Spunk, ingenuity and science…
In the 1970’s, aerospace chemical engineer Ralph O’Quinn began a personal quest to solve something he found irritating – wet feet, and the subsequent damaged, dried-out leather. Being an avid outdoorsman living in one of nature’s finest (and wettest) wonderlands, he set out to develop a solution – a way to reliably keep water out, while preserving leather’s pliability.
“It can’t be done” was the common answer from fellow aerospace chemists. That made Ralph even more determined. This wasn’t rocket science for cryin’ out loud – it was making leather boots and shoes more waterproof.
Utilizing his experience in doing research at Boeing, Ralph worked nights and weekends in the “lab” (his basement), and used his kitchen stove to heat up his concoctions. There was also extensive field testing done in the wetter-than-wet Cascades of the Pacific Northwest.
Following his instincts, and persevering through the countless adjustments to the formula and mixing technique, Ralph found a way.
The journey wasn’t easy creating a very special leather care solution, but considering the outcome, it was well worth it to everyone to this day.
The first employee Ralph hired was Dan Metcalf – his son-in-law. He sold young Dan on becoming a part of his American entrepreneurial dream. Although risky, Dan believed Ralph’s words: “We’ve got a good product that does what it says it will do; a company; and we’re going somewhere big.” Ralph was right. Today, Dan is the company President.
Walt, Ralph and Dan
For over 30 years Ralph’s special formulas have been taking excellent care of leather. A legion of people have AQUASEAL as part of their routine. Their footwear feels best, looks better and lasts longer. (Who wouldn’t want that?)
The AQUASEAL story is a fine example of American ingenuity that led to the American dream. For consumers and retailers, it’s a genuine footwear leather care product they can rely on.
It’s an interesting upbeat human interest story. Dan Metcalf had a catbird seat during all of it. Click here to read Dan’s AQUASEAL experience.