Keep those smokes dry

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A little blast from the past, specifically from Life magazine’s encomium to the entrepreneurial outdoorsman in October 1941. “More heady than love, ladies or liquor is the sporting-goods catalog of L. L. Bean, outfitter extraordinary to men who live so they may hunt and fish,”

The magazine showcased a number of innovative items from the Bean catalog, beginning with the famous Maine Hunting Shoe, created when Bean had a seamstress sew elk hide leggings onto a pair of old rubbers to keep his feet warm and dry while duck hunting.

In 1941 the boots, still with elk hide uppers, cost from $3.15 for the 6 1/2? high version to $9 for the 18?. Other practical and stylish items included a fly fishing jacket with a special pocket for keeping your Luckys dry; a cold-proof ducking hunting outfit with a moleskin coat; zippered lambskin Canoe Shoes; a deer hunting outfit in red and black checkered wool; a double-visored bird shooting cap; an oilskin coat with a sheepskin collar and cuffs; and an array of 21 different knives for “every sportsman’s whim”. Mr. Bean himself tested the decoys.

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