Chapter: Innovation

Tackaberry Hockey Boots (Tacks)

You may have worn a "Tack".
WWI Tackaberry Hockey Boots (Tacks) from Kangaroo hide Hockey Boots (Tacks)


Manitoba has produced countless championship hockey players but the province also played a key role in development of the sport. In 1905 Joe Hall, who would later 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 new innovative boots. He used kangaroo hide, which is resistant to moisture and stretching, and also improved arch support and reinforced heel and toe. After seeing the boots, Hall's teammates all wanted a pair and Tackaberry was flooded with orders. After his death in 1937 the Canadian Cycle and Motor Company, better known as the CCM, acquired the rights to the boots and "Tacks" became the favourite skate of National Hockey Leaque players.

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