last, shoe

Catalog Number
Date of Origin
ca. 1934
Black, metal shoe last.  
2018.25.29a-d, 30 and 31 are cobbler's tools that were used by the donor's father, Richard Borr, at the Holland Racine Shoe Company. Richard Borr was born on November 16, 1903 in Ottawa County, MI to Henry and Martha Borr.

In 1926, Richard married Gertrude Hoffman in Allegan Co. The Borrs lived at 124 West 14th and, later, at 268 W. 19th, both in Holland.
According the the Holland city directories, Richard worked at the Holland Racine Shoe Co. from about 1934 to 1945.

Richard died in Holland, MI on February 6, 1997. He was buried in Pilgrim Home.

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 of
Borr, Roger