Boss Gloves


PalmFlex is pleased to announce that we have added Boss Manufacturing (Established 1893) to our list of vendors. Boss Manufacturing Company has the illustrious claim of being the oldest glove company in the United States.

History of Boss Manufacturing
In 1887 a farmer in Kewanee, Illinois by the name of H. H. Perkins invented a unique corn husking tool which he called the Perkins Boss Husker. This instrument, also known as a corn shucker was worn on the hand with the metal hook facing the thumb. The hook was thrust into the lower end of the husked ear and twisted, tearing off the dried husk. and leaving only the delicious cob, or seed rack of the corn for cooking.

Original Boss Corn Husker

Original Boss Corn Husker

In the nineteenth century, corn was a staple of the American diet, as it is today. It was from the Native Americans that the first European settlers learned about corn. In Native American usage, the word for corn means “our life,” or “our mother,” or “she who sustains us.” It was the cultivation of corn that turned Native American tribes from nomadic to agrarian communities.

In May 1890, Mr. Perkins patented his instrument and started making husking pins in a very small room, not more than fifteen feet square. They manufactured four styles of husking pins. These pins became known for many years thereafter as the best hand held utensils for husking corn. Their use extended around the world.
In the early 1890s, it was common practice for farmers’ wives to purchase cloth and make work mittens for their husbands. Mr. Perkins hired some of these women to manufacture mittens for farmers to wear in husking season. They used Canton flannel, which is a soft cotton fabric, and is still used in some of the work gloves that Boss makes to this very day.

Mr. Perkins purchased some basic machinery to manufacture the mittens which the farmers’ wives had until then made by hand, and in 1893 Mr. Perkins organized his business as Boss Manufacturing Company. In the same year the new company purchased forty acres of land in Kewanee and built their first factory, which was a landmark for decades. The company grew exponentially and factories were established in Galesburg Illinois, Fort Wayne Indiana, Findlay Ohio, New York City and Beatrice Nebraska. By 1910 the company had nine factories and employed one thousand, six hundred people, most of them young women.

Boss Advertisement from 1920

Boss Advertisement from 1920

Boss Manufacturing Today

Boss Manufacturing Company Warehouse

Today, the Company’s headquarters are still in Kewanee with distribution centers and sales personnel located throughout the United States and Canada.  Boss has kept up with emerging technology and sophisticated distribution techniques to meet the needs of a complex and ever changing marketplace. They import, market and channel gloves to global markets with an extensive product selection. Some of their gloves are still made in the USA and they still have a reputation of making the best chore gloves in the world.

Boss is not a company inclined to sit on its laurels. In its pursuit of excellent, Boss Manufacturing Company has been the recipient of numerous awards in recent years.

  • 2007 New product runner up – Distribution America & Pro Hardware – Boss Muddy Mate & Boss Dirt Digger
  • 2007 Vendor of the Year Distribution America
  • 2006 New product runner up – Distribution America & Pro Hardware – Frosty Grip
  • 2004 Vendor of the Year Pro Hardware
  • 2004 Vendor of the Year Distribution America

When you wear a pair of Boss gloves, you are not only protecting your hands, you are wearing a piece of American history.


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Copyright © 2009 Darryl Abrahms