Digital Commonwealth

Illustrations from the Shoe Industry in Brockton, Massachusetts

Brockton Public Library

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Brockton, once known as “Shoe City,” manufacturing some $146,378,500 worth of shoes annually in the early twenties, attracted skilled shoe workers from all over the globe. In 1925, commercial artist, Ralph Heard of Needham, Massachusetts, created seven portraits of local craftsmen: William B. White, the sole layer at L.A. Crossett Co. of North Abington; Knute Abrahamson, the welter at Brockton Co-operative Boot & Shoe Company; Peter Kasialis, laster at Churchill & Alden Company; and Carl Chloth, a laster doing the pull-over at M.N. Arnold Shoe Company.

These paintings were published in the Brockton and South Shore Shoe Magazine in 1925, as part of their District Master Craftsmen Series no. 3. They were also used as original illustrations in the magazine, American Shoe World.

In 1937, Harold Keith gifted the paintings to the Brockton Public Library. The paintings are in oil on board, measuring 26” x 23” framed and 22” x 19” unframed.

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