Sierra Club Cup and Poster

Sierra Cup Circa 1966

The "Sierra Cup" has been in use within the Sierra Club since 1905. I have seen an early picture showing Ansel Adams wearing his cup on his belt.The earliest and most collectible design of the Sierra Cup was stamped "Sierra Club of California," was made of tin, and has become quite rare. See picture below, compliments of Alexander at Acme General Store.

Pre-World War Two cups were stamped of tin plate, but after WW II they were changed to stainless steel. The Sierra Club librarian stated, "There have also been a few special limited editions stamped for special events or awards." Nowadays, the Sierra Club no longer supplies this cup to mountaineering stores. Image compliments Elizabeth P.

A Bay Area researcher by the name of Lincoln sent me this scan of a 1967 Sierra Club poster, and reminded me of the very major role that the classic gear companies played in the rise of the modern environmental movement. The chief underlying dynamic lay in their selling of great volumes of wonderful, comfortable gear in which to go backpacking and climbing. They truly popularized "enjoying the great outdoors," and vast numbers of Americans who were not hunters or fishermen took to outdoor pursuits as diverse as long-distance bicycling, kayaking and ice climbing-- for all of which they needed and wanted the very best modern gear.Sometimes the role of the companies would be even more direct-- In the Bay Area, often the major companies such as Trailwise, Ski Hut, North Face and Sierra Designs, and/or their employees/managers would be part of sponsoring or otherwise supporting such events as this big environmental conference at the San Francisco Hilton Hotel.






Related note: during the past few decades there has also been a proliferation of imitation cups made by a large variety of outdoor companies. Some of the older ones from classic gear companies are collectible in their own right. Also of interest in the History of Gear is that such "branding" was not limited to Sierra Cups, as evidenced by the image at page bottom, which involves The North Face, and again Holubar Mountaineering.

Please Note: All Material below, 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 Some of the material below is derived from Ralph Drolinger, the founder of Southern California pack company A16. ..... Editors: Please contact me if you have interest in publishing....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 me soon,

HISTORY OF GEAR BOOK SERIES--- as of June 2015, there are now five books available, including three in inexpensive PDF download format-- MY BOOK ABOUT FROSTLINE KITS WAS PUBLISHED IN LATE 2007. IT CONTAINS ORIGINAL INTERVIEWS AND A FORWRD BY DALE JOHNSON, THE COMPANY'S FOUNDER. PLEASE VISIT MY FROSTLINE PAGE IF INTERESTED. My books about Holubar, MSR, Stephenson's Warmlite and GERRY are also finished and available.


Main Page: Essays and pictures about the Pioneers of the Outdoor Gear Revolution, 1935-The Present-- 45+ pages, six books written, and still-expanding



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Page last revised 1/18/2019