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Audio Recording Bob Stewart, Deer Lodge, Montana, interview about saddle making

Bob Stewart -- saddlemaker; Montana State Prison

About this Item


  • Bob Stewart, Deer Lodge, Montana, interview about saddle making


  • Toelken, Barre, 1935- (Collector)
  • Stewart, Bob (Interviewee)

Created / Published

  • Deer Lodge, Montana, August 28, 1979


  • -  Saddlery
  • -  Western saddles
  • -  Leatherwork
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  Interviews
  • -  Sound recordings
  • -  United States -- Montana -- Deer Lodge


  • Ethnography
  • Field recordings
  • Interviews
  • Sound recordings


  • -  Index data: Interview with saddlemaker Bob Stewart at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge MT, recording made as Stewart showed the visitors his work: Stewart shows beginning stages of saddle, the basic tree, had been ordered from Vernal, Utah; begins "skiving" off edges of thick seat piece; strops the cutting blade; discusses the old 1870 saddle from which he cut a piece from for the strop; Stewart has been making saddles for 20 years now; about his background, had been in the Navy and this led to his work in crafts; did saddlemaking at Toomey's Shoe & Saddle Shop in Lewistown MT; every line of work has its "Rembrandt"; about putting his name and ID on saddles (shown in photos, for example at call number: AFC 1981/005: 84594); how he draws flower design on leather freehand without using paper pattern; about how he once went to Texas, tried to get into other things there, but finally went back to Lewistown; the basic question with regard to saddles is "what kind of horse?"; about the different kinds of saddle rigging, e.g., 3/4 rig, 7/8 rig, et; about the placement and slant of rings for stirrups; about the time involved in making saddles; shows some pieces of thinner leather he's working on; at about 21 minutes elapsed time, a prison staff member, Bert Solle, looks in and asks Stewart and the fieldwork visitors what we want to do for lunch; Stewart explains how he encourages other convicts' conservation of small pieces of leather by making a wreath-like picture frame of scrap; about pictures he has at home of his trophy saddles; about making saddles in prison; about his love of saddlemaking and creativity; fieldworker Barre Toelken asks about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1976, and Stewart says he was invited but was in prison; the group goes outside and Stewart shows a saddle he made last year for Randy Peterson, a ranch supervisor; about rawhide-making and use, braiding, knot work; still discussing Randy's saddle; about teaching and Stewart's love of it.


  • 7-inch reel

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Call number: AFC 1981/005: AFS 20465
  • MBRS shelflist: RXA 0951
  • Field project identifier: MT9-BT-R8

Source Collection

  • Montana Folklife Survey collection (AFC 1981/005)


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that some of the materials in this collection are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions, and are therefore free to use or reuse. For example, the fieldwork in this collection is in the public domain in the United States.

However, the Library has obtained permission for the use of other materials, and presents additional materials for educational and research purposes in accordance with fair use under United States copyright law. For example, some of the recordings contain copyrighted music, and not all of the performers and other individuals who were recorded signed releases for public use of their work.

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Credit line: Montana Folklife Survey collection (AFC 1981/005), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Toelken, Barre, and Bob Stewart. Bob Stewart, Deer Lodge, Montana, interview about saddle making. Deer Lodge, Montana, 1979. Audio.

APA citation style:

Toelken, B. & Stewart, B. (1979) Bob Stewart, Deer Lodge, Montana, interview about saddle making. Deer Lodge, Montana. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Toelken, Barre, and Bob Stewart. Bob Stewart, Deer Lodge, Montana, interview about saddle making. Deer Lodge, Montana, 1979. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.