The origin of Drysoxs can be traced back to the mid 1800’s in England where Mr Jack Early created the very first true British Hunting Sock, the Early Sock.
Jack retired form the army at age of 45, he returned to his home in Witney/Oxfordshire ( home of the Witney Blanket ). Jack and his wife Clara had 2 x sons ( William and George ). The Early family were simple people who lived a modest life, their passions were shooting, fishing and walking.
Jack Early was a passionate and capable man, his father had been a tailor but had died when Jack was serving in the army in Africa. Jack senior made woolen tunics and overcoats for wealthy aristocrats using wools from the Oxfordshire region.
With a modest sum of money, a small workshop and a desire to succeed Jack started to re-establish his fathers business. Life was difficult at first and orders were scare but in 1868 the fortunes of Jack Early & Sons started to change.
By chance, Jack met a young American solder ( Esera Dawkins ) in London while attending a trade mission. Dawkins came from a privileged background and while studying Law at Georgia University the Civil War broke out, he was called to serve in the American Army. He served as assistant to the renowned quartermaster Ira Foster (charged with procuring 50,000 pairs of socks for the American Army in 1862 ).
Dawkins was an intelligent and enthusiastic young man. His father was a successful animal pelt trader, trading fine animal pelts for woolen woven blankets.
Jack saw an opportunity and invited Dawkins to try to sell his woven tunics to wealthy American’s, they enjoyed some success. One cold winters morning in 1870 Dawkins arrived in Witney and showed Jack a product that ultimately changed his life.
The product was a double thickness woolen woven knee length sock. Dawkins left the sock and Jack got to work. He wanted to work out how this product could be made. His workshop was very close to a number of blanket mills and he wondered, could this product be made using traditional weaving looms?
Jack knew that if he could manufacture such a product he could offer them to his wealthy customers. After a short time Jack purchased a small loom and with the help of his 2 x sons started to make what became the first true British hunting sock, the Early Sock.
The products were an instant success and became the preferred hunting sock for Royal hunting parties and the aristocracy generally.
Jack continued to make his fine and now infamous socks ( Earlysocks ) until he died in 1878 at the age of 63. Jack sons, William and George continued to grow the business until William died suddenly in 1894.
The history from this point is not entirely clear but it is believed that a progressive young tailor from the North of England, Mr John William Hudson purchased weaving machinery from Oxfordshire that had been used in the Early factory and continued to manufacture many woolen woven products including socks.
The Drysoxs brand as it stands today, is a tribute to the late Jack Early and Mr John William Hudson. It is owned and operated by Charles Hudson, the grandson of Mr John William Hudson of Darlington. With his extensive knowledge of the textile industry, Charles’ goal has been to combine modern waterproofing technology with the rich and proud heritage of the Early Sock to create the very best Waterproof, Breathable and Warm socks.