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Kolonel Keds -  Helmeted spaceman (originally drawn in comic form) who flew a rocket backpack through a series of 50-second commercials prepared for US Rubber, a New York company who produced Keds sneakers, a canvas shoe popular with the kids.

Click for Keds Web Site

Originally, Kolonel Keds flying ability was produced through the magic of special mating process. In 1965, however, the Kolonel was propelled into action by a real rocket pack developed by Bell Aerosystems for the US Army.

While in the air, the Kolonel Keds was portrayed by Bell pilot, Bob Croder. But on the ground actor Bob Harder took over the role as the space age hero.

The Keds commercials depicted mini adventures as Kolonel Keds rescued youngsters in distress. Of course, on take off and landing, the camera was sure to zoom in on his Keds sneakers.

A 16-page picture booklet giving scientific explanation of the rocket belt was offered to highlight the new technology of "man-flight."

The spots were created by Fletcher, Richards Advertising Agency of New York.

The same rocket pack used by Kolonel Keds resurfaced on the sci-fi series LOST IN SPACE/CBS/1965-68.  See also "Kedso the Klown"   

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