Charles Garrett in the MagnaScanner in April of 1984

Charles Garrett was a man who loved history and loved to hunt for treasure, but instead of unearthing a king’s ransom,  he made his own treasure for himself and his family from his hobby.

The same month, the photo above was taken, Olympic Games Head of Security Ed Best visited Garrett’s offices to test and approve the new detector. Since that time, in 1984, Garrett Metal Detectors have furnished security devices for use at Olympic Games all over the world.

That year marked 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, were supplied to the Olympic Games. The hand-held SuperScanner, one of today’s most recognized security products, was first used at this event.  Today, that metal detection wand is used by police officers and security personnel all over the world.

It all started right here in 1964 in this garage in Garland, Texas.

Garrett Metal Detectors started out in the garage of its founder, Charles Garrett, a treasure hunter hobbyist. He was not happy with commercial metal detectors that he bought, so he started tinkering in his garage to build a better one. That was in 1964. Today, Garrett Metal Detectors facilities cover more than 100,000 square feet and include a treasure hunting museum, a formal conference/training center for the Garrett Academy of Metal Detection, and production and warehouse facilities.

In addition to his family, Charles Garrett’s passions included history and treasure hunting.  He traveled all over the world, even to Egypt, treasure hunting with Garrett Metal Detectors.  Mr. Garrett is survived by his wife Eleanor, a daughter and two sons.  

One of the sons, Vaughan, serves as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. In this role he oversees the creative vision, sales efforts, and public image of Garrett Metal Detectors. Vaughan has participated in the growth of his parents’ company since childhood and carries their vision forward for future generations. Throughout the years, Vaughn has also worked to preserve and document images and videos for the company’s archives.

Today Eleanor Garrett carries on the business and legacy of Garrett Metal Detectors with her son.  Visit the website at to see what a great company and personal legacy the Garretts have created for not only the local community of Garland, Texas, but also the world.

Garrett Metal Detectors have been providing security for Olympic Games since 1984 and now they are also providing security for the Dallas Cowboys–a long way down the road from a garage in Garland. But that’s the maker’s dream–the American Dream: to make the things you love to make,


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