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Leon Leonwood Bean
Leon Leonwood Bean, 1873 - 1967 known as "L.L." was a true outdoorsman, who lived in Freeport, Maine. L.L. designed the original lightweight boot with leather tops and waterproof rubber bottoms, known today as the "Bean Boot." The first try at the boot was unsuccessful, of the first 100 pairs sold 90 pairs were returned due to poor stitching. Bean, true to his word refunded his customers' money and started over with an improved boot. This was the beginning of the legendary guarantee of 100% satisfaction. The company was founded in 1912 as just a mail order company. The first showroom was opened in Freeport in 1917. Over the years the company has added casual and sports apparel, gear and other footwear to his line. By 1951 people were dropping by day and night on their way to hunt and fish in Maine. L.L. announced he had "thrown away the key" and has been open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year ever since. L.L lived to the age of 94 and attributed his good health to an active outdoor life.
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