Once Upon a Time in the Vest

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

V 10 N. 87 The Dassler Brothers' Rivalry , Adidas vs. Puma - The Dumpster Reveals More of It's Secrets

Dec. 30, 2020

Today I received a few more photos from my source who discovered the abandoned pictures of Cliff Severn, the early Adidas rep in Southern California.   One of them I'll put in today because it comes from the little town of Hezognenaurach just 10 kilometers north of Nuremburg, Germany. 

Herzogenaurach, West Germany 1965

This was probably taken by Cliff Severn on a visit to the Adidas plant in 1965.  Note the two signs pointing in opposite directions, one to Adidas and the other to Puma.  The Dassler Brothers came from this town and founded their shoe company in 1919 as Gebruder Dassler Schuh Fabrik  (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory).  They started out in the family home but by the late 1920s had grown too big and set up a small factory in the town.  By the Berlin Olympics, they had made it big in the sport shoe world with their shoes winning 7 gold medals including some of Jesse Owens' victories as well as 5 silver and bronze.  During WWII the company converted and produced armaments.  But after the war the brothers had a row and went their separate ways, each setting up their own factories still in Herzogenaurach.  Rudolph led Puma and Adolph led Adidas.  They never spoke again.  The people of Herzogneaurach also divided.  You either worked at one factory or the other, but no one in your household would be working in the other factory.  The Dassler families maintained their separateness until the ownership when public.  They divested of their shares for the most part and some peace was made between the companies, although each still supports a separate football (soccer) club in the town.  The mayor is one of the few people to display logos from both companies in his apparel.  

Hannah Schwaer reported more on this fascinating story in Business Insider on Oct.1, 2018 at the 70th anniversary of the rift.  Here is the link:
Adidas and Puma, How It All Got Started

photo:  Hannah Schwaerr

Early logo of the Dassler Brothers sport shoe company

Walter Mizell

6:18 PM (29 minutes ago)
to me
Hey George, as you know I lived in Bavaria the last three years of the fifties, and in about 1958 acquired a pair of red Adidas spiked track shoes.  I think they were the first pair of spikes I ever owned.  They were a suede material, with approx 1 inch spikes (non-removable, as best I can recall) incredibly light, and I used them through my junior and senior years.  I had no idea they were made just a 3-hour drive from my home or that Puma’s  even existed.  But I took loving care of them and they served me well.  I wish I had kept them but somewhere over the years lost sight of them. At OU they gave us those heavy canvas cross country shoes. (blister machines) and that was it for cross country for the first couple of years.  I first saw Pumas at Arizona State on the feet of Ulis Williams, I believe.  Walt Mizell

Yep many of those great shoes, and tee shirts, I might add, got disappeared by our spouses I do believe.  

 "Honey, Have you seen my Blueberry Stomp tee shirt?"

"Oh I think it disintegrated in the the dryer, stud.  Why don't you wear that Calvin Klein tennis shirt I bought you at K-Mart? 


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