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Ward Brothers Duck Decoys

Once barbers by trade, the Ward Brothers became world-renowned decoy carvers in the 20th century, creating thousands of pieces in their Chrisfield, Maryland workshop. Known as avid hunters and sportsmen, it’s said their close observations of birds helped make their decoys very realistic.

In 1920, brothers Lem and Steve Ward began wood carving in between customer visits at their barber shops, selling pieces for around $1 each. During the Depression, people hunted more to feed their families, subsequently increasing demand for the decoys. Steve specialized in carving while Lem concentrated on painting. By the end of the '50s, the two stopped cutting hair and subsequently worked full time making decoys. During the same time period, plastic decoys entered... Read more

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