Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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About Outdoors For 100 Years: Eddie Bauer, the Down Jacket, and Adventure-Driven Innovation

Outdoors For 100 Years: Eddie Bauer, the Down Jacket, and Adventure-Driven Innovation

Presented by Colin Berg, brand historian

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Eddie Bauer had a single, over-riding passion from the time he was a young boy-outdoor adventure. He dropped out of school when he was fourteen to work at Piper & Taft, the largest sporting goods store in Seattle. There, he apprenticed with some of the best hunters and fishermen in the Puget Sound region until, in 1920, at the age of twenty, he went into business for himself.

Bauer's Sport Shop was just one of many small outdoor outfitters in town. And it might have stayed that way but, in January 1935, Eddie went fishing for winter-run steelhead on the north fork of the Skokomish River. He suffered hypothermia, and had he been alone, he probably wouldn't have survived. When his companion got him home safely, Eddie was determined not to give up winter fishing, but to come up with a better jacket. Something warm, but also lightweight and, most importantly, highly breathable. In 1936, he introduced the "Blizzard Proof Jacket" that four years later, as the "Skyliner," became the first down jacket patented in America.

It revolutionized cold-weather outerwear. Mountaineers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts clamored for it. Bauer's Sport Shop became the brand Eddie Bauer. And the brand became famous for superior performance and adventure-driven innovation. Today, a team of 25 professional guides and athletes work with Eddie Bauer designers developing and testing the next generation of award-winning outdoor products.

About the Speaker:

Colin Berg has been the brand historian at Eddie Bauer since 2007. Prior to that, he was on the company's writing staff from 1995-2004. As the historian, he curates the company archives and conducts tours. He also continues to write, and serves as the brand storyteller, speaking both nationally and internationally.

About Elks Temple Virtual History Pub

Elks Temple Virtual History Pub

McMenamins History is pleased to broadcast live, free virtual programming, accessible to anyone with a Facebook account. We’ll bring you scholars, writers, experiencers, experts and more who will give presentations on Pacific Northwest history. Join us for these scheduled events on the McMenamins History page on Facebook – and don’t forget to stock up on your favorite McMenamins beer, wine, cider and more beforehand!

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