Black and white photograph of several unidentified employees of the Holland Racine Shoe Company busily working. All are facing large windows for the lighting. At the back left of the photo stands one employee watching.
Originally called the Holland Shoe Company, Holland-Racine specialized in men's dress shoes.
The factory, located near Kollen Park Drive and West 16th Street, started in 1901 to utilize an abundant supply of sole leather generated by the Cappon & Bertsch Tannery on Eighth Street. Within a year the shoe factory was one of the busiest Holland factories, employing 200 people and the company daily producing 1,000 pairs of shoes. By 1914, the factory doubled to 400 employees daily producing 3,000 pairs of shoes. In 1939, the company merged with the Racine Shoe Company in Wisconsin forming the Holland-Racine Shoe Company.
Joining the World War II war effort, the firm produced 240,000 pairs of shoes for the Navy. In 1964, Holland-Racine was sold to a St. Louis company. Not able to compete with low-cost imports, the factory closed in 1967.
Gift ofOverhage, Mary Lou Marcus