United Bowmen of Philadelphia



Surrey Bowmen archery club History—Annual mail match held annually since 1939


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United Bowman's Bowl, c. 1830, silver, made by Thomas Fletcher, Philadelphia (1787-1866), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection at the Atwater Kent Museum, deposited by the United Bowmen of Philadelphia. The United Bowmen of Philadelphia, founded in 1828 by Titian Ramsey Peale, son of renowned artist Charles Willson Peale, was the first archery club in the United States and was similar to men's clubs for tennis and cricket. Members included famed architect John Haviland, portrait artist Thomas Sully, and Baldwin Locomotive Works founder Matthew W. Baldwin. Before the beginning of the second season Franklin Peale, brother of Titian and a founder, described the equipment the club owned: "an outfit of the best quality, which consisted of a lemonwood bow, and spare strings, a dozen arrows contained in a quiver, a belt, pouch, grease-box, and tassel, a splendid pair of targets, and, finally, Waring's Treatise on Archery."

A few years after the club was founded, it acquired this superb silver punch bowl of Georgian design by Thomas Fletcher of Philadelphia. The bowl represented first prize, and the bowman who won it for the year was obliged to ornament it with a silver decoration, 23 of which are appended to its rim. It is believed to be the oldest sporting challenge bowl in the United States.




The first American archery organization was the United Bowmen of Philadelphia, founded in 1828. In the early days the sport was, as in England, a popular upper- and middle-class recreation. In the 1870s many archery clubs sprang up, and in 1879 eight of them formed the National Archery Association of the United States. In 1939 the National Field Archery Association of the United States was...

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E-mail: recorder@unitedbowmenofphiladelphia.com


USA Archery (USAA)



The art of shooting with the longbow

 By United Bowmen of Philadelphia