Old brands don’t simply spring back to life. They need to be revived, rebuilt, massaged into the modern world. This stewardship takes care, talent and passion - passion for what is past and for what is possible. In many ways, the world today is vastly different than the world Hood Rubber Company last saw. Technology and modernization have added to (and detracted from) our lives in ways wholly unimaginable in the century past Hood’s glory days. Yet in many ways, we’ve come full circle to the original birth of Hood.
Hood Rubber Company sprung forth at a time when the great creatives of the Industrial Revolution were changing the way the world worked. It was the time of Bell, Tesla, Edison and the Wright Brothers. It was then that two brothers, Frederic and Arthur Hood, seized the opportunity to start their own shoe company. From very modest beginnings, they created highly technical rubber footwear with an emphasis on design, style, and brand identity that was ahead of their time. They grew to the point of employing thousands of men and women and by 1919 were the largest vulcanized rubber shoe factory in the world, producing nearly 90,000 pairs a day. Hood Rubber Company was an American success story, one that would eventually be forgotten over time. Almost.
As Hood grew, they diversified their product categories. They moved beyond footwear and became well known for their premium automobile tires, among other rubber products. When the national interest turned to support the efforts of the country during WWII, Hood used their expertise to make bulletproof fuel cells for vehicles as well as shoes and cold weather boots for the troops. As the company continued to expand, so too grew the interest from outside parties. Hood eventually sold to a competitor and effectively became a division within the other brand. But, in time, as it often happens in acquisitions, consolidation lead to the demise of Hood Rubber Company, and it closed its doors in 1969 as the US moved into a period of mass consumerism and a diminishing love of iconic US brands.
Fast forward to present day and consumers have begun again to desire and appreciate quality and authenticity, the hallmarks of what made Hood Rubber Company successful when it first debuted in 1896. We are proud to reintroduce Hood to a new generation of customers. The latest collection pays homage to its legacy and heritage, while simultaneously ushering it into the modern era. We’ve placed greater emphasis on the do-ers, the makers, and the creatives that are building our future. We’ve shifted solely from mass consumption to a generation that values timeless quality and durability. We’ve returned to the need for functional style and an appreciation for attention to detail where products not only match aesthetic values, but enable the creative mind to get outside of four walls and explore the natural world where the great inspirations happen. This is the new Hood Rubber Company.