Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

Who was Chuck Taylor?

: chuck taylor

Why: It kind of bugs me when people my age or older call Converse All Stars "Chucks." I had never heard the term "Chucks" before about 2005, but now, it seems like no one remembers the days of just plain ol' Converse. Erin, if you would:

Anyway, I am wearing navy ones today because I have a blister on the back of my heel.

Answer: He was a basketball player! He was born Charles Hollis Taylor in Brown County, IN, in 1901. He played his first professional game in March 1919 while still a high school student.

In the early-1920s, Taylor played for the Akron Firestone Non-Skids "industrial league" team. This team were charter members of the National Basketball League in 1937. They folded during WWII, but in 1949, the NBL merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA.
Meanwhile, the Converse Rubber Shoe Company was founded by Marquis Mills Converse in 1908 to manufacture winterized rubber-soled footwear for men, women, and children. By 1910, Converse was producing 4,000 shoes daily, but it was not until 1915 that the company began making athletic shoes for tennis. The company's main turning point came in 1917 when the Converse All-Star basketball shoe was introduced. Then in 1921, Chuck Taylor walked into Converse complaining of sore feet. Converse gave him a job as a salesman and ambassador, promoting the shoes around the United States.

By the mid-20s, Taylor played and managed a group of cagers who played for the traveling Converse All-Stars barnstorming team. The team hosted basketball clinics in high school and college gyms across the country. Taylor "almost single-handedly taught Americans the fundamentals of basketball," making his name into a brand. In 1932, his signature was added to the Converse All-Star.
During WWII, he worked as a physical fitness instructor and coach for the Army and Navy. In 1944-45, he trained the Wright Field Air Tecs in a Navy pre-flight program at Marquette University.

He was also popular for his All-American picks. He only selected players he had personally seen play, many from small rural colleges where big-city sportswriters never went. His picks always were highlighted in the popular Converse Basketball Yearbook.
Source: Chuck Taylor Biography (by Abraham Aamidor), Wikipedia

The More You Know: And who was Jack Purcell? Not the guy from "30 Rock" (that's Jack McBrayer / Kenneth Parcell). He was the 1933 world champion of badminton!
He designed a canvas and rubber badminton sneaker for B.F. Goodrich in 1935. In the 1970s, Converse purchased the trademark rights to Jack Purcell sneakers - which it still produces and sells today.

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