Garrett History

1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1950-1959
1950
Charles Garrett enlists in the U.S. Navy and attends a 6-month Electrician’s Mate School, which begins his formal education in electronics. He quickly advances to the rank of Electrician Mate 2nd Class Petty Officer and is placed in charge of the 14-man electrical department on board the USS Bottineau (APA 235), an attack troop transport, during the Korean War
Charles Garrett in the U.S. Navy
1955

After his service in the Navy, Charles Garrett marries Eleanor Smith of Pennington, Texas. Eleanor is an elementary school teacher with the Nederland, Texas, school system. Garrett enrolls at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and begins working towards his Bachelors of Science degree in electrical engineering.

Lamar University
1959

Following Charles’ graduation from Lamar University, the family moves to Dallas, Texas, where Garrett begins working for Texas Instruments. He becomes an integral part of the company’s Space and Electronics division and helps design the solid-state amplifiers and power supplies for a data encoder which is used in the Mars-bound Mariner II spacecraft. He also designs the electronic radar scanning templates and controls for the F111 aircraft.

1960-1969
1962

The Garretts move to the Garland, Texas, area where Eleanor continues her school teaching career and Charles accepts a position as Project Engineer with the Geotechnical Corporation. He becomes heavily involved in several earth science related projects. He helps develop advanced seismograph circuitry that is planted on the moon by Neil Armstrong in 1969 to detect moon quakes and other seismic disturbances. Garrett develops several other earth science related devices.

1962 Charles Garrett Family
1963

Charles Garrett rents commercial metal detectors and finds them unsatisfactory. He begins work in the garage of his Garland home to design, develop and build better ground search metal detectors.

1963 Garrett’s home
1964

Eleanor and Charles Garrett establish their business April 1, 1964.

Garrett introduces the dual searchcoil Hunter, his first metal detector, to the market (retail price $145.00).

1964 Charles Garrett family
1967

By 1967, Garrett competes with more than 35 companies who have a standing history of manufacturing and selling metal detectors. He recognizes early that his detectors must offer better searching capabilities than those available from his competitors.

1968

Garrett continues to improve his metal detectors by traveling with his family to field test his inventions.

Charles Garrett

Garrett sets up his first hobby trade show booth at the Prospector’s Club of Southern California, which captures the attention of the best known treasure hunting talent in the country.

Garrett establishes the first distributor outlet, “Bowen’s Hideout,” a store owned by Harry and Lucille Bowen, in Spokane, Washington. Realizing the tremendous value of a distributor network, Garrett begins placing ads to set up dealerships across the country.

Garrett becomes the first manufacturer to eliminate oscillator drift. He also designs and patents his revolutionary, independently-operated searchcoils which greatly improve treasure hunting efficiency.

Garrett is also the first to overcome searchcoil drift by inventing (and patenting) a special coaxial searchcoil winding technique.

These discoveries launch Garrett to the forefront of the industry. Many of his competitors close their doors or later acquiesce that the Zero Drift Revolution, as it is now called, changed the metal detection industry forever.

Charles Garrett

1970-1979
1971

The Zero Drift Revolution sparks a movement towards an industry-wide effort to create technology that competes on the same level as Garrett’s new detectors.

Garrett Metal Detectors 1971

Garrett Metal Detectors moves into a new 15,000 square foot facility and begins increasing production of its more sophisticated products.

Garrett introduces the first low cost metal detector - The Mini Hunter.

1973

Garrett introduces its first TR (Transmitter-Receiver) metal detector.

1974

The Gravity Trap Gold Pan is designed and patented by Roy Lagal of Lewiston, Idaho. Garrett begins worldwide distribution of this pan, which continues to be the world’s most popular gold pan.

Gold Pans

Charles Garrett publishes his first book, Successful Coin Hunting, and RAM Publishing is born.

Ram Books
1975

Garrett designs his first push button retuning circuit.

The editor of a national treasure hunting publication, The Association, contacts Garrett and offers to sell his detectors and gold panning products. He encourages Garrett to write a series of articles about his adventures, metal detection designs, hunting tips and advanced electronics precious metals locating technology.

1976

Garrett's engineering team, with Bob Podhrasky as chief engineer, begins rapid expansion into the Very Low Frequency (VLF)/TR ground mineral cancellation discrimination instruments. Garrett coins the term VLF.

1977

Garrett introduces the original GroundHog VLF/TR prospecting and general purpose detector.

1978

As gold prices soar, treasure hunters clamor for Garrett’s detectors in the United States and internationally. Garrett receives requests to establish international dealerships. A treasure hunter based in London opens the first dealership outside the United States. Peter Bridge opens the first Australian dealership. By the mid-1980s Garrett Metal Detectors becomes one of the largest metal detector manufacturers with over 1,800 distributors worldwide.

Garrett introduces the Sea Hunter, an underwater pulse induction metal detector.

1979

Garrett establishes The International Treasure Hunting Society, formed to bring treasure hunters together. This society soon sponsors the largest international treasure hunt ever conducted.

The five-day treasure hunt takes place at the 120-acre Trader’s Village Market located in suburban Dallas. Over 2,000 treasure hunters attend and over $100,000 in prizes including a pick-up truck, are given away. Hundreds of ardent admirers visit Garrett’s factory in Garland that year.

1980-1989
1980

A free newsletter is published, which is distributed throughout the treasure hunting world. Garrett’s article series, which focuses on his treasure hunting successes as well as personal search and recover techniques, greatly increases interest in Garrett detectors. He continues writing for the metal detecting and electronic gold prospecting industries.

The Garrett Searcher Newsletter

Garrett introduces a motion discrimination metal detector.

1982

Garrett conducts seminars to teach Utah Fish and Wildlife authorities how to find bullets in animals that had been killed by poachers. This seminar proves to be Garrett's first official law enforcement seminar, which has grown into The Garrett Academy of Metal Detection.

Charles Garrett

Garrett is awarded the first U.S. patent for the use of microprocessors in metal detectors.

1983

In September, Garrett is invited to develop a walk-through metal detector for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The tragedy of the 1972 Munich Games created an intense movement for increased security at the Olympics.

1984

By April, the engineers at Garrett Metal Detectors are working overtime to create the MagnaScanner, the company’s first walk-through metal detector. That same month, Olympic Games Head of Security Ed Best visit’s Garrett’s offices to test and approve the new detector.

Charles Garrett

That year marks the first extensive metal detection screening efforts in the history of the Olympic Games. 60 walk-through detectors and 1,000 of Garrett’s Pocket Probe hand-held detectors, as well as training, are supplied to the Olympic Games. The hand-held SuperScanner, one of today’s most recognized security products, was first used at this event.

Garrett supplies 1984 National Republican Convention in Dallas, Texas, with security metal detectors.

1985

Garrett provides security training and products for the Egyptian Ramses Exhibit.

1987

Garrett provides security training and products for the PanAm Games in Indiana.

Garrett provides security training and products for the PanAm Games in Indiana

Vaughan Garrett begins utilizing his video production expertise to create educational treasure-hunting and security videos.

1988

Garrett provides security walk-through and hand-held metal detectors for the Seoul, Korea, Olympic Games.

The Grand Master Hunter is introduced as Garrett’s first microprocessor detector.

Garrett provides security equipment for the Republican GOP Convention in Houston, Texas, where future President George H. W. Bush is nominated.

1990-1999
1990

Garrett introduces the first Graphic Target Analyzing (GTA) microprocessor-driven detector with multiple notch discrimination for treasure hunting. This notch is still the most efficient and desirable metal detector target discriminating method.

Garrett introduces the first Graphic Target Analyzing (GTA)

Garrett provides security training and products for the U.S. armed forces in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf conflict known as Desert Storm.

Garrett Metal Detectors used in Desert Storm.
1992

Garrett provides security metal detector training and products for the Barcelona, Spain, Olympic Games.

1992 continued

Garrett moves company headquarters and detector manufacturing to its current location on 1881 West State Street in Garland, Texas.

Garrett Metal Detector
Garrett introduces the world’s first talking metal detector.

1996

Garrett introduces the Graphic Target Imaging (GTI) metal detector with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and true target size and depth for treasure hunting.

1996 Garrett introduces the Graphic Target Imaging

Garrett provides security metal detector training and products for the Atlanta, Georgia, Olympic Games.

1997

The Garrett Academy of Metal Detection is formally established to offer certification in the use of metal detection equipment in checkpoint screening applications such as airports and special events.

Garrett Academy of Metal Detection
1998

Garrett provides security metal detector training and products for the Nagano, Japan, Olympic Games.

1999

Garrett introduces the PD 6500 Pinpoint walk-through detector, with multi-zone detection.

2000-2009
2000

Garrett provides security metal detector training and products for the Sydney, Australia, Summer Olympic Games.

Garrett Metal Detectors used in Australia Summer Olympic Games
2001

Garrett introduces the SuperWand hand-held metal detector.

Garrett Super Wands
2002

Garrett provides security metal detector training and products for the Salt Lake City, Utah, Winter Olympic Games.

Garrett supplies the SuperWand to all U.S. airports.

2003

Garrett introduces the PD 6500i walk-through metal detector with 33 distinct pinpoint zones including left, right, and center detection.

Garrett PD6500i walk-through metal detector

Garrett becomes the only U.S.-based manufacturer to meet TSA guidelines for walk-through and held-held metal detectors. Garrett supplies walk-through metal detectors to one-third of America’s airports and to many overseas airports. Garrett introduces the Infinium metal detector, engineered for greater gold detection depth in heavily mineralized soil and for use in water to depths of 200 feet.

2004

Garrett celebrates its 40th anniversary on April 1.

Garrett introduces the Graphic Target Profiling (GTP) 1350 metal detector.

Garrett introduces the ACE series, the most advanced, low-cost metal detectors in the world.

2005

Garrett’s ACE 150 and ACE 250 detectors become top sellers in the United States hobby industry and successfully debut in European markets.

2006

Garrett is featured on John Ratzenberger’s hit TV series Made in America, which airs on the Discovery Network’s Travel Channel.

Garrett installs 450 PD 6500i walk-through and 900 SuperScanner hand-held metal detectors at Olympic venues throughout Torino, Italy, for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

Garrett Metal Detectors used at 2006 Olympic Winter

Garrett Metal Detectors is honored with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) Award of Excellence.

Texas Congressman Sam Johnson joins Charles Garrett and company officials for the groundbreaking ceremonies for the company’s expansion.

2007

Construction begins at 1881 W. State Street in Garland to expand Garrett’s facilities to 100,000 square feet. The new Garrett home office houses an enlarged treasure hunting museum, a formal conference/training center for The Garrett Academy of Metal Detection training, and enlarged production and warehouse facilities.

Garrett Metal Detectors
2008

Garrett provides walk-through detectors, hand-held detectors and training to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China

Garrett introduces the popular new PRO-POINTER pinpointing metal detector.

Garrett is named the official security metal detector supplier for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.

2009

Garrett launches a new Countermine/ERW division and introduces the RECON-PRO AML (All Metal Locator) 1000.

Countermine/ERW division

Charles Garrett and a team of Garrett detectorists work with Texas Parks and Wildlife to recover and preserve artifacts from the San Jacinto battlegrounds where Texas independence was won.

Charles and Eleanor Garrett

Charles, Eleanor and Vaughan Garrett and Vice President Bob Podhrasky serve as early Olympic torch runners during the countdown to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

2010-Present
2010

Garrett provides security metal detector training and products for the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Garrett Metal Detectors at 2010 Winter Olympic Games

U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson visits Garrett’s headquarters to present a copy of the Congressional Record in which Garrett was recently recognized.

U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson visits Garrett’s headquarters

Garrett provides security walk-through and hand-held detectors for the 2010 FIFA World Cup championship soccer tournament in South Africa.

Garrett Metal Detectors used at 2010 FIFA World Cup championship soccer tournament in South Africa

Garrett releases new hobby detectors for the ACE series, as the ACE 350 in America and as the EuroACE for its overseas version.

Ace Metal Detector

Garrett introduces the versatile AT Pro, a true all-terrain hobby detector which can be used for shallow water hunting. It includes an exclusive Iron Audio feature to identify iron trash and has a powerful new DD searchcoil to help overcome mineralized soil environments.

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
2011

Garrett releases the new Super Scanner V security hand-held screening detector, featuring both audible and vibrating alarm options.

Garrett Super Scanner V

Garrett releases the new AT Gold metal detector. It is fully waterproof to 10 feet (3 meters) and is ideal for locating gold nuggets, coins, relics, caches, and jewelry, even in highly mineralized ground.

Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector
2011 continued

Charles Garrett is presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lamar University.

Charles Garrett presented with an honorary degree
2012

In April, the Charles and Eleanor Garrett
Engineering Center is dedicated at Lamar University.

Charles and Eleanor Garrett Engineering Center

Garrett’s YouTube channel reaches its first one million views in June.

The Garrett CSI Pro, a new security crime scene investigation detector for law enforcement, is released.

C.S.I. Pro, crime scene investigation detector

Fox Business News features the Garrett factory in a segment called “Manufacturing Marvels.”

2013

Garrett releases the fully waterproof ATX pulse-induction metal detector. It is highly sensitive on tiny gold and extends detection depth in the most extreme mineralized soils.

Garrett ATX pulse-induction metal detector
2014
Garrett celebrates its 50th year in business! More than 250 employees gathered to enjoy the anniversary of their company and the birth of its founder, Charles L. Garrett.
Garrett Metal Detectors. 50 Years. Since 1964.
Garrett provides security metal detectors for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The international football tournament took place in Brazil during June and July.
Garrett Metal Detectors used at 2014 FIFA World Cup

Garrett’s Hobby Division begins to evolve into the Sport Division as the detecting excitement is portrayed on such reality TV shows as National Geographic Channel’s “Diggers” series. Garrett invites people who enjoy being outdoors to use metal detecting as a way to find new adventure, get exercise, and to escape from routine. Join “The Sport of Treasure Hunting.”
The Sport of Treasure Hunting

2015
The Pro-Pointer AT, an all-terrain fully waterproof version of Garrett’s popular pinpointer, is released.
Garrett Pro-Pointer A.T.
Founder Charles L. Garrett passes away on April 3, 2015. Click here to read more about Mr. Garrett.

Garrett is the Official Metal Detectors Supplier for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. More than 1,200 security detectors are utilized to protect the various sports venues.

Toronto 2015 Pan Am. Parapan AM.