John Edward "Jack" Purcell was a world champion Canadian badminton player. He won a number of Canadian tournaments before trying his hand on the international circuit where he won the World championship in 1933 where he remained at the top of his career until 1945 when he retired. He then became a stockbroker and died in 1991.
He came about the idea during this time of making a pair of shoes made from rubber and canvas which could be worn whilst playing badminton. His shoes were made with the assistance of a well known rubber manufacture r B F Goodrich more commonly known for tyres than shoes!
His iconic design was made to ensure the safety and protection of the sportsmen that would wear them on a badminton court. The shoes quickly became the number one choice for its sports wearers due to the design and colours used.
The shoes are used today more as a fashion statement than on the sports court.
The trademark of the brand was bought by Converse in the 1970s. Converse since this time has continued to produce the shoe still using the same design but ensured its colour palette reflects the modern age.
The design is similar to that of another Converse shoe – the Chuck Taylor All Star but both have different niche markets and true Jack Purcell followers can immediately spot the difference.