The Founding of Tesoro Metal Detectors

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Tesoro’s history began with a man called Jack Gifford who moved from retail into electronics at the start of the 60″s. Through hard work and constantly learning more about electronics he soon became an expert in this field. His first venture into management was as a founding partner and consultant engineer of phoenix data which took on a range of jobs for different companies including Motorola designing and building electronic systems. For several years Jack worked at phoenix until in 1975 he left after being offered a job designing metal detectors for a company called bounty hunter.

Jack only stayed at bounty hunter for one year in which he designed the TR500 which became a top seller for bounty hunter and learned all he needed to start a business of his own. But unfortunately he went into a partnership with another worker at bounty hunter called Ray Crum who after two years he could no longer work with. During those two years Jack learned a lot more about building metal detectors and also had his wife and brother working at the company which was called C&G. The bobcat, wildcat and lynx were detectors that he designed during these two years and got him an excellent reputation as a top designer.

Because of Jack’s now solid reputation as soon as he announced that he was leaving the president of Fisher detectors Ed Lewis immediately snapped him up a designer. He worked at fisher research in California on upgrading existing detectors and on location equipment for underground pipes and cables. In 1979 after only one year at fisher the new owner of bounty hunter Ray Smith made him an offer that Jack accepted and he returned again to the bounty hunter factory. This time round Jack designed the rustler and raider models and also upgraded the red baron series of detectors. Here he met Rusty Henry who became a very good friend and the two often went metal detecting together testing the developments that they were working on. Sadly Ray was diagnosed as having cancer and the company was sold with neither Jack or Rusty wanting to work for the new owners. Rusty took off to the Australian gold fields to search for a fortune hoping his experience of metal detecting would see him through douglas hand.

Jack now founded his own metal detecting business which he called Tesoro and employed his wife and together they built Tesoro into a company that could match the already established companies. The name Tesoro was chosen as it means treasure in Spanish and the Spanish were famous as being treasure seekers through the ages. Through constantly improving the technology and concentrating on keeping the detectors simple , light and very sensitive Tesoro quickly acquired a good reputation with treasure hunters. His sons joined the company after getting experience in retail industries first and brought this knowledge into the company. Rusty Jack’s friend was found driving a school bus and was asked to come and work for the company which he did as the service manager.

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