Decline and Fall (Stumble?) of an American Icon

Mr Decline & Fall over at the FNB Ivy Talk board has dug up this great piece from The Nation back in 1998.

WILTON, Maine — For four decades, Laurence Wilbur epitomized the old-fashioned American craft work that
goes into each pair of Bass Weejun shoes.

With his Down East twang and long snowy beard, Wilbur, 73, traveled the world to show how the legendary
thick-leather “penny loafers” are cobbled together with 40 tight hand stitches in five minutes.

“This is how Bass Weejuns are handcrafted in America,” he’d say proudly at fashion shows and trade
missions from Paris to Hong Kong.

Read the rest of his post here

and if you fancy the pair in the photo head over to Ebay where they can be yours – as long as you have size 18C feet that is….


  1. Thanks for the shout out. I think you should post pics of that Peter Gunn LP you mentioned.



  2. I would but like a a few thousand other LPs of mine it suffered a fate that cannot be spoken of…

    I’ll see if I can dig up scan online

  3. They were $14.00 a pair. A lot of money in thise days. Now they are replace with a foreign fake with a “Rubber” sole. Rubber sole…Horrors !

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