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Early 1950's Duck Feet Find

PostPosted: October 30th, 2017, 9:15 am
by rosstnfound
I bought these yesterday at a swap meet and until I did some research, I thought they must be reissues because they are in outstanding condition. Apparently these are are THE Original Duck Feet from Laguna before The Spearfisherman Co. (that made them) moved to Huntington.

Still soft and supple, no sun damage, not deformed (from storage), no cracking and my size :greetings-clappingorange: . Since I used duck feet for most of my spearfishing life, finding the Original Duck Feet was a fun find.

Re: Early 1950's Duck Feet Find

PostPosted: October 31st, 2017, 12:15 pm
by Bill McIntyre
In the early 50s I wore what I think
were Churchill duck feet. They were shorter and wider than the fins in your photo. Were they from the same company?

In about 1961 I started using what I think
were called Giant UDT Duck Feet. They were very stiff but I was a Marine and had the legs for it.

How are these fins related?

Re: Early 1950's Duck Feet Find

PostPosted: October 31st, 2017, 2:03 pm
by Steve G
I used both for body surfing but mostly the Churchill fins. I don't believe that they are related except perhaps that they were contemporaries. While the duck feet clearly look like an elongated version of a duck's landing gear, the design of the Churchill fins is such that when placed side by side they resemble a dolphins's or whale's fluke.

https://www.amazon.com/Churchill-Makapu ... dpSrc=srch

Re: Early 1950's Duck Feet Find

PostPosted: October 31st, 2017, 3:38 pm
by rosstnfound
I found a very interesting article about early fins, starting on page 25 of this PDF (written in 1994 By Dr Sam Miller who I actually contacted a few days ago about the Duck Feet). http://aquaticcommons.org/14990/1/Histo ... 3_1994.pdf
Dr Miller is extremely knowledgeable about the history of diving and super helpful.

These two iconic fins have been around for a very long time.

Owen Churchill started Churchill Fins in 1940 (the shape has changed little to this day) The US Navy purchased 50,000 pairs of them in 1943. These were the original UDT (underwater demolition team) fins.

Duck Feet were originally designed and manufactured by Art Brown in Laguna beach in 1950 by his company, The Spearfisherman Company. They made masks and fins. The Duck Feet fins at that time were all the length of current Duck Feet UDTs. Also very little has changed in the design since 1950 with the exception of the foot pocket and the shorter models you most commonly see today.