It was 1911, and Duluth was the Zenith City, more millionaires per capita than any other city in America. Awnings were going up by the dozens around town as shopkeepers dressed up their storefronts. And a French-Canadian named Camille sold the rights to his “Poirier Pack,” a canoe pack with a revolutionary sternum strap, and traditional tumpline to Duluth Tent and Awning.
On Friday, July 15th, 2011, in the Duluth Tent and Awing factory, Duluth Pack celebrated 100 years at our 1610 West Superior Street location. Mayor Don Ness presented us with a proclamation making it “Duluth Pack Day” in the city. Our front sidewalk was heavy with local dignitaries and media for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Following the ceremony we held an open house with tours of our grand, old facility and fired up the grill to serve lunch to our guests. Over 200 people came to see all that goes into making a pack right here in Duluth. Starting with the cutting of the leather and the canvas, upstairs to sewing the pack together, next to the rivet station, on to clipping and turning, and finally out to shipping.
It was all hands on deck as our production staff answered the many questions and comments from our visitors. Most just watched as the bags were assembled, and marveled in the realization of all the hard work that goes into an “American Made” bag. We have quality people building our quality product, and what fun it was for them to share their expertise with our highly interested guests.
Thanks to everyone who came out Friday to support our 100th anniversary in our factory on West Superior. Everyone here at Duluth Pack had a great day, and really enjoyed meeting all of you. Camille started us off 129 years ago, so we are looking forward to another great 100 years.
If you missed the chance to get a factory tour during the open house, come on by any weekday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm and we will show you around. Of course don’t expect the grill to be up and running, but you never know.