Gold Cross Shoes — 1946

I’ll take “The Firefly”!

When I saw this ad, I assumed there was a problem with the name of the company and they had been forced to change it. Had they been sued by the American Red Cross? Here is the story, according to the corporate history on

In the late 19th century, a red-haired merchant whose last name was Cross  developed and sold a bestselling ketchup called “Red Cross Ketchup” — it was such a well-known brand name that a number of other products used the “Red Cross” name (without permission, one assumes), including a line of shoes manufactured by a Cincinnati shoe company. After fifty years as an established and popular brand of shoes, the company hit a snag during World War II.

“Red Cross shoes were doing well at home and abroad, where, in English-speaking countries as distant as South Africa and Australia, they were marketed as Gold Cross shoes. […] At the onset of the war, the American National Red Cross objected to the commercial use of the name Red Cross, and a ban on the use of the name was proposed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 1942. The board of directors of [parent company] U.S. Shoe voluntarily suspended use of the name; the Federal Trade Commission allowed the resumption of its use in 1948.”

So there you have it!

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