Brooks Sports, Inc. was founded in 1914 by John Brooks Goldenberg, following his purchase of the Quaker Shoe Company, a manufacturer of bathing shoes and ballet slippers. Based in Philadelphia, it operated as a partnership between John Goldenberg and his brothers, Michael and Frank. By 1920, Quaker Shoes had been renamed Brooks Shoe Manufacturing Co. , Inc. , and its shoes were sold under the brand name Bruxshu. In addition to bathing shoes and ballet slippers, it sold a gymnasium shoe, Ironclad Gyms. Early advertising emphasized fit, construction, and durability; the Ironclad was "a comfortable, light, gymnasium shoe that fits the foot" with soles made of "chrome tanned leather, flexible and light, with a low spring heel" that would withstand "four years gym work, and then be ready for more usage. " The company's innovations included the 1938 introduction of orthopedic shoes for children, Pedicraft, and rubber brakes for roller skates (then known as "quick stops"), patented in 1944.