St Louis is the Heartland of the American mass market shoe maker. The Brown Shoe / International Shoe Company dominated the middle market for many years, often with brands and styles that imitated their more traditional New England competitors.
So, instead of Weejuns we have Trujuns. But, whereas the Weejun name was a contraction of Norwegian, the Trujun advertising leaned heavily on Native American stereotypes, these days unthinkable.
Still in the 50s and 60s the Trujun brand made some copies of the classic Maine styles that these days would no doubt be better quality than most of the patchy modern Bass output. Sometimes a deadstock pair of these will turn up on eBay and sell for peanuts.
These days, of course, the St Louis based conglomerate owns one of the oldest and most venerable American shoe brands from New England, The George Keith Company owner of brands, Keith Highlander and the legendary Walk-Over.
On a similar note, reader The Woolster in Finland sent me some pics of his recent find: Handsewns with the extremely catchy brand name ‘Wijitrumocs’. Not a marketers dream, that one.
Classic venetian handsewns, these are perhaps more Native American in their look and feel than Italian or Norwegian?