Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Steampunk Scootering Gear

I hadn't heard of Filson's until recently, but I gotta tell you this is some nice stuff. Old school wool and oiled cotton field gear from an old Seattle company that outfitted folks headed to the Alaskan Gold Rush. So yeah, I bet it'd be great foul-weather scootering wear.

When my buddy Eamon picked Jes and I up from SeaTac after the holidays, we made a side trip to Seattle so he could exchange a garment his parents had gotten him for Christmas. He needed a different size; seemed like an in-and-out errand, so Jes and I stayed in the van.

Since then I've borrowed the wool jacket, which I believe is a Double Cruiser Mackinaw, though I could be wrong, to step out for a smoke at the Hungry Hollow Book Farm. It's really freakin' nice. The new minion (as Sky loving calls his fellow book pirates) out at the Farm, John, was sporting a new cap and vest (pictured above) from there last night, so the topic of Filson's came up recently in conversation.
In 1897, Filson opened C.C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers, specializing in goods to outfit the stampeders to the Klondike Gold Rush. Stories of harrowing experiences in the Yukon were widely reported. The diary of Hume Nisbet, 1897 painted this picture: "Try to recall your sensations on the coldest night you have ever known: try to intensify the most bitter ice blast that has ever pierced your marrow by a thousandfold; even then you will not be able to realize spring in the Chilkoot Canyon, far less midwinter on the Klondike."
It was for these terrible conditions that Filson designed his goods. He owned his own mill and manufactured Mackinaw clothing, Mackinaw blankets and knit goods, as well as selling boots, shoes, moccasins and sleeping bags specially designed for the frigid North. Filson kept in close contact with his customers, improving his goods to meet their specific needs. The stampeders depended on Filson. In that era, clothing wasn't a matter of choice, but of survival.
Um, yeah, I think it'd work for scootering.
Don't get me wrong, their stuff is spendy, but it's worth it. Extremely well made, durable clothes, that you'll pass on to your grandkids, unless you get mauled by a bear in it, or laydown the scoot in it. And the Dragon always prefers to buy quality once, than to spend more in the long run on crap.
Really Filson's style is more classic and timeless than steampunk, though you could pull off a nice understated steampunk vibe with say a vest and nice pocket watch. I mean really a vest with a lot of pockets is almost a steam punk as goggles or a top hat. And a lot of the aesthetic appeal of steam punk for me is taking the sentiment of "they don't make 'em like they used to," and procuring or making yourself something that is made "like they used to." Filsons makes 'em like they used to, heck, they never stopped.


sky said...

thanks for the shouts out dude, but where are the links? heh heh

could you find much filson stuff on the web?

i was just looking the other day

D W said...

I think it is great you are LIKING THE fILSON STUFF. i WORK AT fILSONS and am always seeking out filson blogs and comments online. Check us out at www.filson.com