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116-year-old Basketball Shoes
Two days ago Boing Boing posted about the discovery of a pair of 116-year-old basketball shoes:

The shoes were manufactured by the Colchester Rubber Company which shut down in 1893. Vintage clothing dealer Gary Pifer paid 50 cents for them at an estate sale in Vista, California. From CafeTerra:
"In a instant, I knew this discovery would be re-writing basketball and sneaker history, as these sneakers are 25 years older than the 1917 Converse All-Stars", added Pifer. The Colchester Rubber Co. was located in Colchester, Connecticut and was in business from 1888 to 1893.

People leaving comments quickly pointed out that the story was almost certainly fake, since basketball was only invented in 1891, and it's unlikely that a) a shoe would have been made for the sport one year later, and b) that the shoe would survive in near-perfect condtion.

It turns out that the story is a marketing gimmick (hoax) to sell retro basketball sneakers. I'm not sure how long this 116-year-old basketball shoe story has been circulating around, but I don't think it's recent.
FashionSports
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 06, 2009 Comments (6)
I kinda wondered about this one when I first read it. They don't look that old (the construction seems modern), plus they DO look like "retro" sneakers I've seen in stores.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Jul 06, 2009  at  02:26 AM
Wouldn't be that hard to get ahold of some vintage fabrics and materials and construct a set of shoes that were that 'old', but agreed, those are entirely too new in design. Grommets for laces that aren't leather, for example..
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Mon Jul 06, 2009  at  02:36 AM
oo cool. So, how much it cost?
Posted by NBA  in  Center  on  Fri Jul 17, 2009  at  01:10 PM
Wouldn't be that hard to get ahold of some vintage fabrics and materials and construct a set of shoes that were that 'old', but agreed, those are entirely too new in design. Grommets for laces that aren't leather, for example.

Not that hard, Ok Robin, I will give you $5,000
when you make a sneaker out of Vulcanized Gum Rubbe, hard carved sole with vintage fabric of
Antique basket and twill weaving dead grass, duck
Canvas, double ply, don't forget to apply the iron oxide exposure
staining, along with the organic mold, Celluloid
lace tips. Remember to leave all the impurities in the rubber and to provide wear marks on the sole.
and make sure all the age and distress marks
can be looked at with a powerful microscope.
Let's make it $10,000.
Posted by Gary Pifer  in  Oceanside, Ca  on  Wed Sep 16, 2009  at  11:39 PM
Not that hard, Ok Robin, I will give you $5,000
when you make a sneaker out of Vulcanized Gum Rubbe, hard carved sole with vintage fabric of
Antique basket and twill weaving dead grass, duck
Posted by Sohbet  in  Turkey  on  Sun May 16, 2010  at  08:39 PM
It's made how quickly a hoax can take hold. I remember reading this story and just accepting it. Maybe some weird collector had just kept it safe and to be honest i did look at the shoes that much.
Posted by Danny - Shape Up Blog  on  Thu Jul 29, 2010  at  02:26 PM
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