Eddie Bauer reinvents winter warmth idea introducing coterie of new products

20 Oct '05
2 min read

Comfortable apparel and gear sourcing company Eddie Bauer invented down jacket to keep from freezing in Northwest winters.

The idea behind the modern down jacket couldn't come any sooner for avid outdoorsman Eddie Bauer, who found freezing to death on a 1935 winter fishing trip in Washington state.

Seventy years later Eddie Bauer reinvents the idea of winter warmth introducing a Coterie of New Products that creatively play homage to the Company's heritage.

Bauer, who owned a Seattle sports shop at the time, remembered the down clothing his Russian uncles wore in Manchuria during the long-ago Russo Japanese War. He fiddled with the cumbersome Russian designs until he perfected and patented what he called the "Skyliner" quilted down jacket in 1936. It was an instant hit.

The company also benefited from the approaching war when the Air Force ordered 50,000 Eddie Bauer B-9 Flight Parkas and a quarter million down sleeping bags. Popular demand for down products soon followed. Another high visibility coup came in 1963 when Seattleite Jim Whittaker asked the company to design outerwear capable of keeping warm a team of climbers heading up Mt. Everest. Whittaker's group became the first Americans to summit the mountain - wearing Eddie Bauer Expedition down wear.

From serious outdoor wear, down is now common at "street level{ where it comes in all sorts of practical - and fashionable - shapes and colors. And it's penetrated the bedroom in a big way: The traditional "eiderdown" comforters, feather beds and pillows of another era have been updated and are now sold by the millions.

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