Learning 5 facts about Jennings compound bow is a must for the archery enthusiast. The first compound bow was invented by Holless Wilbur Allen, a hunter from Missouri, in 1966. Tom Jennings of the Jennings Archery Company worked with Allen to improve the bow's design. A compound bow has stiffer limbs than other bow designs, providing more energy efficiency and more accurate targeting.
- Tom Jennings was so impressed with the compound design, he decided the company would eventually only make compound bows. Jennings Archery was making recurve bows, which had less stiff limbs, prior to the invention of the compound bow. The name of the company was changed to Jennings Compound Bows in light of the new production direction.
- No other company but Jennings Archery was interested in the compound design. Allen couldn't find any company willing to reproduce the bow, so he made the bows himself. Eventually, he sent one of his bows to Tom Jennings, a technical editor of "Archery World" magazine at the time. Jennings tested the bow and published a favorable review in the publication in 1967, calling the design a "bow with compound interest." The name stuck.
- The compound did not receive a patent until 1969. Holles applied for the patent in 1966, but did not receive the final approval until 1969. Jennings took a license out under Allen's patent to manufacture the bows through his company.
- State laws banned the use of Jenning's compound bows for years. State laws and archery associations alike banned the use of mechanical devices, and the bow's levering system of pulleys and cables fell under the banned category. However, the bows could be used in shooting competitions, and the standard Jennings Compound Bow won multiple divisions in the 1967 National Bowhunters Flight Shoot.
- Jennings Compound Bows and the Allen Corporation legally tangled in 1983 over the rights to the bow. Ultimately, Jennings was taken over by the Bear Archery Company, but the business retained Tom Jennings as the chief designer.