Bruce Johnson on George Rudolf
[Bruce Johnson has chronicled the early Outdoor Industry in pictures and text in his History of Gear Project. He talks about George Rudolph and Trailwise here. What follows is an excerpt from that. All images, text, and links are from there.]
Probably the very earliest Trailwise label.
During Ski Hut's early years, it was not so much a gear-making innovator company as it was an importer and supplier of the things that climbers, skiers and backpackers needed. But this changed sometime in the early 1950s (probably 1951), when Mr. Rudolph created "TRAILWISE," and thus began the period of Rudolf's company creating its own designs and products. In the late 1950s, Mr. Rudolf formed "Donner Mountain Company" (DMC), which was mainly an importer, and which was responsible for the late 1960s craze about Pivetta boots from Italy (I owned two pairs and was wild about them!). Over the course of its history, the original The Ski Hut store became one facet of a larger holding which included the Trailwise manufacturing, DMC, and a thriving Mail Order component.
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