THE BRAND THAT STARTED IT ALL
– America’s Original Sportsman’s Brand –
In the late 1800s, the Bird, Jones, and Kenyon Company manufactured overalls in Utica, New York. Because of the proximity of their plant to the Adirondacks, and the many sportsmen who visited the area, they recognized a need for specialized outdoor clothing, which they began to supply. By 1904 they had created a line of sturdy and reliable, water-repellent clothing specifically designed to meet the needs of outdoorsmen across the country. The goods immediately were recognized by hunters, fishermen, and anyone who recreated in the great outdoors.
The products became very popular, and the company began to advertise in national outdoor publications. “Duxbak®” was chosen as the company’s trademark because of the garment’s tight-weaved, waxed fabric “shed water like a duck’s back.” This was the beginning of the Utica-Duxbak Corporation, which would go on to become the largest manufacturer of high-quality, outdoor garments in the United States of America.
The original line of Duxbak clothing consisted of coats, hats, shooting vests, and pants made of heavy cotton duck canvas material – olive drab and field tan in color and highly water-repellent. The line was soon expanded to include garments specifically designed for particular purposes. Shooting jackets, for example, had pivot sleeves, safety pockets for shells, and knitted wristlets.
For anyone who spent time in the outdoors between 1904 and the 1980’s, they almost certainly wore Duxbak. Many Duxbak garments were passed down through generations of sportsmen. Look at any photograph of outdoorsmen gathered during this period, and you’ll see that Duxbak clothing was practically a uniform. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt wore Duxbak clothing on his outdoor adventures, some of which are now on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Many storied outdoorsmen and untold legions of avid sportsmen throughout the country also wore Duxbak. Because of its sturdy, firmly stitched, long-lasting, and nearly impermeable fabric, Duxbak field pants, hunting coats, vests, and hats were derigueur for anyone who took to field and stream with rod and gun or enjoyed life in the great outdoors.
In the years that followed, the line was further expanded to include garments made of a lightweight fabric, under the trademarked name, “Kamp-it®.” Duxbak also began to manufacture clothes to meet the particular needs of those who not only recreated but also lived and worked in the outdoors. “Duxbak Engineer Wear” was created with pockets and features specifically designed for engineers, surveyors, and contractors. During the 1960s Duxbak adopted the slogan “The Action Sports Brand” and expanded their successful hunting, fishing, and camping offerings to include a full range of apparel for golf, snow skiing, sailing, athletics, and everyday wear for the active lifestyle.
From the beginning, Utica-Duxbak Corporation repeatedly communicated one important message in its advertising, “Dress Right for the Outdoors.” The passion sportsmen feel for Duxbak remains constant to this day, and goes well beyond just nostalgia; today’s outdoorsmen recognize a basic truth in the adage; “they don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
THE BEST OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY
– Classic -Dependable -Genuine -Tough
Founded in 1904, Duxbak is one of the first and oldest, American, outdoor brands. Most avid sportsmen born before 1975 likely owned a Duxbak product at some point in their life, or remember their elders having one. The Duxbak brand merges the best of yesterday and today, providing a unique, high-quality product, which makes a statement about one’s values and beliefs. Duxbak goods are built to last and designed for hard use in the open air. Over time, Duxbak products develop character and become old companions season after season making them something special to own and pass down.
BUILT TO LAST
– Our Guarantee –
Duxbak goods are built to last! We guarantee this declaration and will replace or refund any purchase that does not live up to this standard. Our guarantee covers the product for defects, failure in materials, and workmanship. General wear and tear and damage caused by accident or misuse are not guaranteed. Please contact us for additional information.
– BY JIM CASADA –
Although photos sometimes fade, memories, especially outdoor memories, remain as vivid as frost on autumn leaves or the warmth of the noonday sun.
One of my favorite quotations from Havilah Babcock, a slowing fountain of great literary snippets, suggests that “boyhood improves with age, and the more remote it is, the nicer boyhood seems to become.” There’s a wealth of wisdom in those words, and as I become increasingly long of tooth and sparse of hackle, fond memories of youth’s halcyon days seem to grow in importance. That’s a common human trait and likely always will be. Most of these dreams of yester-youth are ephemeral, nothing but mental milkweed spores dancing elusively on life’s gentle winds of change. Yet one aspect of joyful recollections associated with my adolescence remains powerful, poignant and tangible.
That is the role Duxbak® clothing played in sporting experiences, not only for me but for my friends and untold legions of others who once would have felt semi-naked without this venerable attire. Havilah Babcock wore Duxbak; everyone who accompanied me afield from my earliest experiences with squirrels, quail, and rabbits wore it; and for two or three generations before the advent of camouflage clothing, it was derigueur for hunters all across the Southern heartland and beyond.
Tough as a seasoned hickory stick and stiff enough to battle the worst that dewberry vines, blackberry briars, and saw-briars had to offer, Duxbak clothing enjoyed the additional virtues of being water repellent and incredibly durable.
During my 1950s boyhood, most any weekday from mid-October through February found me donning Duxbak as soon as I could rush home from school. After hastily changing clothes, I would grab a leftover sweet potato or a piece of cold cornbread and raw onion for a snack, stuff two or three apples from our little orchard in the capacious pockets of my hunting jacket and head for the woods and field.
Those were mixed bag outings involving bushy-tails, cottontails, quail and, although infrequently, doves or woodcock. Any game bird or animal in season was a worthy quarry for a Duxbak-clad boy, and the only variance in my daily roaming from mid-afternoon to trudging homeward in the gloaming involved slight adjustments in attire. As the days got colder, long-johns were worn beneath my Duxbak britches, and the sleeveless shell vest of October’s Indian summer days gave way to a heavy jacket with pockets galore. On rainy or snowy days there would be an adjustment in headgear as well, with the typical Duxbak topper featuring natty sides folding away from the cap’s brim were replaced by a Canadian Mounties-style hat which adequately protected one’s face and neck from the elements. Even in warmer months, a Duxbak cap was worn the way baseball caps are today. In time these would sport visible sweat stains, but far from being unappealing or unsuitable in a youngster’s eyes, such distinctive headwear served as a badge of honor offering visual testament to long and loving use.
My earliest outdoor recollections include Duxbak memories. Initially, there was hand-me-downs Mom somehow tailored from pants Dad had worn until the bottoms frayed, although that meant the britches had seen several seasons of use and countless miles of confrontation with briars and brambles and every sort along with frequent encounters with Beelzebub’s favorite vegetation, floribunda roses. How my mother ever managed to sew that sturdy, thick cloth remains a mystery. So does the manner in which she reduced the waistline and crotch on a man’s attire to fit a small boy. My momma was a staunch adherent to the Depression-inspired philosophy of “make do with what you’ve got,” and she worked wonders on her trusty sewing machine.
The Duxbak brand merges the best of yesterday and today, providing an uncommon and high-quality product, which makes a statement about one's values and beliefs.