Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the United Shoe Machinery Corporation dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Treasurer, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 11 3/4" (w) by 8" (h).
This certificate features a vignette of an eagle on a crag.
The United Shoe Machinery Company was founded in 1899 by a merger of the Goodyear Machinery Company, Consolidated Hand Lasting Machine Company, and the McKay Shoe Machinery Company. The United Shoe Machinery Company revolutionized shoe equipment manufacturing and the shoe industry itself. Its establishment of an international division made it one of the first three international companies ever formed, and it became a worldwide powerhouse as affiliated companies were set up in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, South America, and Asia by 1905. The new company became United Shoe Machinery Corporation on May 1, 1905.
In 1930 USM built one of Boston's first and, at the time, largest skyscrapers for its corporate headquarters and, according to FORTUNE magazine, "was regarded by the most conservative Bostonians as one of the bluest of the blue-chip investments." USM boomed with defense work during World War II, and that continued for a while after the war, as did work in USM's Atomic Power Department. Between 1899 and 1960, USM developed and marketed nearly 800 new and improved shoe machines and patented more than 9,000 inventions in widely disparate areas.
The company’s Beverly, Massachusetts plant boasted such modern inventions as the first time-clocks produced by IBM, the hot glue gun, the pop top for the soda can, the drive mechanism for the lunar module, as well as pop rivets used in the Supersonic Concorde. By 1960, however, its inexorable slide from the glory days was underway. In 1968 the name was shortened to USM Corporation to reflect the company's greatly changed emphasis in the post litigation era.
In 1986, the company was purchased by the Emhart Corporation.