Sea oil fields; a scuba diving instructor in the Cayman Islands and South Africa. He now lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife where they are raising their two children. Simon currently lives a quieter life now working in Private Asset Management.
Simon is a member of the Company of Military Historians and past serving member of Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Historical Arms Association. He is a contributor to North South Trader Civil War magazine and has also been a guest on "The Elizabeth Stewart Radio Show". He also assists museums/historical associations with research of American swords.
"Better to do something imperfectly, than to do nothing flawlessly." ~ Robert H. Schuller
(This website is a work in progress)
This site is dedicated to historical collectors everywhere and their families who tolerate them!
This site is an extension of my passion. As collectors we have pieces that we acquire, research to our satiation, and move on. Then there are those pieces we buy and want to be buried with! Each caretaker adds a piece of knowledge that helps to preserve history. Each collector coverts a different sword. It is my hope that I can at some point facilitate this transition to the benefit of all collectors of the American sword.
Private collections hold many historical military pieces. As such, these owners have taken on the responsibility of preserving the items for future generations. My belief is that these historical items should be displayed to the public and not hidden in private rooms from the world.
All information on this site is owed to 1) The many experienced collectors who continuously help me; namely, Don Furr, Kevin Hoffmann, Ron Maness, John Thillman, Jim Brown, Jim McCoy, and my friend Kenny in Washington State. They are wonderful people and extremely knowledgeable collectors who generously educate me over the phone and/or in person; 2) personal experience; and 3) the authors of books listed below (which I have spent many a pleasurable hour digesting):
The American Sword by Harold Peterson
Civil War Army Swords by John Thillman
Civil War Cavalry & Artillery Sabers by John Thillman
American Swords & Sword Makers Marks by Clegg Donald Furr
Swords of Glory (E-Book) by Kevin Hoffman
American Swords From The Phillip Medicus Collection by Stuart C. Mowbray
American Sword Makers Volume I by Richard H. Bezdek
American Sword Makers Volume II by Richard H. Bezdek
Swords of the American Civil War by Richard H. Bezdek
The American Eagle Pommel Sword: The Early Years I by E. Andrew Mowbray
The American Eagle Pommel Sword: The Early Years II by E. Andrew Mowbray
The Ames Sword Company 1829-1935 by John D. Hamilton
Collector's Guide to Ames U.S. Contract Military Edged Weapons 1832-1906 by Ron G. Hickox
Historic American Swords. Colonial, U.S. Military, Confederate, Fraternal by Howard R. Crouch
Silver Mounted Swords: The Lattimer Collection by Daniel D. Hartzler
The Civil War Collector's Guide Book 12th Edition by North South Trader
Inscribed Union Swords 1861-1865 by David V. Stroud
There maybe errors and omissions in my information. I welcome your corrections. Please notify me, and I will make adjustments. This site will be ever evolving as my collection changes and/or as I add more swords. So, please check back from time to time to see what has changed.
All of the Civil War pictures, envelopes, and drawings on this site are from the Library of Congress and have no known publication restrictions. All of the pictures of the swords have been taken by me, unless otherwise stated.