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Dacks and other Canadian shoe brands

Jiqea

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I spent the past 4 days in London, Ontario, and had a chance to look into the fate of the second McHale shoe factory, built circa 1960 after the Interco (Savage Shoe) acquisition. An undated photo of the north and west sides of this building is presented below. Remarkably the building still stands at 817 Exeter Road, at the SE corner of Wellington and Exeter, immediately north of Highway 401. The building has been converted into a Ramada Inn, how long ago I am uncertain, although it would have been after 1990 when McHale closed. I had the pleasure of knowing the building as a younger man, in the biblical sense, which is perhaps why I so much enjoy slipping into a nice McHale Bomber.

Unfortunately the north side of the building, visible in the historic photo has been altered by the addition of a restaurant/bar, however the south side is largely intact. I am so glad that this building still exists!

I will dig a little further into the history of this building and report back,

The 2nd McHale Factory

1964 Mchale shoes on Wellington.jpg



South Facade.

IMG_3405.jpg




Existing Northwest Corner. The original entrance is under the larger portico. Most of what is visible in this picture is an addition.

McHale factory 1.JPG
 
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Jiqea

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John Joseph McHale, 1884-1977. St Peter's Cemetery, London, ON

John Joseph McHale.jpg
 

suitforcourt

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Hartt PTBs in prairie oxhide. Black marks from rubber overshoes.
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Paul902

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The recent purchase of my RCMP riding boots has sent me down the road looking into another historic Canadian shoe firm. I noticed on my boots, as well as several others on line, that the soles were stamped Mac & L. Here is a picture of one such boot from 1956. My boots are stamped 1950.
View attachment 1121026

A search of the Government of Canada data on the leather industry in 1950 quickly identified MacFarlane and Levaivre of Montreal as the only shoe firm in the country that could fit the bill. MacFarlane shoes dates back to the turn of the last century and was a major employer in Montreal.
View attachment 1121034

At a yet undermined date MacFarlane joined forces with Guy Levaivre to create Mac & L. They must have had the contract to produce the Strathcona boot from at least 1950 thru to their demise in 1974, when Hartt started their run through to 1998.

Mac & L produced shoes as well, and seem to be highly regarded on the Japanese shoe forums. From the little I have seen they appear to be of very high quality. They trademarked names such as "Lord and Master" and "Foot Magic".







Their association with the famous RCMP Strathcona boot is enough to cement there place in Canadian Shoe history (or should I say Goodyear welt?), however there appears to be much more we can learn about this and other Canadian manufacturers of the past.

I happened to be doing some digging and Mac&L as I have a pair of their shoes for sale.. I thought I would update this thread (and make a rare appearance) as @Jiqea is heading "down the road" but seems pretty slow, as if going by horse or walking in those boots of his. I found the following timbits:
- MacFarlane was started in 1825 in Montreal
- They merged with Lefaivre on July 21, 1956 (a great year in jazz, btw!) and operated out of 1680 Papineau Ave.
- They closed the doors on Dec 16, 1980.

I have these FootMagic 6-eyelet Oxfords which can't have been made much before the closing in 1980.

_PF12035.JPG
_PF12003.JPG
_PF12000.JPG


I also happened upon these Chelsea boots, labelled The MacFarlane Shoe, not Mac&L although I cannot imagine they are pre-56, which were made for the RCMP. High quality construction, including great leather uppers, GYW, and nailed leather heels with spur boxes.

PF1_3143.JPG
PF1_3146.JPG
PF1_3147.JPG
 

Jiqea

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Prior to John McHale joining Francis Stuart Scott in London in 1921, the firm was known as Scott-Chamberlain. They made boots and shoes for the Canadian military in WW! as well as dress shoes and boots sold under the Liberty and Astoria brands. Here are a few adverts from 1916.
Scott Chamberlain 1916.JPG
Scott Chamberlain 1916b.JPG
shoeandleatherjour1916_1214.jpg
shoeandleatherjour1916_1215.jpg
 

Jiqea

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I happened to be doing some digging and Mac&L as I have a pair of their shoes for sale.. I thought I would update this thread (and make a rare appearance) as @Jiqea is heading "down the road" but seems pretty slow, as if going by horse or walking in those boots of his. I found the following timbits:
- MacFarlane was started in 1825 in Montreal
- They merged with Lefaivre on July 21, 1956 (a great year in jazz, btw!) and operated out of 1680 Papineau Ave.
- They closed the doors on Dec 16, 1980.

I have these FootMagic 6-eyelet Oxfords which can't have been made much before the closing in 1980.

View attachment 1321749View attachment 1321748View attachment 1321747

I also happened upon these Chelsea boots, labelled The MacFarlane Shoe, not Mac&L although I cannot imagine they are pre-56, which were made for the RCMP. High quality construction, including great leather uppers, GYW, and nailed leather heels with spur boxes.

View attachment 1321744View attachment 1321745View attachment 1321746
The only Foot Magic Macfarlane-Lefaivre reference I could find was in this ad from 1965. Not the same shoe but yours likely date to the late 60's or early 70's based on the heels and the little plastic stick-on maple-leaf. I think those boots could easily be early 50's.
1965 Foot Magic.JPG
 

Jiqea

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Here is some translated from Japanese info concerning the early history of Scott-Chamberlain-McHale from the NOS w/box shoe blog. I need to track down the primary source material.

___________________________________________________________________________________________
1899 Francis Stewart Scott joins the shoe industry with partner Edwin J. Getty.
1906 Getty & Scott Shoe Co. Ltd is incorporated.
1912 Scott buys Getty shares and becomes Scott Shoe Co., Chamberlain? (← company name has been dropped in the original text) After being acquired, it becomes Scott-Chamberlain Ltd.
1922 John S. McHale of Brown Shoe Co. joins the management team and becomes Scott-McHale Ltd @ London, Ontario.
1943 Francis Stewart Scott dies.

In 1906 the firm of Getty & Scott Shoe Co. Ltd was incorporated and in 1912 Mr Scott became the sole proprietor when he acquired Mr Getty's interests in the company, which then became the Scott Shoe Co. The company produced "The Classic Shoe", a product recognized throughout Canada.At about this time, he acquired an interest in and became president of Scott-Chamberlain Ltd, later Scott-McHale Ltd, shoe manufacturers in London,

NOTE: Below from a 1922 industry publication

A change in name and in organization of one of Canada's well-known shoe manufacturing concerns has recently been announced.The name of Scott-Chamberlain, Ltd., of London, Ont., Which has become so familiar to the trade, has been changed. to Scott-McHale, Ltd. As indicated by this new name, Mr. JJ McHale, the company's superintendent, has become a member of the firm.Mr. McHale has been connected with the firm for a comparatively short time, but long enough to earn for himself the high opinion of his colleagues and the trade in general.

Mr. McHale was born into the shoe industry.His grandfather made shoes in London away back in the early sixties, and his father also followed the shoe business.He himself was with the Brown Shoe Co., of St. Louis, previous to his connection with the London concern, five years as foreman and ten years as superintendent.
 

Jiqea

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A little additional data concerning the Getty-Scott and Scott-Chamberlain companies. The Scott in each was Francis S. Scott, however the Getty-Scott factory was in Galt (Cambridge) and produced children's and women's shoes, while the Scott-Chamberlain factory was in London and produced high end men's shoes and boots. It was the the Scott-Chamberlain company which became Scott-McHale in 1922.

Below are a few ads from 1916 taken from the Shoe & Leather Journal, which was an industry publication produced in Toronto by Preston Publishing.. It is interesting to see that Scott-Chamberlain used a @Paul902 ancestor in their adverts. Paul still has the same outfit.

G and S 1916.jpg
G and S Galt.jpg
Getty and Scott 1916.jpg
Getty and Scott 1916c.jpg
shoeandleatherjour1916_0709.jpg
shoeandleatherjour1916_0757.jpg
Scott Chamberlain 1916.jpg
 
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Paul902

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@Jiqea: Pretty much, I do. As you know, however, I had to give up the cigars in order to remain competitive in World Cup level XC skiing and be able to out run enemy spies in my day job. Since you found a picture of Gramps, I wonder if I should change my avatar from the Slater Invictus man.

For those of you wondering about the status of my shoe collection, I am taking a different maritime tack than @Jiqea's McHale's Navy. Mine is more of a Noah's Ark approach, as I hunt of exotic leathers "two by two." The latest addition are these kudu antelope PTBs made under the Dack's Bespoke Quality 150th Anniversary label.
IMG_7218.JPG
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IMG_7221.JPG
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Jiqea

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I have added another pair of gunboats to my flotilla of John McHale signature shoes; a pair of 11.5E black cap-toe bluchers on the "Bomber" last (stealth bombers?). They each weigh in at slightly over 2lbs. Surprisingly the black version of this shoe is much more rare than the brown version. These shoes were made with wonderful leather. With a little effort I think I could get a really nice shine on them.

The attached advert is from 1944 and is the earliest reference I can find to the "Bomber". They were in continuous production through to the 80's.

IMG_3429.jpg
IMG_3430.jpg
IMG_3431.jpg

1944 McHale Bomber.JPG
 
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Paul902

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I have added another pair of gunboats to my flotilla of John McHale signature shoes; a pair of 11.5E black cap-toe bluchers on the "Bomber" last (stealth bombers?). They each weigh in at slightly over 2lbs. Surprisingly the black version of this shoe is much more rare than the brown version. These shoes were made with wonderful leather. With a little effort I think I could get a really nice shine on these.

The attached advert is from 1944 and is the earliest reference I can find to the "Bomber". They were in continuous production through to the 80's.

View attachment 1322469View attachment 1322470View attachment 1322471
View attachment 1322490
Those are The Bomb! I want some in my size!
 

gorebug

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Triple made in Canada finds over the weekend.

6C5FF8C3-FE63-4902-8EA3-26E8C1EE6CBC.jpeg


Florsheim oxhide(?) faux long wings (7.5)

Dacks water buffalo loafer 9 - I’m assuming 70s vintage by the insole and sewn-in Dacks tag.

Unknown maker 2-eye blucher in what I believe is seal. Sock liner is worn smooth and the nail pattern in the sole is unfamiliar so i don't have many clues to go on (same size and identical Bilt-rite heel as the Dacks above, so assume they were donated together).
 

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