Please Note: All Material on this page, and in all my "History of Gear" webpages, is copyrighted, and no usage of my material is permitted unless explicit permission is granted by me, Bruce B. Johnson, owner of OregonPhotos.com. Contact me: email@example.com
In the image above we witness winter camping in the fine olden style! To me, this real-life scene mimics the old-timey feel of the JanSport catalogs from the late 70's and early 80's. In the scene, we are in the Ozark Mountains, it's 15 degrees, and we're having FUN. There are are least three pieces of Eddie Bauer down gear in this picture. One piece is the skimpy down vest on the left; I'll let readers have fun identifying the rest. Image contributed by Erv S., who is seen standing on the left of the group.
And then there are the Northwest cousins, Portland's Pendleton in Oregon, and Seattle's Filson, which brags it has been "selling rugged outdoor clothing since before the automobile."
In 1897, Filson opened C.C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing
and Blanket Manufacturers, specializing in goods to outfit the
stampeders to the Klondike Gold Rush. " (quoted from Filson.com)
After the Gold Rush days, supplying the Northwest's booming logging business became a major emphasis of the company. In the Ozarks camping scene above, you can bet there's probably a piece or two of Filson clothing somewhere on the campers or in their wall tent!
Look for the huge, elevated Filson sign and the store below. It's just to the south of the Safeco Field baseball stadium in south Seattle.
Below is an image that I captured by photographing a fairly recent Filson catalog. The text states that the image of the sailing ship and the sourdoughs ascending an Alaskan pass are taken from the company's 1937 catalog. To place this date in context in The History of Gear, this was one year before REI Coop was formed in Seattle! --- Nowadays, if you are a Seattle Seahawks fan or a Seattle Sounders fan at the Century Link Field (formerly QWEST Stadium), you will see the big "Filson" sign rising in front of you as you climb the elevated roadways headed home after a game.
Another of the very, very old, traditional companies in the U.S. is Orvis, founded in 1856.... I have included their label because for a few years in the late 70s Orvis became a corporate sibling with Holubar Mountaineering, both smaller companies then owned by the Johnson Wax Corp. Thus, one would find made by Orvis products in the Holubar catalog, such as fishing rods. Similarly, the network of Holubar retail stores were carrying a full line of Orvis fishing gear!
When Pendleton Woolen Mills opened in 1863, Oregon had only been a State for four years! The cold, wet climate provided an excellent long-term market selling wool clothing and blankets to generations of loggers, farmers, ranchers, Native Americans and townsfolk! Even the rise of the new-fangled wool replacement called "fuzz pile" failed to put this Northwest legend in the grave....Nowadays, Pendleton Woolen Mills is a sixth-generation, family-owned apparel and blanket manufacturing company. The company "does it all," from the initial purchase of the wool directly from the wool growers to selling the finished garment or blanket in its network of stores.
Corporate headquarters are in downtown Portland, Oregon, which is some 200 miles to the west of Pendleton (the small Eastern Oregon town).... the company is therefore an Oregon-based one. ....For much more about Pendleton, go to my "Pendleton, page two.".
Please Note: All
Material above, and in all my "History of Gear" webpages,
is copyrighted, and no usage of my material is permitted unless
explicit permission is granted by me, Bruce B. Johnson, owner
of OregonPhotos.com. .. Editors: Please contact me if you have interest in publishing.(firstname.lastname@example.org)
...Others: if you were involved with one of
the old-line, vintage gear companies and have a story to tell
in these pages, please contact