From Plow Shoe To Play Shoe...On One Great Idea

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From Plow Shoe To Play Shoe...On One Great Idea


The time: March, 1876. The man: George Henry Bass. The idea: "To make the best possible shoe for which it was intended."

…That’s how it all started…in rural Wilton, Maine. The idea first took form with “The National Plow Show,” a summer boot that was light yet strong enough to protect the hard-working farmer’s foot. With leg boots, log boots and guide boots, the line grew. “The Bass Shoe for Hard Service” began to acquire a reputation – and in 1887, Mr. George H. Bass moved to a bigger shop.

But he stayed with his original idea. He noticed the light flexibility of the Indian moccasin, refined it, patented it, adapted it to the special use of woodsmen. The G.H. Bass & Co. that his sons took over continued to develop the moccasin, bringing it out of the woods into the growing market for sportswear. The 1924 Bass catalog marks a milestone: “The Bass Shoe for Hard Service” became “Bass Outdoor Footwear.”

The Weejuns moccasin began with the same idea of anticipating a need and meeting it with a functional design. G. H. Bass & Co. saw possibilities in the original Norwegian model…adapted it, produced it, and in 1936 created a whole new leisure shoe market.