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Robert Spector - The Legend of Eddie Bauer

p. 9: From the 1900s through 1920s, Piper & Taft was considered one of the best sporting goods retailers in the West. This chapter provides background on Seattle at the turn of the century. The Great Seattle Fire was in 1889. In 1897, the Klondike gold rush began in Canada's Yukon Territory. Seattle became the gateway to the Klondike. The Smith Tower was built in 1914. Eddie Bauer began working part-time for Piper & Taft in 1913, at age 14 (p. 17).

p. 21: In 1920, Bauer left Piper & Taft and opened his own tennis shop. He eventually expanded into golf, fishing, hunting, squash and badminton, moving several times to larger stores on the same Seattle block. In 1934, he moved into a 6,600 square-foot space and started importing hickory skis from Norway (p. 35). The entire 60-foot width of the back of the store was subleased to Ome Daiber's Hike Shack, which stocked mountain climbing equipment such as backpacks, rucksacks, tents and packboards. Bauer later bankrolled ski champions Olav Ulland and Scott Osborn in the Osborn & Ulland sporting goods shop, in which he kept a 50 percent ownership.

p. 34: Photo of Ed and Stine Bauer on skis among large trees, probably near Snoqualmie Pass.

p. 37: In 1935, Bauer developed a warm, lightweight jacket, made from goose down, for skiers and mountaineers. Ome Daiber agreed to manufacture the jacket exclusively for Eddie Bauer, who financed the production and imported the down. Bauer received design patents for his Skyliner and Yukon jackets in 1936, and eventually was awarded 16 different U.S. design patents for quilted clothing.

p. 42: During World War II, Bauer became an important supplier to the Army, providing sleeping bags and flying suits. Due to war-time shortages of goose down, he developed substitute insulation for civilian products using eiderdown and later chicken feathers. He convinced the government to let him sew the Eddie Bauer label into the military garments, which gave the company a big boost after the war by spreading the Eddie Bauer name. According to the book, this was the only private manufacturer's label to appear on government-issue gear during the war.

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Last Updated: Mon Dec 9 14:18:19 PST 2002