Many people ask if there was a real "J.C. Higgins"
who worked for Sears. There certainly was. John Higgins began
working for Sears in 1898 as the manager of the headquarters'
office bookkeepers and retired as company comptroller in 1930.
"John Higgins" the employee became "J.C.
Higgins" the brand name during a discussion in 1908 among
Sears' executives of possible names for a new line of sporting
goods. At this point, the story gets a bit murky, but Higgins'
name was suggested and John Higgins consented to Sears use his
name. Since he did not have a middle initial, Sears added the
In 1908, the Western Sporting Goods Company in Chicago began
putting J.C. Higgins on baseballs and baseball gloves sold in
Sears catalogs. By 1910, the J.C. Higgins trademark was extended
to cover footballs and basketballs. Later, the popularity of the
Higgins brandócombined with the wider participation of
American youth in sportsóled Sears to place tennis equipment,
soccer balls, volleyballs, boxing equipment and baseball
uniforms in the J.C. Higgins line.
By the 1940s, J.C. Higgins represented all Sears fishing,
boating and camping equipment. After the Second World War, Sears
consolidated all sporting goods under the J.C. Higgins brand
name and added it to a line of luggage.
The J.C. Higgins brand disappeared shortly after Sears
introduced the Ted Williams brand of sporting and recreation
goods in 1961.