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Dacks and other Canadian shoe brands

suitforcourt

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I have always been a history nerd. I wish I had written a paper on this during my student days. Instead I wrote about how Sweden was not s true neutral in WW2 and how Canada was used as cannon fodder in the defence of Hong Kong and the attack on Dieppe. Sigh.
 

Jiqea

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Here is a little tidbit. A useful summary article from the Edmonton Journal in 1992. It answers a couple of questions I had. It provides the very interesting fact that S.E. stayed on at the company for 5 years after the sale. I should have guessed this, but it helps me understand why I have been seeing all the adds for S.E Dack shoes between 1951 and 1955, not before 1948. I will document this further in a separate post on S.E. Dack shoes. The longer article clarifies the origin of the 30's run of Bond Street shoes. Lower priced shoes made from Canadian sourced leather. I have attached an ad from February 25, 1931, the first year of their production.

August 19, 1992 Edmonton Journal article.JPG


Feb 25 1931, Bond street.JPG
 

suitforcourt

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Here is a little tidbit. A useful summary article from the Edmonton Journal in 1992. It answers a couple of questions I had. It provides the very interesting fact that S.E. stayed on at the company for 5 years after the sale. I should have guessed this, but it helps me understand why I have been seeing all the adds for S.E Dack shoes between 1951 and 1955, not before 1948. I will document this further in a separate post on S.E. Dack shoes. The longer article clarifies the origin of the 30's run of Bond Street shoes. Lower priced shoes made from Canadian sourced leather. I have attached an ad from February 25, 1931, the first year of their production.

View attachment 1142236

View attachment 1142237
If we ever find a functioning time machine, we hit all the Canadian shoe brands and empty out their inventory. And then sell to the members of this thread.
 

Jiqea

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Here is another useful piece from the Financial Post on May 20, 1967. If I am reading it correctly it indicates that the purchase of Dacks/Hartt from the A.H. Marston group occurred in 1964.

May 20 1967 Fnancial post  Churches group.JPG
 

Jiqea

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And this from June 24 1964,with confirmation and some detail. Really the Marston group brought us a period of amazing quality with their ownership of Dacks. However the beginning if the end was looming when Church took control. There was still the amazing period of exotic leathers to come, however investments in the firm and advertizing were cut back, and quality suffered. Still Dacks lumbered on for another 45 years!

The second brief story is from July 18th in the National Post.



June 24 1964 Times Colonist.JPG


July 18 1964 National Post.JPG
 
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Paul902

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That's cool! I love that old gas lighting.

OK, here's a challenge: Let's each take and post one photo of a shoe store in Canada currently. IE a new photo. Points for technical qualities (composition, exposure, dynamic range), Canadian content, history. Winner to gloat for remainder of 2019. Entries due by midnight, March 15, 2019. ("I said, 'Julie, don't go...but would he listen? No!'")
Gents, the Ides are nearly upon us! Don't forget to get out and get an entry for the 2019 SF Canadian Shoe Shop Photo Contest!!
 

suitforcourt

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Classic Canadiana today. Dacks black cap toe in calf. These were in NOS condition and last owner installed topys on them.

Versatile and one of my better fitting pairs.

E2936AA1-016B-44FF-8654-16DB1C261FBA.jpeg


E1E9B2B7-3DFE-4D59-B553-98C277B06D00.jpeg
 

Jiqea

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Here is a bit of information on A.H. Marston. The period of his leadership of Dacks, from 1948 to 1964, really was a Golden Era and much of what we think of as classic Dack came about under his stewardship. I will be writing more about developments during these years, but I wanted to post this. Earlier I said that 1948 was the year the music died, but that was not fair and not true; Marston's leadership was exemplary. It was under Church's ownership that the firm faltered, although even during the first half of their tenure some very desirable shoes were made. More to come on that as well.

This is from Feb. 22, 1999. It sounds like he had a good ride.

Feb 2 1999 A H Marston.JPG
 

Paul902

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So, from the mid-50s to 1964 he was golfing in FLA while upper management ensured our Pa2O3 and Zebu were made to the highest standards? Perhaps that is too cynical a reading. Jim, how many days per year was he in TO after he "moved to Palm Beach?" Inquiring minds... Interesting, this does not tell when he was born.
 

Jiqea

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So, from the mid-50s to 1964 he was golfing in FLA while upper management ensured our Pa2O3 and Zebu were made to the highest standards? Perhaps that is too cynical a reading. Jim, how many days per year was he in TO after he "moved to Palm Beach?" Inquiring minds... Interesting, this does not tell when he was born.
I regret to say that Anthony Marston passed away on 01/24/2009 and was 98 at the time.

He was a businessman to be sure, and likely didn't spend a lot of time on the factory floor. S.E Dack stayed on after the sale in '48 for at least another five years, so things were in good hands then. The late 50's and early 60's were years of change. The Toronto factory was closed in 1957, with all Hartt and Dack manufacturing being completed in Fredericton.

Marston may not have come from a shoe background, but he didn't run things into the ground. It appears that there was no significant lessening of quality during those years, however this is difficult to say with certainty, as we see so few pre-1955 Dacks.

As for being in Florida in the winter, travel records and bits of information scattered here and there on the web suggest old S.E. spent a fair bit of time in California in the winter, with trips to Hawaii as well. If you get excited when you find a "Bespoke Quality" pair of Dacks, thank old Tony; that was one of his things. I would be interested to learn how he made his money to buy the company in 1948.
 
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Paul902

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So, SE was on the floor pretty much until the move to NB, where there would have already been the Hartt QC in place, and, indeed, we have seen that they even shared styles quite closely on some models, thereafter. Fantastic research - the picture is kind of becoming clearer.

PS I love the look of concentration on that leather selector in the McHale ad!
 

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