Converse began in Maiden, Massachusetts, February 1908. Founder Marquis Mills Converse opened Converse Rubber Shoe Company and initially focused on winterized rubber sole footwear. Converse was producing thousands of pairs each day within two years, but didn't try athletic shoes until 1915.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star debuted in 1917. Basketball player Chuck Taylor served as a salesman and brand ambassador starting 1921, and his name was added to the iconic medial ankle patch 1932.
Converse was the dominant name in sports footwear until the 1970s, when competitors including adidas, Nike and later Reebok raised the bar with new technologies and bold marketing.
Along with classics Jack Purcell, Weapon and a range of new styles including the CONS skateboarding label, Converse remains an iconic American brand garnering the reverence of something like "the Levi's of sneakers".