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Adam Woog - Sexless Oysters and Self-Tipping Hats

Sno-Seal Boot Wax, Penguin Sleeping Bag

An avid hiker and climber, Ome Daiber for years operated the Seattle Boy Scout trading post and an outdoors shop called the Hike Shack. In the 1930s, frustrated by the lack of inexpensive, high-quality outdoor gear available, he formed Ome Daiber, Inc. to manufacture and sell equipment and clothing. The company evenually became too stressful for his liking, and in 1943 he sold the manufacturing rights to many of his products and became a builder and remodeler of houses and commercial buildings. This chapter describes Sno-Seal, which Daiber invented in the mid-1930s and the Penguin sleeping bag, "the only sleeping bag in the world offering the unique feature of permitting the user to get up without getting out of bed." Only about 90 Penguin bags were manufactured. They failed commercially because, as Matie Daiber said, "No one who wanted one could actually afford one."

Quick-Release Ski Binding

In the spring of 1937, Hjalmar Hvam broke his leg free skiing after winning the Golden Rose race on Mt Hood. The idea for the world's first quick-release ski binding came to him as he awoke from anesthesia. Hvam patented the binding in 1939, set up his own ski shop in Portland, and formed a company to manufacture the binding. His sales slogan was "Hvoom with Hvam". The model outsold the rest of the market for a decade, averaging 10,000 to 15,000 units annually. It remained popular into the 1960s, and Ski magazine notes that "some still think [it] is the simplest, most elegant release binding ever made."

Other Inventions

p. 15: The Trapper Nelson packboard was developed in the early 1920s by Lloyd Nelson of Bremerton. It was the world's first mass-produced frame backpack. It remained popular until the 1970s, when it was replaced by high-tech packs of aluminum and nylon.

p. 18: Eddie Bauer patented the quilted down parka in 1936. During World War II, the military ordered a quarter of a million sleeping bags as well as 25,000 down flight suits--trousers with suspenders and hooded jackets.

p. 42: The first successful fiberglass snow ski was tested in 1962 by Bill Kirschner, and the first production model, the Holiday, was introduced to skiers in 1965 by his company, the K2 Corporation of Vashon Island, Washington. The Holiday was designed to fill a niche in the recreational ski market between inexpensive wooden skis and expensive metal ones. The chapter includes uncaptioned photos of Wayne Wong, doing a wheelie on K2 skis, and Gordy Skoog, throwing a moebius flip.

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Copyright © 2002 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Mon Dec 9 11:37:58 PST 2002