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 athletic shoe 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 include Cole-Haan casual and dress footwear, Hurley
International action sports clothing and footwear, and Umbro soccer kit).
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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copyright 1995-2012 by Charles L. Perrin.
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technologies may be trademarked by the manufacturers. Charlie's Sneaker Pages uses these names solely to describe the shoes with the same familiar
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