The Black Call | P.S. Olt

More than century old, the OLT brand now has an Online Store featuring customizable Hard Rubber calls, modernized originals and newly designed models for waterfowl, turkey, predators and big game.

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 “I learned as a teenager using a P.S. Olt D-2 duck call, which was designed by Philip Stanford of Pekin, Illinois in the early 1900s. It was an Arkansas-style call, which is a one-piece insert with a straight reed and a curved tone board.”
The call shown is not a new one, but instead a call that was first purchased by the author’s father-in-law from a rural Wisconsin farm supply and probably in the 1970’s. The author was given this call after spotting it in his father-in-law’s workshop.

“Philip Olt converted a chicken coop on his family’s farm into a wood shop and started making duck calls. Olt’s D-2 Duck Call and A-50 Goose Call were some of the first manufactured duck calls in the world, which is why he is often called the “father” of the manufactured call.” 
P.S. Olt was not only the originator of efficiently manufactured calls, he was also the original call maker committed to developing game calls resistant to weather conditions, climate, humidity and moisture. 

Major Philip Olt IV (retired U.S. Army Major and retired Air Force employee) of P.S. Olt, LLC®, in a February 2014 interview, announced that laboratory analyses of call samples revealed that Olt game calls were never made of Bakelite (an early, brittle plastic  of phenol, formaldehyde, and wood). Olt maintains that their calls have been made of Horn (Hoof) Powder, Hard Rubber and ABS (Acrylic + Rubber). Philip Olt (Feb 2014 INTRV) mentioned that his grandfather switched to plastic material as part of the war effort when the supply of natural rubber from Southeast Asia was blocked. Nowadays, Olt sells models that are made of the original Hard Rubber material as well as models made from “an innovative, new material (that) increases durability for long life and trouble-free operation”   -

Early on, P.S. Olt experimented with Horn Powder as a call material. Horn Powder, (which usually contains very little horn) is a Molding Powder made from ground hoof and horn meal or flour. Horn Powder was well liked by (clothing) button makers and was later refined into one of the first Natural Thermoset Plastics.

To better understand articles made from horn; here is an example unrelated to Olt Co.

“The hardened product can be molded at a temperature ranging between about 130 and 150 C. to form permanently glossy shapes which do not swell, are not subject to changes of volume or shape and can be turned, planed and bored.” – Production of thermosetting molding compositions and molded articles from natural horn 1939

Lego, the most profitable toy in the world, is also formed of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and attributes its durability to ABS’ natural rubber component.  

Olt is an iconic Game Call and Field Sport Brand typically characterized by neat, stick forms and the darkest possible black color.  

The barrel portion of Olt’s D-2 Duck Call is a single part. A large bead profile with a flat serves as the band used by other call makers to prevent splitting and a small bead forms a cove for attaching a lanyard.

Inside of Olt’s duck call, a single part serves as the stopper/insert, reed/cork/wedge socket, tone channel, tone hole and bell.

Olt’s duck call design persists as the normal design for most modern duck calls and although from Illinois, Olt’s design has been misbranded as the Arkansas Style.
Olt’s curved tone board design (without the reed socket) is also part of the Louisiana Style of call.

Knock-Out | Reverse Type Design

"SkilcraftUSGovtPen" by User:Tom - User:Tom. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

A black body with important white imprinting is a time-honored symbol of uncomplicated design, epitomized by Bell’s Rotary Dials, Skilcraft Pens, Combs, Label Makers and so on.

"Rotarydial" by R Sull. Dhscommtech at English Wikipedia - Own work (Original text: “self-made”). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Modern Art
Historically, Illinois was the top producer of early, original duck calls and call makers. Although many early calls from Illinois have a slender, bare form, P.S. Olt’s D-2 Duck Call is an elegant masterpiece of pure design, worthy of Modern Art Design Collections.

While other early call makers are famous for beautifying the exterior of bulky, kludge calls, Olt went much further by perfecting the usefulness of the duck call.

Olt’s engineering accomplished long-term duck call performance goals resulting in
“…the most popular duck call ever produced” and “The largest selling duck call in the history of duck calling.”

A makeshift audio analysis of Olt’s D-2 call revealed that Olt's D-2 bears more of a resemblance to a live duck’s quack than a double-reed Polycarbonate call.

A double-reed Polycarbonate call's quack appeared (visually) lopsided compared to to a live duck's quack.

Although Olt calls produce an effective perception of duck utterances, they were discovered to be highly customizable, broadening their popularity and adding monikers like the
 “Black Stick of Death”
Nowadays, Olt sells a customizable call kit; the D-2-KCutdown Kit.

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