Chapter: Innovation

Tackaberry Hockey Boots (Tacks)

"Wearing Tacks isn't tacky."
Manitoba made WWI era Tackaberry Hockey Boots (Tacks) Hockey Boots (Tacks)


Manitoba has produced countless championship hockey players, but this province also played a key role in the development of the sport.

In 1905 Joe Hall, who would twice win the Stanley Cup, complained to his neighbour, George Tackaberry, that his hockey skates would not even last a season. The prevalent style of ice skates at the time was a blade that could be fastened to the player's shoes with leather straps.

Tackaberry, a shoemaker, designed a pair of new and innovative boots. He used kangaroo hide, which is resistant to moisture and stretching, for the boot. He also improved the arch support and added a reinforced heel and toe. After seeing the boots Hall's teammates all wanted a pair and Tackaberry was flooded with orders.

After Tackaberry’s death in 1937 the Canadian Cycle and Motor Company, (better known as "CCM"), acquired the rights to the boots and "Tacks" became the favourite skate of National Hockey League players.

This particular pair of boots was made for Andrew John Cumberland. It is unknown how long he was able to use them as he enlisted in the military in 1915. Tragically Flight-Lieutenant Cumberland's hockey playing came to end with his death on January 3rd, 1918 in an airplane crash.