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Chippewa Shoe Manufacturing Company

Chippewa boots – along with Ford Model T and Teddy Roosevelt 

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They are one of the symbols of the great America of the early 20th century, which the supporters of the current US president are now actively trying to revive.

 

One of the first advertisements from Chippewa

Since 1901, Chippewa Shoe Manufacturing Company supplied shoes for a wide variety of professions: from paper workers and railway engineers to CIA pilots and military personnel, but despite this diversity, Chippewa workers always set themselves only one task: to produce the best shoes in the United States . And, looking ahead, we must admit that, in the opinion of many, Chippewa shoes are still the best-quality working shoes in America.

The history of the company began in the city of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The city, and later the shoe company, was named after the Indian people Chippev, whose tribes historically lived in the state of Wisconsin and some other states of America. That is why on the company’s products you can often find an Indian depicted in profile in a traditional headdress made of eagle feathers.

Due to the active development of the forest and paper industry in the firm’s hometown in the early 20th century, the demand for work boots took off several times, which allowed the Chippewa Shoe Manufacturing Company to turn from a small company with a small staff into a serious five-story factory in just a few months. a staff of 300 workers.

 

A postcard with the building of the company Chippewa Shoe Manufacturing Company 

In 1914, the First World War began, and the company first broke into the production of military shoes for the Allies, and then for the US Army, when in 1917 the United States also entered into a military conflict.

In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, organizations began to emerge that set themselves the goal of improving the economic situation of the country through the active development of industry, and again there was a need for simple and high-quality work shoes for all those who would participate in the revival of the country. It was then that the now canonical and legendary Engineer Boots, which were intended for engineers working on US railways, appeared.

During the Second World War, Chippewa Boots developed boots for one of the most elite units of the US Army of that time – the 10th Mountain Division. And even in the modern version of the so-called Arctic Boots, you can see indentations in the heel, which at that time allowed you to attach skis to boots.

In the post-war period, the company became the flagship in introducing innovative technologies in the shoe industry. They were the first to produce work boots in the US using Italian technology Vibram, they also most actively implemented the most promising developments of the notorious 3M company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company), which , for example, owns the patent for Thinsulate insulation. And since we are talking about technology, it is impossible not to mention the technology Goodyear welt. The essence of this proven technology over the years is that the upper and the sole of the shoe are not sewn directly but through the welt with two seams: one between the top of the shoe, the inner sole and the welt (Goodyear stitch) and the second between the sole and edging (welted stitch). This results in a sturdy and waterproof construction that nevertheless allows for the replacement of the outsole an unlimited number of times. With this variety of technologies, we should not forget that Chippewa has always used and used the most dense and high-quality leather in its products, sometimes even choosing Horween leather, which is well-known in narrow circles, making them even stronger, more durable and, finally, just beautiful.

Later, during the Cold War, Chippewa Falls developed boots for CIA pilots who flew U-2 spy planes.

Since we allowed ourselves to get involved in military history, it is worth telling a little about the role that the company’s products played in the lives of ordinary people. We all know that Dr. boots. Martens are now a mandatory attribute of many subcultures, but there were also subcultures that preferred the American classics, namely the Chippewa boots.

A shot from the film Rebel Without a Cause, which clearly demonstrates what kind of shoes were then held in high esteem by the Briolins.  

Such a peculiar subculture was the Grizzers (from English grease, oil, grease), they were also briolinschiki, they appeared in the 50s and were a cross between bikers, rockers and just people from the working class. The icons for them were the hero of Marlon Brando from the film “The Wild One” (Savage) and the hero of James Dean from the film “Rebel Without a Cause”.

 

Marlon Brando on the set of the film “Savage”

Griser’s standard look included work pants or jeans, a T-shirt or T-shirt, a leather jacket and, of course, classic work boots, such as Engineer Boots.

 

James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause  

As you can see, Chippewa shoes have accompanied the history of America over the past hundred years and have long been an integral part of the very image of the United States of America. If you wanted to join the shoe history of America, you should look at The Mugridge and see for yourself that Chippewa shoes are perfect.

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