Hudson River Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company (Poughkeepsie, New York)
Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Hudson River Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Company dating back to the 1880's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary, was printed by the american Graphic Company and measures approximately 11 1/2" (w) by 9 1/4" (h).
This certificate features a great vignette of a large factory complex.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
During the mid- to late-19th century, the city of Poughkeepsie was a hotbed of industrial innovation and production. One operation, which provided employment for 400 local residents, was the Hudson River Boot and Shoe Manufacturing Co., at the corner of North Cherry and Main streets.
In 1860 businessman John O. Whitestone established the business and hired J.I. Vail to build the complex in 1870. In 1879, the buildings were struck by lightning and burned; They were immediately rebuilt.
Whitestone oversaw the operation through his death in 1881, at which time his son-in-law, Eugene Howell, purchased the plant, its stock and business from the estate. Five years later the business was incorporated, with Howell becoming president and also controlling the company’s stock.
The rebuilt complex included a main building that spanned 250 feet in length and 50 feet in width, which housed the principal departments associated with the manufacturing process. An annex, which stood alongside North Cherry Street, was 125 feet long and 40 feet wide, and was occupied by office space.
A third structure, once standing north of the main building, adjacent to the Falkill Creek, was 110 feet long and served as a box shop, lumber shed and storage area.
The company employed men and women and manufactured about 3,000 pairs of boots and shoes daily. The company supplied 1 million people annually with high-quality footwear.
By using the hides of various animals, factory workers manufactured approximately 200 different styles of medium-priced footwear for men and boys. It was a difficult process, given the irregular form of the human foot, but innovation and the latest technology of that era enabled the company to produce merchandise that consistently received high grades for comfort and durability.
The company maintained a large, three-floor retail store at 116 Duane St. in New York City and, with its outlet in Philadelphia under the management of Williamson, Howell and Co., the business flourished for many years. Howell was a native of Philadelphia.