words & images // Nick DePaula:
As adidas celebrates its founder Adolf Dassler’s birthday today, what better time to look back on some of the German-born shoemaker’s original artifacts? In the Bavarian outskirts of Nuremberg, the sprawling suburb of Herzogenaurach would be the birthplace of Dassler’s in 1900. More than a century later, the adidas company’s global headquarters are still based in his hometown.
A statue of “Adi” can be found just a short walk past the entrance check-in building, and housed deep within the company’s main presentation hall is a secretive room still honoring the starting points of Dassler’s efforts to create “only the best for the athlete.”
In the room — which has a seriously eerie feel to it as overly dramatic music plays above — lies his original work table, chair, wedged hammer and foot last tools that Dassler used to build track spikes for early Olympians as the brand was just in its infancy. His personal stop watch has even been preserved, used in the early 1950s to time runners testing out adidas prototypes that he had created. In a bit of a brand ritual, several of adidas’ biggest athletes have officially signed their endorsements contracts on the table.
Check out several images of the current adidas global headquarters buildings, along with Adolf Dassler’s original work artifacts.