The History Of Filson

By Robert Greenfield

Filson has a unique and storied history that began in 1897, when C.C. Filson founded the company in Seattle, Washington. C.C. Filson was born in 1850 and had a lifelong love for the outdoors and a true pioneer spirit that was born from his years traveling across the country as a railroad conductor. His timing was perfect when he first opened the doors of his new company, as thousands of people were flocking to Seattle before heading north to seek fame and fortune in the midst of the Klondike Gold Rush.

C.C. Filson's timing was perfect, and he combined his work experience running a small outfitting store for loggers with a very strong work ethic and a steadfast determination to succeed. C.C. Filson's Pioneer Alaska Clothing and Blanket Manufacturers opened in 1897, specializing in clothing and goods for the fortune hunters of the Gold Rush. His mission was to use the best materials and practices available to make quality goods and apparel.

It was because of the harsh and extreme weather conditions experienced by the Gold Rush pioneers that Filson designed and made his goods. During that time and era, clothing was a matter of survival, not choice. C.C. Filson owned a mill and made Mackinaw goods such as clothing and blankets. He also sold sleeping bags, boots and shoes that were designed for the cold temperatures in the North.

The pioneers and prospectors of the Klondike Gold Rush relied on Filson and his clothing for their survival. Because of this, Filson kept in contact with the people who bought his goods, often taking input from customers. Mr. Filson would even improve upon and re-design his goods to meet the needs of his customers.

The Great Klondike Gold Rush soon faded into the pages of history, and Mr. Filson kept listening and receiving feedback from his customer base. Soon after, Mr. Filson created a line of clothing for loggers, as well as designing and making Filson's #1 bestseller of all time, the Filson Cruiser. The Filson Cruiser jacket was named by Filson and was patented on the 3rd of March 1914.

Filson continued making his clothing and goods from premium materials and also personally guaranteed everything he made and sold. If Filson didn't sell something a customer needed, Mr. Filson would often custom-make the item for them. By the 60's, Filson had built a reputation for honesty, reliability, and customer satisfaction, and was known as the preferred outfitter for outdoorsmen.

By the late 60's and 70's Filson products were offered across the US by premium outdoor retailers, and Filson clothing was being bought through the mail from as far away as Greenland. In the 90's, Filson would re-introduce their line of luggage, offer fly fishing vests for the first time, and open a new store 10 blocks from their original location in Seattle, Washington. In the 2000's, Filson would gain exposure from the fashion world, and several of their bags were featured in magazines such as GQ and Esquire.

For over 100 years, Filson's slogan has been "Might as Well Have the Best". Durability, comfort and protection never go out of style, which is why some Filson items have remained virtually unchanged in over 100 years. Filson designs and makes everything to be really good in terms of quality and longevity, which is also why they 100% guarantee everything they make. Today, Filson makes everything from bags to luggage, clothes and apparel, as well as a variety of hunting, fishing, and outdoor goods and accessories.

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