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Marcia Lee Jones
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These are my favorite sneakers, so they don't look this way anymore.
The idea of a "sneaker" did not come along until an American inventor, Charles Goodyear, patented the process for the vulcanization of rubber.
While many believe that the first basketball shoe was the famous Converse All Stars (developed in 1917), this is mistaken. The Spalding company produced shoes specifically for the game of basketball as early as 1907.
By the early 1900s, sneakers were being produced by small rubber companies, who specialized in the production of bicycle tires. U.S. Rubber introduced Keds in 1916, about the same time that Converse was marketing its All Star. Other companies, including B.F. Goodrich and Spalding Co., were producing tennis shoes and smaller family-owned companies were manufacturing early cleated shoes. At first, the market for sneakers was small and practically invisible, but after World War I, the U.S. turned to sports and athletes as a way to demonstrate moral fiber and patriotism. The U.S. market for sneakers grew steadily as young boys lined up to buy sneakers endorsed by football player Jim Thorpe and Converse All Stars endorsed by basketball player Chuck Taylor.
August 17th, 2013
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