Converse: Before the Swoosh, there was the Star Pt 1

1908-1918: In the beginning

     In 1908 a young man named Marquis Mills Converse opens his own rubber manufacturing company. The company is called Converse Rubber Shoe Company. His company was initially based in Malden, Massachusetts. In the early days Converse did not make the traditional sneakers that they sell today. Originally they made a wide assortment of generic footwear for both men and women such as dress shoes, work shoes, and winterized shoes. Wasn’t uncommon for footwear manufactures early in the 20th century. Around this time shoes were just a necessity, people usually bought shoes for practical reasons and not for looks. Converse was a follower and not really an innovator at this time. Their shoes were stored in wooden crates to be delivered to their respective dealers to be sold to the public. One of their first mottos was “Look for the big C.” Their first logo was a capital C with an x within the C itself. At some point Converse expanded by making tires and sporting footwear such as tennis. In 1917 the Converse All Star was introduced as the company decided to expand into basketball. The All Star was a precursor to the Chuck Taylor All Star and it was marketed as a performance shoe for basketball athletes. The first ten years of Converse were quite hazy, but the most important thing to happen to Converse was their creation of the Converse All Star.


The Converse factory based in Malden, Massachusetts. Wooden crates stored Converse’s various shoes that they produced for stores. Production hit a milestone of making 4,000 shoes a day.


Look for the Big C.


A vintage ad for Converse’s line of tires.


Converse All Star circa 1917.


8 thoughts on “Converse: Before the Swoosh, there was the Star Pt 1

  1. I need help u seem to know a lot about converse so I hope u can help me out. I have some really old Chuck Taylor all stars. I’ve been looking for info on them but no matter where I look or what key words I use I can’t find them. Their hi tops with like a cream coler and 3 sets of extra stitching that r red, white and blue. Do u have any info or somewhere I can try to find info.

  2. Hey!
    I actually work for converse. Without seeing the shoe it sounds like the basic “White” color (Not to be confused with the “Optical White”)….the basic white chucks that converse does have the red and blue stripes on the rubber around the shoe. One of the three original colors was actually the white with the red, blue lines. I’d love to see the picture though!

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