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Dacks and other Canadian shoe brands

Paul902

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@COLONEL77, it is so great to see you on this thread again! It has really been revived over the past year, as a bunch of us fans discover how fantastic Dack and Hartt truly were. Did you work within the business yourself? I would love to hear more from you in regards to the history of the companies, little known facts and anecdotes, etc. All the best to you!
 

COLONEL77

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This has taken some doing, but I have finally done it, and I am pleased. Drum roll please.

Here is a 1934 press photo of Mr. and Mrs. E. Stanford Dack (sic) on the Grace Liner Santa Rosa bound for Victoria, British Colombia. The photo was taken as they were departing New York City on February 16. The Santa Rosa regularly made the passage from New York to Seattle via the Panama Canal.

S.E was born in 1891, so he is approximately 45 in this photo. He sold the firm in 1948 at the age 57. Stanford is reputed to have inspected each pair of shoes leaving the factory while wearing white gloves. His lovely wife was named Dorothy.


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HELLO -

MY FATHER, ANTHONY HESELTON MARSTON WAS THE PERSON WHO PURCHASED DACK'S IN 1947 WHERE MR. DACK REMAINED WORKING WITH MY FATHER AND HIS GENERAL PLANT MANAGER FRED LOMAS FOR OVER A YEAR UNTIL EARLY 1949 BEFORE RETIRING TO EVENTUALLY LIVE AND DIE IN CALIFORNIA -

LOOKING AT THE PHOTO WHAT STANDS OUT WHEN LOOKING AT STAN DACK ???
 

COLONEL77

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@COLONEL77, it is so great to see you on this thread again! It has really been revived over the past year, as a bunch of us fans discover how fantastic Dack and Hartt truly were. Did you work within the business yourself? I would love to hear more from you in regards to the history of the companies, little known facts and anecdotes, etc. All the best to you!
SOMETHING YOU AND OTHER VIEWERS MIGHT FIND AMUSING IS AT AGE OF 10 ( 63 YEARS AGO !!! ) I WAS RIDING AROUND IN OUR DRIVEWAY AT 84 CRESCENT ROAD, TORONTO, WITH SOME FRIENDS ON OUT BICYCLES WHEN MY FATHER ARRIVED HOME -

AT DINNER THAT EVENING HE ASKED IF I WANTED TO PLAY COWBOYS AND INDIANS ALL SUMMER OR COME DOWN TO THE OFFICE / PLANT AT 124 ADELAIDE STREET WEST TO LEARN THE SHOE BUSINESS - NEXT MORNING I WAS IN CAR WHEN HE CAME OUT -

THEY STARTED ME OFF WITH THE ' GRANDE TOUR ' THROUGHOUT ENTIRE PLANT FROM WHERE LEATHER CAME IN THEN FOLLOWED EVERY STATION TO WHERE BOXED SHOES WENT BACK OUT SAME LOADING DOOR TO STORES AND DEALERS -

ALL BEING AN ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE FOR A YOUNGSTER AND FOR YEARS I WORKED IN THE PLANT, OFFICE OR STORES WHENEVER POSSIBLE IN SUMMERS / HOLIDAYS AND SUCH -

REMAINED WITH THE COMPANY AT THE THEN LATER HEAD OFFICE, LOCATED AT 595 TRETHEWEY DRIVE, UNTIL MAKING A TERRIBLE MISTAKE TO BECOME A STOCK BROKER AT AGE 23 WHICH IF YOU FIGURE THE YEARS FROM 1947 TO 1970 WAS ABOUT WORST POSSIBLE TIME TO DO SO EVEN THOUGH I HAD BEEN FAMILIAR WITH BALANCE SHEETS AND WORKING IN FACTS OF PROFIT AND LOSS SINCE ABOUT AGE 6 WITH MY FATHER AND MOTHER.
 

COLONEL77

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Afternoon, gents....



NYC to Victoria...that is quite the steamer trip. I'm trying to mentally calculate how much gin one would need on hand for such an expedition. He is quite the dapper fellow. What is going on between his shoes and his pants, that lighter coloured area? Underpants?


WITH RESPECT TO PHOTO OF STAN DACK HIMSELF AS NOTED ABOVE, WHAT IS ON HIS SHOES ARE ' SPATS ' -

AM SOMEWHAT SURPRISED NONE OF YOU VIEWERS WOULD KNOW THAT -

A GOOD ITEM OF TRIVIA IS ALL TORONTO DACK'S STORES STILL HAD SPATS ON SALE WHEN I WAS A YOUNGSTER IN THE 1950s, AND ON INTO THE 1970s, AS THERE WERE STILL A FEW OF OUR LONG TERM CUSTOMERS WHO WISHED TO HAVE THEM -

ONE MAN IN PARTICULAR, FALCONBRIDGE CASSELS, A WELL-KNOW DOWNTOWN TORONTO LAWYER, WAS A REGULAR PURCHASER WHO LIVED TO BE 100 YEARS AND WAS STILL WEARING SPATS WHEN DRESSED UP. COLONEL77
 

suitforcourt

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I couldn't sleep, so I cleaned up this pair of mid 1950's Scott-McHale Scotch grain U-wings. They had been stuck in Ogdensburg NY for a couple of weeks, but @Paul902 brought them back for me just a few days before the border closed. I think he was looking for an excuse to self isolate with a case of wine and 30 pairs of vintage shoes.

From 1944 on, with the introduction of the John McHale Custom Shoe, the Scott-McHale shoe was Scott-McHale Ltd's second line in quality and pricing. Looking at these shoes it is hard to believe that this level of workmanship went into a second level offering, but the 1950's were still part of the Golden age of shoe-making. The Scott-McHale line was manufactured up until the purchase of Scott-McHale Ltd by Interco in March of 1959. After that time the second quality line was rebranded as "The McHale Shoe".

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Is this the pair in size 9E? If so, I wish to reconfirm I am interested.
 

Paul902

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@COLONEL77 Thank you so much for the amusing anecdotes! My father grew up not too far from you, on Hollywood Crescent in Toronto around the same time, and he used to ride around on his bike a lot, too, so I can really picture the scene you describe. Your Dad must have been so pleased and proud to find you waiting in the car the next morning, ready to take up his offer. It must have been an exciting place for a youngster!

No, sadly, I did not know what spats were! SE was really a well-dressed looking gentleman, though.

Do you still have a good collection of Dack's footwear? I know in a previous post you mentioned that you have some golf shoes. My "Holy Grail" would be to find some very old vintage Dack's lace up boots. If you have a pair hidden away in a box somewhere, please let me know!
 

COLONEL77

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I am just back from a brief foray into the heart of southwestern Ontario. One of the more interesting items I found was this amazing pair of Dacks equestrian boots. They were custom made and are without a stamped size indicator, but appear to be 12-12.5D. They must have been made after 1934, as they are stamped with "For More Than a Hundred Years", both on the sock liner and near the top of the front interior. The sock liner and front interior stamp use the early Dacks script logo that you see in the adverts through the 1920's and 30's, and which appears to have been replaced by the late 40's with the thicker script. Based on this I am guessing the boots were made in the late 1930's or early 40's.

They were exceptionally well made with hidden Goodyear welting and nailed leather heels. It is interesting to see Toronto feature prominently on the sock liner and stamp, as well as the "Civil and Military Bootmaker" reference, which I have never seen before.

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BOTH DACK'S AND HARTT MADE MILITARY SHOES AND BOOTS AND FOR ALL YEARS FROM BEFORE AND THROUGH WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II AND KOREA, AS WELL AS FOR EVERY OTHER USAGE IN BETWEEN, AS WELL AS FOR MANY DIFFERENT POLICE DEPARTMENTS ACROSS CANADA AND IN THE UNITED STATES -

A GOOD ITEM OF TRIVIA IS DACK'S MADE TWO PAIRS OF OF RCMP RIDING BOOTS AS WORN BY THE ORIGINAL ACTOR RICHARD SIMMONS IN THE TV PROGRAM " SERGEANT PRESTON OF THE YUKON " SO LOOK FOR THEM IN CERTAIN EPISODES AS THEY DO STAND OUT -

WE HAVE THE ORIGINAL WORK ORDER FOR THOSE TWO PAIRS -

BOTH COMPANIES ALSO PRODUCED ALMOST ALL OF THE FULL DRESS / RIDING BOOTS OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE AS WORN IN " THE MUSICAL RIDE " GROUP MANY OF WHICH ARE STILL BEING WORN TO THIS VERY DAY IN BEING PASSED ALONG FROM ONE MAN TO ANOTHER AS THEY RETIRE OR NO LONGER NEED THEM FOR FULL DRESS ATTIRE -

TALK TO SOME MOUNTIES TO HAVE THEM SHOW YOU THEIR BOOTS AS THEY HAVE BEEN MADE BY OTHER COMPANIES OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS ALTHOUGH A GOOD NUMBER OF DACK'S AND HARTT BOOTS CAN STILL BE READILY FOUND OUT THERE -

WHEN WE CLOSED OUT THE ORIGINAL KING STREET STORE AND WERE MOVING INVENTORY AROUND TO OTHER STORES AND BACK TO THE FACTORY WE FOUND A NUMBER OF FULL BOXES OF MOUNTIES BOOTS WHICH HAD FALLEN DOWN BEHIND THE ALMOST 9 FEET HIGH SHELVES, LIKELY BEING WEDGED BACK THERE FOR UP TO 50 YEARS INTO THE 1960s -

THAT KING STREET STORE WAS ON THE LOCATION OF THE TORONTO-DOMINION CENTRE OFFICE BUILDING WHEN YOU SEE IT IN PHOTOGRAPHS AND WAS THE MAIN STORE LOCATION I WORKED AT FROM AGE 10 TO 15 BEFORE I WAS MOVED AROUND TO SOME OF THE OTHER TORONTO AND OUT OF TOWN STORES FOR THE DIFFERENT WORKING EXPERIENCES WITH DIFFERENT MANAGERS IN DIFFERENT SITUATIONS AS NEEDED WHEN FILLING IN WHEN MEN WERE AWAY ON HOLIDAY OR ILL -

KING STREET WAS ALSO WHERE THE REBUILD / REPAIR SHOP WAS AT THE BACK WHICH IS A WHOLE OTHER STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY. COLONEL77
 

suitforcourt

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When the day comes, I would love to know more about the rebuild portion of Dacks.
 

COLONEL77

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Quite amazing shoes. It's nice to see how double soles used to be made, i.e. thick. Unlike for instance Alden's double soles which are only marginally thicker than a pair of single soles. Fortunately the UK firms do double soles do them reasonably thick, although not like these McHales.
[/Q
Quite amazing shoes. It's nice to see how double soles used to be made, i.e. thick. Unlike for instance Alden's double soles which are only marginally thicker than a pair of single soles. Fortunately the UK firms do double soles do them reasonably thick, although not like these McHales.
 

COLONEL77

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THE REBUILD / REPAIR DEPARTMENT WAS LOCATED AT THE BACK OF THE KING STREET STORE FOR MANY YEARS THEN MOVED ON ITS CLOSING TO 595 TRETHEWEY DRIVE OUT IN WESTON IN THE WEST END PART OF TORONTO -

IT WAS RUN BY ONE OF THE VERY BEST SHOE MEN YOU MIGHT EVER MEET WHO HAD HIS OWN CREW, MOSTLY ALL ITALIAN GENTLEMEN AS HE WAS -

THEY COUD WORK REAL ' MAGIC ' WITH ALMOST ANY SHOE BROUGHT IN FOR WORK AND IN MOST CASES ALMOST LOOKED LIKE THEY JUST ARRIVED NEW FROM THE FREDERICTON FACTORY, WHERE THERE WAS ALSO ANOTHER REBUILD / REPAIR DEPARTMENT -

ONE OF THE MORE AMUSING ASPECTS OF THE TORONTO SHOPPE WAS THESE FELLOWS ALL KNOCKED OFF FOR A FULL HOUR, OFTEN SLIGHTLY LONGER, FOR A FULLY COOKED LUNCH OF ALMOST EVER KIND OF PASTA RELATED MEAL WITH SALAD AND BREAD YOU COULD THINK OF AND IF YOU WENT IN THERE AROUND OR AFTER NOON THEY WOULD INSIST YOU SIT AND JOIN THEM WHICH WAS USUALLY NOT POSSIBLE HOWEVER CAN GUARANTEE YOU THEIR " BIG LUNCH " RIVALED ANY TOP OF THE LINE ITALIAN FOOD RESTAURANT YOU COULD FIND IN TORONTO - COLONEL77
 

Jiqea

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It is great to have you back on the thread Colonel 77!!! You are a bit of a legend here, and you Dad is hero. He did good things over the years he owned Dacks/Hartt. I have many pairs of shoes from those years. @paul 902 even has a lovely pair of S.E. Dacks.

Stanford Dack sure was a dapper fellow. The spats really stand out to me.

How long did he continue to work at Dacks after your Dad purchased the company? As well when did production cease in Toronto?

I am so glad you are here!!! I have tried to figure out how to reach you several times. You have so much you can teach us. So much of what I have posted has been an educated guess. I would love to be corrected many times.
 
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Jiqea

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Is this the pair in size 9E? If so, I wish to reconfirm I am interested.
No, they are a size 7E I think. I will triple check. I must admit that I worked on them for almost 2 hours and never closely looked at the size.
 

COLONEL77

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WOULD ANY OF YOU FELLOWS IN YOUR SEARCHES EVER FIND ANY TRIPLE SOLE SHOES AS WE MADE SOME, NOT MANY, WHICH WERE POPULAR WITH POLICE DEPARTMENT ENFORCERS AND CERTAIN OTHERS IN THE SECURITY FIELD ALONG WITH FOR MILITARY USE ???

FOR THOSE IN THE TORONTO AREA YOU LIKELY KNOW THE TOUGHEST POLICE DETECTIVES OFTEN PUT ON A PAIR WHEN THEY EXPECTED TO BE DOING SOME " STOMPING " IN TOUGHER SITUATIONS -

MEMORIES OF NICOLUCCI AND BARBETTA -

THIS FAMOUS POLICE DUO USED TO COME IN TOGETHER TO THE TRETHEWEY DRIVE OUTLET TO SIT AND BE FITTED WHEN I WORKED ASSISTING WALTER COOPER, THE GENTLEMAN WHO ALSO PRODUCED EVER SINGLE PAINTED SIGN YOU MIGHT HAVE EVER SEEN IN THE STREET WINDOW DISPLAYS AND INSIDE EVERY DACK'S STORE ACROSS CANADA, WHICH TODAY ARE HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE, JUST AS WERE ALL THE BETTER HAND-PAINTED SIGNS WHEN " HONEST ED'S " HAD THEIR BIG SALES ON CLOSING. -

NICOLUCCI CARRIED A 6-SHOT .38 S&W ON EACH HIP, BOTH LOADED WITH WADCUTTERS, USUALLY ANOTHER .38 IN A SHOULDER RIG AND AT TIMES ONE OTHER PISTOL, HIGH UP FROM ONE ANKLE - NOW THAT IS BEING PREPARED FOR A " TOUGH SITUATION " - COLONEL77

-- https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/frank-barbetta-the-man-who-forged-legends-as-a-tough-news-photo/502263633 --

-- https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMDC-TSPA_0030715F&R=DC-TSPA_0030715F --

-- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadcutter --.
 

Jiqea

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[/QUOTE]
I have never seen a photo of one of those signs. I keep my eyes open for vintage Dacks memorabilia, but it just doesn't come available very often. One of the things we are most often looking for are old catalogs. If you happen to have any from the Golden years of when your family owned the company, we would love to see them. 1947-1964 were just fantastic years for quality and style.

I saw a picture of one pair of triple sole Dacks. I cant put my hands on it. I hadn't realized Dacks shipped police footwear to the US. That is quite interesting.
 
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