Gene Peet, Not Just Another Pretty Name

Gene "Father Dry" Peet. Photo courtesy of Peet Shoe Dryer Company.

Gene “Father Dry” Peet. Photo courtesy of Peet Shoe Dryer Corp.

Some people follow circuitous routes, working many jobs before they find their path.

Meet Mr. Gene Peet—born on March 13, 1928 to Bill and Loretta (Murray) Peet in Sandpoint, ID. The family moved to St. Maries, ID in 1930. Where, at age 14, he worked as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator. Furthering his repertoire, he also worked as a powder man (explosives). By his senior year of high school, he included working at a local sawmill to his growing resume.

Following high school, from 1947 to 1950, Gene did construction work, and timber harvesting, while he attended Gonzaga University—where he studied mechanical engineering.

In December of 1950, Gene enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served until his honorable discharge in 1953. From there, Gene worked as chief electrician for the St. Maries Lumber Co..

In 1955 he started Peet Electric, doing mill maintenance, construction, and electrical design work. Not one to rest on his laurels, he added licensed electrician, electrical contractor, and plumbing contractor to his growing list.

But wait there’s more.

Gene also owned an appliance and television sales and service store. At the time, no one could get television reception in the area. To sell his merchandise, he formed Benewah Cable Co. Inc. in 1957. He designed and built the St. Maries cable system, which became operational in 1959. He brought cable television to St. Maries before New York City had it.

In 1960, Gene lived in Moses Lake , WA then moved to Tucson, AZ working for the Martin Co. on the Titan II missile silo’s in order to raise capital for his cable company and other ventures. It was during this time when he worked in the desert heat in Tucson, he dealt with the constant wetness in his boots caused by—you guessed it—sweat.

Mr. Peet possessed the proverbial inventor’s itchy feet. He received a patent on the Peet Shoe Dryer in 1968 and the following year started the prototype in the test market.

When asked what inspired him to invent the Peet Shoe Dryer, he said, “Having wet boots all the time is really tough on you and your boots. Back then there just wasn’t a good way to dry out your boots before you had to put them on again.”

In 1972, he helped form the Idaho Cable Television Association and served on the Board of Directors. He sold the cable business in 1984 to concentrate on the Peet Shoe Dryer Company. Earning him the nickname, “Father Dry.”

According to the Peet Shoe Dryer’s website: “We hear a lot from guys who now are allowed to bring their boots in the house instead of them being banished by their wives to the garage or back porch because they stunk so bad.”

Gene never truly retired. He was President of the Peet Shoe Dryer Corp. at the time of his death on March 6, 2013.

So, my friends, the moral of the story is no matter where life takes you, whether you’re a lumber jack, miner, hunter, or hiker, when you have wet boots, follow Father Dry’s example and beat it over to Peet. No one wants to smell stinky feet. 😉

Tracy — Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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20 Responses to Gene Peet, Not Just Another Pretty Name

  1. Dave says:

    Wow – a true Renaissance man! He sounds like my kind of guy! Better get my hands (or feet) on a Peet Shoe Dryer. And great “itchy feet” line there 🙂

  2. wdydfae says:

    My blurb subroutine is disabled at the moment, but I gotta say you didn’t miss a beat writing about Pete and the dry feet! It was a neat feat!

  3. Never an end to the amazing information you bring your reader. Oh and great names too..

  4. amb says:

    … and here I was feeling good about getting myself out of the house this morning with matching socks and an almost halfway charged cell phone. I suspect Gene would consider me something of a slacker 🙂 Great post as always Fannie!

  5. ksbeth says:

    it’s as if he’s been alive for 300 years

  6. Arto says:

    Gene Peet. That’s fun to say. You know, I never thought about who invented the shoe drying machine (maybe because I didn’t know it was a thing), but now I know. It was a guy named Gene Peet. Awesome.

  7. Liz says:

    who knew? And to think I’ve made it this far in life without knowing about this guy. Thanks for the introduction, Miss Fannie 😀 Wherever did you find this man? Love the folks who just keep doing their thing solely for the sake of doing their thing. (bahahaha–just saw that I made a shoe pun 😉 )

  8. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Meet Father Dry, this month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names. Enjoy.

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