filed in Uncategorized on Sep.30, 2001
Many people think that the term “bootleg” refers to illegally recorded music, movies, or software. In fact, the term dates back to Prohibition days, when Sam Reebok invented the still boot. The still boot looked like an ordinary boot, but it hid a fully functional still between the bootleg and a false sock, while the action of walking powered a small heat source hidden in the heel. The wearer could distill the alcohol from the fermented grain of his choice while walking around town, or while enjoying himself at a society party featuring his bootleg moonshine.
A later innovation from Reebok that never caught on was the still pump. This was simply the still boot with a small hand pump mounted on the front, with which carbon dioxide bubbles could be injected in the distilled mixture, making champagne. This went largely unused, because the stench from the false sock (which couldn’t be cleaned) ruined the bouquet of the champagne.