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Original Penguin

Original Penguin LogoAbbot Pederson was an ambitious salesman who worked for the Munsingwear undergarment factory in Minneapolis. On a sales trip to NYC in 1955, with some time to kill before a flight home, he decided to pop into a local bar. Stumbling out later to find a taxi stand, he took a wrong turn down a Manhattan street and found himself outside a taxidermist’s shop, staring at a display of stuffed penguins. Before he knew it, he had bought one of the penguins, named him Pete, and was soon enjoying cocktails with him on the flight back to Minneapolis. At some point during the flight, Pederson's enthusiasm got the better of him -- and he accidentally knocked the head off Pete the Penguin. A seductive stewardess, whose attention Pederson had been enjoying throughout the flight, gently helped him remove his tie, then wrapped it around the penguin's neck. As she did so, she joked that such a lucky, dapper bird surely deserved to be immortalized, maybe even embroidered on a shirt similar to the one Pederson was wearing. Little did she know... On his return to Minneapolis, Pederson wasted no time merging his interests. And so the Munsingwear golf shirt was born. Casual, comfortable, equally at home on the 18th hole … even in 1955 it was ahead of its time. From the moment it hit the shelves it was a must-have, popular with suburbanites and sports legends alike. Known today as "the 55," it represented not only a relaxed and sophisticated lifestyle but was to become the cornerstone of an entire fashion movement.

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