Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Who invented that? The pogie's history revealed.

Do you ever love a piece of kit so much you just have to know whom to thank? We feel that way about our pogies--the only thing that keeps our hands warm when it's too cold for gloves.

So we were thrilled to read in the latest issue of Canoe & Kayak magazine that Bonnie Losick invented them in 1974.

Our favorite pogies, made of nylon with a fleece lining.

Except she didn't.

A 2010 Whitewater Slalom newsletter revealed the answer to the quiz question, "I invented the pogie, and named it after a trash fish common in the harbor where I was living at the time. Who am I?" The honorable mention answer was Bonnie Losick, but the correct answer was submitted by Bonnie herself, who wrote: "As much as people keep assuming I invented pogies, I did not. Billy Nutt was training with them so I  think he invented them, unless somebody else also invented them independently."

Bonnie cleaned up the design, but slalom champion Billy Nutt came up with the original detachable sheath that covers the hands and connects to a paddle shaft. He named them after a bait fish because he wanted them to be called something "ridiculous."

"I taught Bonnie Losick how to make them and she trademarked and manufactured them under the name 'The Bonnie Hot Pogie,'" he writes in the newsletter. "When I made my first set, my mother told me I ought to look into patenting them.  I thought that was absurd.  I figured the market was so small as to be worthless. I expect it would have been worth it. Mom's always right! There you have it."

The "ridiculous" bait fish after which Billy Nutt named his invention.

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