Converse - Classic Sneakers
Marquis M. Converse started the "Converse Rubber Shoe Company" in 1908.
Over a century later,
the brand continues as a presence in the footwear business.
In the early days, this was the one-time
manufacturing plant for "Converse Rubber Shoes."
Note the horse-drawn wagon and the antique automobiles.
Converse marketed their canvas sneakers with the slogan
"It's Converse for Comfort."
2003 Converse model features a replica of the original 1908 "Converse
Rubber Shoe Company" logo.
Converse corporate parentage: from nuke to Nike...
Converse has been part of several different firms over the years. These include:
- 1971: Eltra - diversified manufacturer, probably best known for electrical
wiring products (now
- 1980: Allied - Allied became AlliedSignal in 1985, later merged with
International in 1999 and adopted the Honeywell name - a diversified
maker of car parts, aircraft electronics (avionics), and even
- 1983: Allied spun off Converse.
- 1986: Interco - Furniture and footwear manufacturer. Later on, Interco changed their
name to Furniture Brands
International (makers of Broyhill, Lane,
Interco spun off Converse and Florsheim,
their footwear businesses, as separate companies.
- 2003: Nike - famous athletic apparel and footwear
- 1908 - The "Converse Rubber Shoe Company" opens for
- 1915 - Converse branches out into sneakers.
- 1917 - The first version of the sneaker now known as the "All Star" enters
- 1921 - Charles H. Taylor ("Chuck") hires on as a salesman and endorser.
- 1928 - Converse goes into receivership after a disastrous
diversification into automobile tires.
- 1929 - Converse acquired by Mitchell Kaufman.
- 1932 - The "Chuck Taylor" signature added to the All
Star basketball shoe.
- 1933 - The Stone family acquires Converse.
- 1935 - The "Jack Purcell" sneaker introduced by B.
F. Goodrich... later to become a Converse product.
- 1966 - Converse starts adding color choices to the basic
black and white "Chuck Taylor" All Star basketball shoe.
- 1970 - The suede "One Star" comes out.
- 1971 - The Stone family (who started the Stone Charitable Fund of Boston as a
philanthropic effort) sells the company to Eltra Corporation.
- Eltra acquires the Goodrich footwear business and merges most of it with
Converse; they are required to spin off the PF
Flyers brand in the process.
- Charlie buys his first pair
of "Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers for gym
- 1975 - Julius W. Erving ("Dr. J") becomes a
- 1980 - Converse parent Eltra becomes part of Allied
- 1982 - Allied Corporation spins off Converse as a
- 1984 - Converse boxes proudly proclaim "Official Sponsor of the 1984
Olympic Games" after paying $1,000,000 for the privilege.
- 1986 - Interco acquires Converse.
- 1992 - First use of the "REACT" cushioning technology in Converse athletic shoes.
- 1994 - Interco spins off its footwear businesses (Converse
and Florsheim) as separate companies.
- 1996 - Converse:
- Refocuses on their product
strengths: basketball, cross training, and "athletic original" shoe lines.
- Produces 5.2 million pairs of sneakers in the United
- Jumps the millennium four years early
with the All Star 2000.
- 1997 - Converse:
- Announces that over 550 million pairs of
"Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers produced; believed an industry record.
- Produces 7.5 million pairs of sneakers in the United States.
- Establishes its presence on the World Wide Web.
- 1998 - Converse:
- Announces that over 560 million pairs of
"Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers produced.
- Produces 8.4 million pairs of sneakers in the United States.
- Celebrates ninety years in business.
- 1999 - Converse:
- Has United States production drop to 5.6 million pairs.
- Introduces helium
cushioning to athletic shoes.
- 2000 - Converse:
- Announces that over 570 million pairs of
"Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers produced.
- Produces 3.9 million pairs of sneakers in the United States.
- 2001 - Converse:
- January - Enters Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- March - Discontinues manufacturing in the United States.
- April - Changes ownership from public to private hands; $117 million
paid to the bankruptcy court towards their debt.
- July - First "Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers
made in Indonesia arrive
in the USA.
- 2002 - Converse:
- July 31 - All the old Converse stock was cancelled. Unlucky stockholders
should have taken the write-off for worthless stock in 2002. (You're
out of luck now.)
- December - Then-current owners formally propose that Converse return to being a
publicly owned company.
- July 9 - Nike announces that they will
purchase Converse for $305 million plus the assumption of certain
- September 4 - Nike acquisition completed; Converse now part of the Nike
collection of "SWOOSH-free" brands (which also includes Hurley
International action sports clothing and footwear).
Best-selling sneaker of all time:
Over 1.1 billion shoe laces have been
made, just to meet the manufacturing requirements for Converse "Chuck Taylor" All Star sneakers.
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Last Updated: 1 February 2017
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Charlie's Sneaker Pages copyright 1995-2017 by Charles L. Perrin.
READERS PLEASE NOTE: Names of athletic shoe manufacturers, shoe styles, and technologies may be trademarked by the manufacturers. Charlie's Sneaker Pages uses these names solely to describe the shoes with the same familiar nomenclature used by the manufacturer and recognized by the reader.