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G.H.BASS catalog 1958

17708 Views 20 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  magnum P.I.
I'm surprised that Bass made wide variety of shoes- not only loafers but also goodyear-welted shoes, rubber boots and even ski boots(shown in the last pic).
One intersting thing is every page says "Be Sure It's a Bass". It looks like there were quite a bit Bass imitation shoes back then.

BASS & CO history from the catalog
G.H.Bass & CO. 1876-1958

"On March 9, 1876, G.H.Bass entered the business of making shoes, beginning as a junior partner in the firm of E.P.Packard & Co. Three years later, he became sole owner, and changed the name to G.H.Bass & Co.

Mr.Bass started his business career not as a shoemaker, but as a tanner. He served an apprenticeship of two years in Wilton, worked several years for others and for ten years ran his own tannery.He bought his own hides, bought, piled, and ground his hemlock bark, and knew by first-hand experience all the steps in tanning hemlock leather.

Mr.Bass brought his intimate knowledge of leather into his shoemaking. Quality leather was to his mind the first requisite of a good boot and shoes, and quality leathers have remained the first consideration in the business he established.

The first records of the new firm show a payroll of eight names. Mr.Bass was the purchasing agent, superintendent, desighner, and salesman. His sales territorywas Wilton and neighboring towns. He traveled by horse and wagon; sometimes took his boots with him and delivered them on the spot; sometimes he took orders and made up the boots for later delivery. Always he had plenty of time to talk things over with the storekeeper. He also talked with the men who wore the boots. He learned to know their needs and came to feel that a boot, to give satisfactory service, must be built with the particular needs of
the wearer in mind. It must be made for a purpose. He resolved in his own words to make
"the best possible shoes for the porpose for which it will be used".

Mr.Bass's policy of making shoes for a purpose has led to the productionof many types of footwear, and the development of many intersting styles. The first product of the factory - shop is a better work -was a leg boot 14 inches high, made of heavy calf or grain leather. with a hand pegged bottom, usually with a double sole and sometimes also with an outside tap. It was sold principally to farmers.

It did not take Mr.Bass long to find out that for summer wear farmers wanted a lighter weight, lower cut, more comfortable boot which would still exclude dirt and protect the wearer's andles. The "National Plow Shoe" with overlapping front fastened with two vuckles was developed to meet thisneed.

A little later the Plow Shoe was modefied for the use of river drivers by putting ona heavier and harder sole which would hold calks. The pattern was later changed to a lace Bal eight inches high, with a French Veal Vamp. As Stock No. 50 or "Bass Best" this style became the standard shoe on New England log drives for many years.

The men who tramped the woods, whether as hunters, guides, or timber cruises, liked
the style of the Driving Shoe but wanted a lighter and more flexible sole. The Bass Guide was the result of this demand.

When those woodsmen wanted still more lightness and flexibility, Mr.Bass saw the answer to their problem in the original Americal woods footwear, the INdian moccasin. The first Bass Mocassin appered in 1906. It was designed for timber men and was called a mocassin cruiser.Like the Guide shoe before it, it was 8 inches high; hand sewn all around and carried a single sole. It combined light weight with durability and adequate protection for the ankles. It was the first in a long line of moccasins which originated in the Bass factory.

The so-called Rangeley moccasin embodied a noteworthy improvement in moccasin design. In this style a slit was cut in the shank portion of the vamp and the sides stitches together giving a much better fit in the shank and instep. A patent was granted Mr.Bass for this design. Other patents followerd for the Lock-Lap Seam, the Two Way Seam, etc. Under the leadership of the Bass factory the field of the moccasin grew from the camp and forest to include sport and leisure wear.

Meanwhile similar changes had been taking place in the other styles in the Bass line. Lumbering in New England changed from long logs to pulp wood, the driving boots faded out of the pictuire. Welt shoes for sport and special use replaced them. The change was noted in the Bass catalog of 1924 when the "Bass Shoe for Hard Service" became "Bass Outdoor Footwear".

The years since have been marked by important developments in Bass Outdoor Footwear. Quail Hunters and similar styles with the Overlap Seam have been added to the moccasin line.

Spoerocasins were developed by a golfer sportsman, Donald b. Abbott, who, wearing a pari of Bass moccasins for gold, found them a "natural" for the game. He refined the pattern, put on spiked soles, and sold them to outstanding golfers. Failing health compelled him to retire and Sportcasins came back to the Bass factory which had furnished the original inspiration for their design.

WEEJUNS were developed in the Bass factory from a Norwegian model purchased in LOnson and worn in the American winter resorts in 1936. It established a style trend which has rapidly spread throughout the country and has become of national importance.

Since 1920 the sport of skiing has had a phenomenal growth in America, bass SKi Botts have developed with the sport.Bass saddle oxfords have also assumed an important position.

Meanwhile, the Bass Co. had time to develop some very specioal styles for specific purposes. It designed the fleece-lined moccasin for aviation in the first World War, and made thousands of pairs for the Army. A pair of these was worn by Lindbergh in his epochmaking flight across the Atlantic. The company also made the footwear for Byrd's Second Antarctic Expedition, specially designed for warmth, with an insulationg interlining of cork. In World War 2 boots for cold climates were designed and made in the Bass factory."
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I have a pair of bass shoes.

I'm trying to found out how to post a pictures of them.
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