The History of Red Head Brand

E.C. Cook & Bro. was founded in Chicago c.1867 by E.C. Cook (b.1845) and his brother F.W. Cook. They were manufacturers of awnings, tents, waterproof wagon,horse and truck covers, flags, banners and canvas signs. Later they expanded range to include hunters’ and tourists’ outfits, including jackets, cartridge vests, leggings, hats, gun and rifle covers, holsters, belts, cartridge belts, rod cases, and boots.

The Red Head brand name first used 1908. In 1915, a half million dollar contract for boots for the British Army was rejected and the company was forced into bankruptcy. Former employee S. Theodore Anderson, who had been with Cook since 1885 became president of the new Alward Anderson Southard Co, formed along with Charles H. Southard and Edward Hendrickson (with Cook since 1897). The new company took over the closed factory, located at 925 W. Chicago Ave, hired 100 new workers, and resumed production of the defunct Cook’s lines.

Left: 1910s, Middle: 1920s, Right: 1930s

In 1931, Theodore Anderson died and the company was taken over by his widow, Alma Anderson. The company grew and flourished under her ownership and management, opening a new factory in 1940 at 4300 Belmont Ave. and expanding employment to over 500.

Left: 1930s, Middle: 1930s-1940s, Right: 1940s-1950s

Anderson died in 1956 and the company was taken over by Clarke F. Hine. Red Head was purchased by the Brunswick Blake Collender Co, of bowling ball fame, in December 1959. Brunswick purchased the DryBak company several years later, selling both company’s similar hunting lines for a time in the 1960s.

Left: 1950s, Middle: 1960s-c1980s, Right: modern

In 1970, Red Head Brand was again sold and operations relocated to 4949 Joseph Hardin Dr Dallas, Texas.

The brand is currently owned by Bass Pro shops. They have been marketing Red Head as a “heritage brand”, though they do no market any vintage style products, and put the company’s origin in 1856, a date which has no relation anything.



5 thoughts on “The History of Red Head Brand

  1. great information, perfect timing especially since I just came across a Redhead vest. I’m thinking it might be from 1910, however the label is slightly different. The body of the duck is white/silverish (perhaps just worn??). There are 28 shell holders on the front and 21 across the back. What can you tell me about this. Thank you and Happy New Year.

  2. Hey i bought a pair of red head bayou zipup water proof snake boots and i wore them 2 times and they leak water inside i steped in a 3 in deep creek and water flowed right in i bought the boots about 4 months ago and i dont have the receipt what do u need to do the only reason i bought these is cause i had another pair that lasted me about 8 yrs they were great redhead snake boots so just let me know what i need to do about them

  3. Hello. We have a pair of riding/hunting/jodhpur pants. Hard to tell really. Our label is similar to the 1920s and 1930s. It looks like the 1930s( at top)label and says bone dry but the duck head is between the N and the D like in the middle photo at top. Trying to narrow it down. They look like riding pants to me.

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