Grover J Walter
Grover J Walter

Grove Walter (1888-1945) was, in his youth, a baseball and fishing enthusiast and (with his father Frank) a pool hall and then confectionery proprietor. He married Nellie Ranstead and ran a dress shop in town.

He eventually became proprietor of Walter Sporting Goods Store in South Bend (since replaced by the Center for the Homeless). He maintained his love of fishing and was a bait casting expert who sometimes gave exhibitions.

1937, he invented a waterproof “sportsuit” for the impulsive fisherman. Alas, it appears never to have been patented, so there are no images. It’s unclear how this suit would differ from chest waders, which had been invented many years earlier but wouldn’t be perfected until World War 2.

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Grove Walter sportsuit - Enquirer - 13 May 1937
Grove Walter sportsuit – Enquirer – 13 May 1937

Always a tinkerer, in 1924, he had rigged up a newfangled wireless radio in, of all things, his automobile.
1924 - Grover Walter car radio - Enquirer - 12 Jun 1924