SI Vault
Allan Pospisil
November 19, 1979
Fred Cox spliced two moistened strips of raw-hide, drew the joint snug against the frame of the snowshoe he was working on, and wove it diagonally through a latticework of rawhide strips that looked like strands of flat, uncooked pasta. Cox, 67, was at work at the shop of Vermont Tubbs, Inc., Wallingford, Vt., one of the oldest U.S. snowshoe manufacturers, and as his fingers flew he reminisced. "I started lacing snowshoes in 1942, during the war," he said. "That was a busy time. We made thousands of shoes for the Army. I retired five years ago but I couldn't stand the inactivity, so I came back, part-time. I lace four pairs of shoes an hour. I just do the body of the shoe; the toe and heel sections are done by someone else."
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November 19, 1979

At Vermont Tubbs They Still Make Snowshoes The Way They Used To

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Morgan runs the company from Forestdale, Vt., 25 miles north of Wallingford, at a second Tubbs plant that manufactures, among other things, furniture with seats and backs laced like snowshoes. At Forestdale, a factory store selling mostly furniture seconds and imperfect snowshoes is located above a Laundromat. If you can find the store, there are bargains to be had. Normally the shoes retail from $66 for the Green Mountain to $76.50 for the Ojibway, bindings not included.

The newest, most expensive Tubbs shoe is an aluminum model that costs $120. A patent is pending on the design, called the Alum-A-Shoe, and it has earned a niche in local law enforcement annals. One night last winter a game warden, who happened to have a test pair of the new shoes, was riding through Forestdale with a police officer when a breaking-and-entering call came over the radio. The two drove to the scene and spotted tracks leading away from the house into the woods.

"Lemme have those snowshoes," said the officer, and he glided off after the perpetrator. Why, with wings like that on his feet, it took him no time at all to run down the floundering thief. An easy pinch.

Vermont Tubbs, Inc., Forestdale, Vt. 05745.

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