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Dacks and other Canadian shoe brands

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Rampart, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Distinguished Member

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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.
     

  2. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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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
     

  3. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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    You can tell me to stop if this is getting creepy, but here is S.E.'s signature. A nice riff on the old logo!

    se signature 1923.JPG
     

  4. PatrickS

    PatrickS Member

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    Made in Germany I like the "Goose Neck" easy to get in and out. Not sure of the Age of these maybe the logo can help with dating.
    20190312_130127.jpg
     

  5. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Distinguished Member

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    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.
     

  6. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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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
     

  7. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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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
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019

  8. Paul902

    Paul902 Distinguished Member

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    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!!
     

  9. suitforcourt

    suitforcourt Distinguished Member

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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
     

  10. step_hen

    step_hen New Member

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    I like the proportions of the cap toe in relation to the vamp.
     

  11. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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    For the fans of McHale, here is a little piece of advertising from October 6, 1963. It has pictures so @Paul902 can enjoy it too! You may need to zoom a bit, or alternatively have another G & T.

    View attachment 1143293

    mc 1.JPG

    m2.JPG
     

  12. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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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
     

  13. Paul902

    Paul902 Distinguished Member

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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.
     

  14. Jiqea

    Jiqea Senior Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019

  15. Paul902

    Paul902 Distinguished Member

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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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