During the the first half of the 1940’s our factory was busy doing what many factories in the U.S. were doing – supplying goods and materials for use by our troops. For us, that quite obviously meant leather. We supplied two main leather types during this time; Mechanical leather and Chromexcel.
Mechanical leather is a specialized, dense, and extremely durable tannage utilized to make hydraulic and pneumatic seals and packings. C.W. Marsh is one of our oldest customers, and we supplied them (and other manufacturers) with leather that was used for many applications, including vehicles. While “leather is better,” this industry has largely moved into the realm of synthetics.
Photo by Ralph Morse – Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
A huge thanks to Vans for taking the time to visit us and for putting together a great collection.
Filed under History, Media
A special thank you to Allen Edmonds and Paul Grangaard for the kind words and taking the time to make the video.
I came across a small stack of my great grandfather’s business cards recently. Quite concise.
I reached critical mass in my office and needed to purge some of the paperwork and piles of leather cuttings that have accumulated over the past year. I finally acquiesced to the use of a file cabinet, which meant I had to go through that too. I found some pretty interesting files ranging in date from the early 1920’s to the 1960’s. Most interesting to me were the customer lists from the 1940’s.
Chromexcel. One of my favorites, and probably my single favorite if I had to choose one. The picture above gives some idea of how long the formula has been around (and this journal is full of different trials and doesn’t even contain the original, standardized recipe). Whether because it’s right, or because we’re just terribly stubborn, we’ve left the processes and formulas for many of our leathers largely unchanged. We have had to substitute some of the components that were traditionally used in small quantities – whale oil was replaced with another marine-creature derived oil, one that’s more available and not controversial.