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Over the last few months, we’ve seen a series of conceptually rich co-branded releases from Seattle’s Blackbird and New England-based shoe-makers Alden. Through the past releases, the models have looked to iconic portions of Seattle’s past as the basis to various footwear designs. The latest comes in the form of the Frank Osgood Series Saddle collection. Two models are based on a historical Seattle personality, Frank Osgood who helped change the face of Seattle’s transportation infrastructure. The shoes are available now in two different versions with a retail price of $400 USD and $520 USD.
Designed by Blackbird in collaboration with Alden of New England, custom bootmakers since 1884, this series of saddle shoes was inspired by Seattle historical figure, Frank Osgood and his horse drawn and electrical streetcars. His contributions helped Seattle become a more modernized city and dramatically changed its street culture, helping Seattle’s working man keep his shoes clean on his daily way through town and making his gal’s Sunday afternoon picnics at Lake Washington as easy as hopping on a trolley.
1884 – Frank Osgood, widely known as the father of Seattle’s public-transportation system, begins operating a horse-drawn trolley on Sept. 23. Passengers pay a nickel for a trip along steel tracks, laid in the mud of Second Avenue.
1887 – Osgood’s horses — known also as “hayburners” — have trouble with Seattle’s hills, so cars pulled by cables beneath the street are introduced. The Lake Washington Cable Railway, linking Leschi and Pioneer Square, is especially popular in the summer, when people ride along Yesler Way or Madison Street for a picnic at the lake.
1889 – Osgood unveils Seattle’s first electric streetcar, despite fears that the line would magnetize pocket watches and shock horses with stray bolts of electricity. On the first run, a car stalls, forcing passengers to push it to the end of the line.
Within days, horse-drawn trolleys are phased out, making Seattle the first West Coast city to offer fully electric streetcar service.