Wednesday, October 12, 2016
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.
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