Collectible items from vintage shoe company
Ted Hake, author of Hake’s Guide to Advertising Collectibles, © 1992, Wallace Homestead Book Company, tells the story of how the Poll-Parrot Shoe Brand name was conceived. It seems the owner of the original Parrot Shoe Company, Paul Parrot, kept a pet parrot in his store. The bird inspired a salesman to suggest the name Poll-Parrot Shoes as a brand name. Obviously Paul Parrot agreed and the name was copyrighted in 1925.
According to Old Time Radio Researchers, Paul Parrot sold his shoe business to the International Shoe Company that already had the Red Goose and Weatherbird Shoes. The company sold men’s women’s and children’s shoes and sponsored the “Cruise of the Poll-Parrot” a syndicated children’s serial in 1937.
The colorful red, green and gold parrot with the words “Poll-Parrot Shoes for Boys and Girls”, became a popular logo throughout the 1930s 40s, and 50s. The shoe stores that sold the Poll-Parrot Shoes often had painted plaster or chalk- ware displays of the parrot figures in the stores. There were at least two sizes, a 12-inch parrot predominately green, with gold around the eyes and on the breast. The tail feathers and a small portion of the wings are red. The 15-inch Poll-Parrot plaster figurine is basically brick red. “Poll-Parrot Shoes” is molded and painted on the base of the figurines.
In addition, the 15-inch Poll-Parrot, display has a platform on each side that a pair of Poll-Parrot shoes can be displayed on. I have seen these two displays tagged for $200 and $300 dollars and that does not include a pair of shoes!
Another difficult collectible to find is the 1962 animated store display with a hand painted and molded composition figure of Poll-Parrot in a bent wire bird cage, on a circular base. The bird has an amplified tape voice mechanism and it also nods its head back and forth. There is a letter with this collectible, from the International Shoe Company, stating that only 25 birdcage displays were made. The Sylvertri Display Company of Chicago made the Poll-Parrot birdcages and sold them to dealers for $550 each.
Small items with advertising are still available on Internet auctions. The Parrot Shoe Company and the International Shoe Company advertised through many give-away premiums. Collectors look for the knife sharpener, the metal whistles, magazine ads, “Dolly-Folly” Poll-Parrot Shoes comics, tin toy clickers, calendars, pin back buttons wooden yo-yos, jackknives, shoe horns and pencils. All of which exhibit Poll-Parrot advertising.
Have fun bird watching.