History: Latex Gloves 1

Charles Goodyear and the Strange Story of Rubber

goodyear_drawing

In midsummer of 1834 a bankrupt hardware merchant from Philadelphia, Charles Goodyear, walked into the New York retail store of the Roxbury India Rubber Co., America’s first rubber manufacturer. He showed the store manager a new valve he had devised for rubber life preservers. The manager shook his head sadly. The company wasn’t in the market for valves now; it would be lucky to stay in business at all.

He showed Goodyear why: rack on rack of rubber goods which had been melted to malodorous glue by the torrid weather. In the company’s factory at Roxbury, Mass., he confided, thousands of melted rubber articles were being returned by outraged customers. The directors had met in the dead of night to bury $20,000 worth of stinking rejects in a pit.

The “rubber fever” of the early 1830s had ended as suddenly as it had begun. At first everybody had wanted things made of the new waterproof gum from Brazil, and factories had sprung up to meet the demand. Then abruptly the public had become fed up with the messy stuff which froze bone-hard in winter and turned glue-like in summer. Not one of the young rubber companies survived as long as five years. Investors lost millions. Rubber, everyone agreed, was through in America.

Goodyear disappointedly pocketed the valve and took his first good look at rubber. He had played with bits of it as a child, but now, at 34, he experienced a sudden curiosity and wonder about this mysterious “gum elastic.” “There is probably no other inert substance,” he said later, “which so excites the mind.”

Returning to Philadelphia, Goodyear was clapped into jail for debt. It was not his first sojourn there, nor his last. He asked his wife to bring him a batch of raw rubber and her rolling pin. Here, in his cell, Goodyear made his first rubber experiments, kneading and working the gum hour after hour.

Charles GoodyearIf rubber was naturally adhesive, he reasoned, why couldn’t a dry powder be mixed in to absorb its stickiness — perhaps the talc-like magnesia powder sold in drugstores? Out of jail again, he tried, with promising results.

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He talked a boyhood friend into backing a modest venture. Charles, his wife and small daughters made up several hundred pairs of magnesia-dried rubber overshoes in their kitchen. But before he could market them summer came, and he watched his footwear sag into shapeless paste.

Neighbors complained about Goodyear’s smelly gum, so he moved his experiments to New York. There a friend gave him a fourth-floor tenement bedroom for his “laboratory.” A brother-in-law came to his squalid quarters, lectured him about his hungry children, advised him that rubber was dead. “I am the man to bring it back,” said Goodyear.

He was adding two drying agents to his rubber now, magnesia and quicklime, then boiling the mixture and getting a better product all the time. Impressed, a New York trade show awarded him a medal.

Goodyear lavished all the arts of decoration on his dingy samples, painted them, gilded them, embossed them. Running short of material one morning, he decided to re-use an old decorated sample and applied nitric acid to remove its bronze paint. The piece turned black, and Goodyear threw it away.

A few days later he remembered that somehow the blackened scrap had felt different. He retrieved it from his trash can and found he was right. The nitric acid had done something to the rubber, made it almost as smooth and dry as cloth. This was better rubber than anyone had ever made before.

A New York businessman advanced several thousand dollars to begin production. But the financial panic of 1837 promptly wiped out both the backer and the business. Destitute, Charles and his family camped in the abandoned rubber factory on Staten Island, living on fish he caught in the harbor.

In time, Goodyear got new backing in Boston and again seesawed to momentary prosperity. His partners wangled a government contract for 150 mailbags, to be manufactured by the nitric-acid process. After making the bags Goodyear was so sure of himself that he stored them in a warm room and took the family away for a month’s vacation. When he returned, the mailbags were melted. Underneath their “dry-as-cloth” surface lay the same old sticky gum.

After five futile years, Goodyear was near rock bottom. Farmers around Woburn, Mass. where he now lived, gave his children milk and let them dig half-grown potatoes for food.

The great discovery came in the winter of 1839. Goodyear was using sulphur in his experiments now. Although Goodyear himself has left the details in doubt, the most persistent story is that one February day he wandered into Woburn’s general store to show off his latest gum-and-sulphur formula. Snickers rose from the cracker-barrel forum, and the usually mild-mannered little inventor got excited, waved his sticky fistful of gum in the air. It flew from his fingers and landed on the sizzling-hot potbellied stove.

When he bent to scrape it off, he found that instead of melting like molasses, it had charred like leather. And around the charred area was a dry, springy brown rim — “gum elastic” still, but so remarkably altered that it was virtually a new substance. He had made weatherproof rubber.

This discovery is often cited as one of history’s most celebrated “accidents.” Goodyear stoutly denied that. Like Newton’s falling apple, he maintained, the hot stove incident held meaning only for the man “whose mind was prepared to draw an inference.” That meant, he added simply, the one who had “applied himself most perseveringly to the subject.”

The winter after Goodyear’s discovery was the blackest of his life. Dyspeptic and gout-racked, his health broken, he hobbled about his experiments on crutches. He knew now that heat and sulphur miraculously changed rubber. But how much heat, for how long? With endless patience he roasted bits of rubber in hot sand, toasted them like marshmallows, steamed them over the teakettle, pressed them between hot irons. When his long-suffering wife took her bread from the oven he thrust in chunks of evil-smelling gum.

At night he lay awake, afraid that he would die and the secret die with him. He pawned his watch and the household furniture.

When even the dinnerware was gone, he made rubber dishes to eat from. Then the food was gone too.

That spring he went to Boston to look up friends, found none, was jailed for nonpayment of a $5 hotel bill, and came home to find his infant son dead. Unable to pay for a funeral, Goodyear hauled the little coffin to the graveyard in a borrowed wagon. Of the 12 Goodyear children, six died in infancy.

At last he found that steam under pressure, applied for four to six hours at around 270 degrees Fahrenheit, gave him the most uniform results. He wrote his wealthy New York brother-in-law — who had once lectured him about his parental obligations — of his discovery. This time the brother-in-law, a textile manufacturer, was interested, for Charles told him that interwoven rubber threads would produce the fashionable puckered effect then much favored in men’s shirts. Two “shirred goods” factories were rushed into production and, on the ruffled shirtfronts of dandies, rubber rode to worldwide success.

As soon as he could, Goodyear disposed of the manufacturing interests which might have made him a millionaire and went back to his experiments. He wanted to make everything of rubber: banknotes, musical instruments, flags, jewelry, ship sails, even ships themselves. He had his portrait painted on rubber, his calling cards engraved on it, his autobiography printed on and bound in it. He wore rubber hats, vests, ties.

Goodyear saw rubber as what we know it is today: the first and most versatile of the modern “plastics.” He perceived in it a “vegetable leather” that defied the elements, an “elastic metal,” a wood substitute that could be shaped in molds.

Some of his ideas still turn up as “new” uses for rubber. Many food packagers, for example, now wrap their products in Pliofilm, a rubber-derived plastic; Goodyear suggested the same application in 1850. Rubber paint, car springs, ferryboat bumpers, wheelbarrow tires, inflatable life rafts, and “frogmen” suits are other recent innovations he described a century ago.

Goodyear’s business deals, licensing manufacture under his scores of patents, were ridiculously bad. Shirred-goods rights, for instance, went for royalty of three cents a yard; the licensees made $3 a yard.

Against “patent pirates” Goodyear was forced to prosecute 32 infringement cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In one famous 1852 case, his advocate was no less a personage than Secretary of State Daniel Webster. Goodyear paid Webster $15,000 for temporarily doffing the robes of Cabinet office — the largest fee ever paid an American lawyer to that time. In a two-day speech Webster won a permanent injunction against further patent infringements. It made headlines, but it didn’t stop the piracy.

Goodyear was slow in filing foreign patent applications. But he had sent samples of his heat-and-sulphur-treated gum to British rubber companies without revealing details. One sample was seen by famed English rubber pioneer Thomas Hancock, who had been trying for 20 years to make weatherproof rubber. Hancock noticed a yellowish sulphur “bloom” on the Goodyear sample’s surface. With that clue, he reinvented vulcanized rubber in 1843, four years after Goodyear. By the time Goodyear applied for an English patent he found that Hancock had filed a few weeks earlier.

Offered a half-share of the Hancock patent to drop his suit, Goodyear foolishly declined — and lost. A friend of Hancock named the contested process “vulcanization,” after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

At the London and Paris world’s fairs of the 1850s Goodyear installed great pavilions built entirely of rubber, floor to roof. When his French patent was canceled on a technicality and his French royalties stopped before he could pay his bills, he was seized by gendarmes and hustled off to a 16-day stay at his familiar “hotel” (as he called it) — debtors’ prison. There he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor, bestowed by Emperor Napoleon III.

When he died, in 1860, he was $200,000 in debt. Eventually, however, accumulated royalties made his family comfortable. His son Charles Jr., inherited something more precious — inventive talent — and later built a small fortune on shoemaking machinery.

Goodyear

Neither Goodyear nor his family was ever connected with the company named in his honor, today’s billion-dollar Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the world’s largest rubber business. In 1898, almost four decades after his death, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was founded and named after Goodyear by Frank Seiberling. Goodyear’s only direct descendant among modern companies is United States Rubber, which years ago absorbed a small company he once served as director.

Today there is a cultivated rubber tree for every two human beings on earth. Three million tree “milkers” harvest the crop. The United States alone imports almost half of it, and synthesizes as much or more from petroleum. Nearly 300,000 Americans earn their livelihoods in rubber manufacturing, this year will produce $6 billion worth of products.

The whole huge apparatus owes its existence to the invincible little fanatic who might have died a bitter man, but didn’t.

“Life,” he wrote, “should not be estimated exclusively by the standard of dollars and cents. I am not disposed to complain that I have planted and others have gathered the fruits. A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps.”

Reprinted from the January 1958 issue of Reader’s Digest ©1957

History: Latex Gloves 2

William Stewart Halsted, the Father of “Safe” Surgery

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In 1878, Caroline Hampton, the niece of famed Confederate general Wade Hampton III, and graduate of New York Hospital, became a scrub nurse to the famous Johns Hopkins surgeon.
Caroline Hampton worked for William Stewart Halsted, who is for many medical and surgical achievements. He is the father of “safe” surgery

Nurses and physicians had to scrub for a long time with harsh soap and then dip their hands in mercuric chloride. Many proved to be hypersensitive to the procedure, including Hampton; she soon developed dermatitis on her arms and hands. Hampton was an excellent scrub nurse and rather than lose her, Halsted contacted Goodyear Rubber Company which had been experimenting with new rubber products. The result was a specially made pair of thin rubber gloves which eliminated the necessity for Hampton to dip her hands in the mercuric chloride. She soon became so adept with the gloves that others, following her example, began using them.

Halsted wrote the following description in a 1913 review article on surgical technique.  “In the winter of 1889 and 1890 – I cannot recall the month – the nurse in charge of my operating room complained that the solutions of mercuric chloride produced a dermatitis of her arms and hands. As she was an unusually efficient woman, I gave the matter my consideration and one day in New York requested the Goodyear Rubber Company to make as an experiment two pair of thin rubber gloves with gauntlets.  On trial these proved to be so satisfactory that additional gloves were ordered. In the autumn, on my return to town, an assistant who passed the instruments and threaded the needles was also provided with rubber gloves to wear at the operations. At first the operator wore them only when exploratory incisions into joints were made. After a time the assistants became so accustomed to working in gloves that they also wore them as operators and would remark that they seemed to be less expert with bare hands than with the gloved hands.”

Infection dropped from twenty percent to almost nothing, and by 1894 all operating surgeons at Johns Hopkins were ordered to wear rubber gloves. Rubber gloves soon became standard equipment for medical and nursing personnel and, of course, as a suitable climax for the story, Hampton and Halsted were married.

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Billhead of a Goodyear Rubber Gloves Distributor

Reference:
Bonnie Bullough: The care of the sick: the emergence of modern nursing. 1979

Boss Gloves

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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.

Awards
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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View Our Boss Gloves

Copyright © 2009 Darryl Abrahms

History: Worshipful Company

glovers coat of arms

Glovers Coat of Arms

The Worshipful Company of Glovers of London is a guild of glove-makers that was formed in 1349. The company still survives today, although now it is primarily a charitable organization. A ceremonial link, though, is still maintained; the Company formally presents the King or Queen of England with gloves upon his or her coronation.The Company’s motto is True Hearts and Warm Hands.

Gloves for the Coronation

Gloves for the Coronation

Following is an ordinance of the The Worshipful Company of Glovers of London from its inception.

“Also – that no one of them shall sell his wares in any house at night by candle-light, seeing that folks cannot have such good knowledge by candle-light as by day-light, whether the wares are made of good leather or of bad, or whether they are well and lawfully or falsely made, on pain of forfeiting to the use of the Chamber the wares so sold by candle-light.

Reference:

Ralph W. Waggett: A History of the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London 2000

The Worshipful Company of Glovers of London web site

History: Glover’s Dreams

In the late 1800s thousands of immigrants came to New York to pursue the American dream. Many landed up working in sweat shops under horrendous conditions. This is an excerpt from a book about one of these dreamers. At an early age this man left Warsaw on foot and penniless. In 1898, he emigrated to the United States, but fearing refusal of entry, he got off the boat in Nova Scotia, Canada, before moving on to New York in January 1899. With a thick Polish accent, he was barely able to be understood. He found work as a glove cutter in upstate Gloversville, New York, which was the center of the bustling glove business in America.

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The biography continues

After five years, Goldfish had “taxed” the glove business. He figured that of the thousands in the industry, only the six or seven major producers were taking big money out of it. A dozen successful smaller producers, the independents, were making a little less. Everyone else took home small change. Everyone except those drummers (traveling salesmen) who sat with their feet up on the windowsills of the Kingsborough Hotel. They worked on commission, and the sky seemed to be their limit. Goldfish realized that he had travelled as far as he could within the factory walls of the Elite Glove Company. If he wanted to get anywhere in the business, it would not be by moving up in Gloversville. He would have to move out into the world.

Kingsborough Hotel, Gloversville

In 1904, Sam Goldfish went to Ralph Moses and announced his desire to be a glove salesman. The request was so brash, it took Moses a moment to compose himself and say no. “I know gloves inside out” Goldfish argued. “I’ve made them. I can sell them. I don’t want any money except enough to travel from town to town. I’ll go on streetcars instead of trains and I’ll stay at YMCAs instead of hotels”. Moses was not interested until Goldfish said, “Give me the company’s toughest territory where it has never sold gloves before.”

Moses gave him a list of small New England towns, starting with Pittsfield, Massachusetts. “The leading store there has never carried our goods,” he explained. “If you can sell them you can sell anyone, and I’ll make you a regular salesman.”

The next week, Goldfish rode interurban trolleys forty miles to Albany and another forty miles due east, across the state line into the little city of Pittsfield , in the Berkshires. When he arrived at the target store, a secretary informed him that the buyer was out. Goldfish returned the next day and received the same message. Goldfish returned a third day, and the buyer finally met with him. He explained that he had done business with another firm for twenty years and that the Elite representative was wasting his time. “Maybe I am,”Goldfish told him,” but I intend to sit here until you look at my gloves. You don’t have to buy them, but you shouldn’t turn me down without seeing what I’ve got to sell. You may be missing a bargain”. Inside the office, Goldfish opened his sample case.

Ladies_Gloves

“Is this the way they will look when they are delivered, or is this just a special?” the buyer asked. Goldfish explained every detail of the gloves’ construction and said that if the man did not like what he received, he could send them back. The buyer began by ordering six pairs of ladies elbow-length gloves (which sold for twenty-four dollars a dozen). Goldfish left the store with orders for another three hundred dollars worth of merchandise.

Sam Goldwyn

Several years later Sam Goldfish changed his name to Sam Goldwyn, an original founder of the Hollywood movie business, and one of the most powerful entertainment tycoons in the world.

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A. Scott Berg: Goldwyn – A Biography 1989

History: Atlas Gloves

GenuineAtlasAtlas Gloves are manufactured by Showa Company, a leading Japanese hand protection manufacturer. In October 2007 Showa Glove acquired Best Manufacturing, one of America’s largest producers of high quality gloves, and the combined company was incorporated as Showa-Best Glove. There is a separate article in this blog about Showa-Best Glove and Best products.

Showa Co, the head office in Japan.

Showa Co, the head office in Japan.

In keeping with Japanese tradition, every day Showa searches for ways to increase its expertise, and for innovations to offer the users of its gloves greater comfort. With its objective of “zero defects”, the company chooses only high quality raw materials, and implements increasingly thorough quality control, before, during and after production. PalmFlex has sold over a million Atlas gloves, and none of our employees recall an Atlas glove being returned because of a defect.

Shorubber, Showa's Glove Plant in Malaysia

Shorubber, Showa's Glove Plant in Malaysia

Innovation, research and development, and preservation of the environment are three factors that make Showa one of the global market leaders.

INNOVATION

Glove Innovation

Glove Innovation

Before 1954, cotton and leather were the only options available in terms of hand protection. At this time, Showa introduced the first gloves made from flexible and durable PVC. This major innovation enabled the company to quickly take 40% of the Japanese market. Since then, many innovations have followed.

- The 1980’s: Several patents are applied for: anti-germ treatment for glove liners, oil-resistant PVC and a slip-on coating that makes putting on and removing gloves easier. During this period, Showa develops seamless liner technology.

- 1983: Showa devises the Soa Tech range of gloves, including the Palm Fit model, which is both light and supple. These gloves allow high-precision work to be carried out quickly and accurately, thus maximizing productivity.

- 1990: A range of thin Nitrile gloves is developed.

- 1993: Showa launches partial coating, resulting in a balanced compromise between comfort and dexterity. The Flat Dip Technology coating technique is born.

Glove Manufacturing

Glove Manufacturing

Since then, innovations have been made by applying hi-tech, cut resistant textiles such as Kevlar® and Dyneema® to gloves, an important step forward towards greater hand safety.

With their seamless knit design, coated palm and ventilated back, Showa gloves are designed to limit perspiration. They undergo an antibacterial treatment to reduce both the accumulation of bacteria and odors caused by perspiration.

Today, Showa offers a range of gloves that is suited to the most complex and dangerous operations and which offers a level of protection that is widely recognized by professionals. As a result of Showa’s relentless pursuit for quality, it has many prestigious customers in the automotive, aeronautical, electronics, metallurgical chemical, construction, fishing, food services and agricultural industries.

Because Showa Glove consistently leads the market, as soon as the company brings out innovations, they are copied. Therefore it is important to look for the genuine Atlas Glove logo when purchasing palm coated gloves.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Glove Research & Development

Glove Research & Development

Showa’s capacity for innovation is only possible by placing Research and Development at the core of the company’s mission. At its plant in Malaysia, which employs 1,500 people, Showa has the industry’s most advanced research laboratories at its disposal. This research has just one goal: ensuring maximum protection against injury from cuts and chemicals, and greater comfort for users.

THE ENVIRONMENT

The Environment

The Environment

The latest challenge Showa has set concerns the protection of the environment. Showa chooses only raw materials that will neither harm the environment nor the user’s hands. Because it is conscious of the fact that the world has limited natural resources, Showa is developing a recycling program for production materials. Showa would like to leave the world clean for our children, and has made this a duty for its employees. Their philosophy is: “We live in a wonderful world and we must be ever-conscious of this in order to preserve it”.

Showa’s revolutionary technology has resulted in the manufacture of gloves that offer ever-greater protection, and which allow the tasks they have been created for to be carried out, easier and more effectively. PalmFlex is proud to be a prominent Atlas glove dealer.

AtlasFit 300 Gloves

AtlasFit 300 Gloves

Click here for our selection of Atlas gloves.

Copyright © 2009 Darryl Abrahms

History: Churchill Gloves

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Like many adventurous, enterprising young men of the time, James Churchill left Ontario, Canada in the 1890′s to seek his fortune in the vast expanse of the western United States.  He settled in Washington, along a well-traveled wagon route halfway between Portland and Seattle.  The town of Centralia, Washington, newly founded by a freed slave from Missouri named George Washington, had a population of around 1,000 at the time. Churchill plied his trade as an itinerant peddler, traveling the area in a horse-drawn wagon, selling crockery and tin ware.

Some of Churchill’s customers were Native Americans from the Chehalis tribe. After taking some deer hides from members of the tribe as exchange for his wares, Churchill thought he’d made a bad trade.  What could he possibly do with the parcel of uncured deerskins?  Unbeknownst to him, this seemingly ill-advised barter would set a course that would define not only the rest of his life, but that of the next three generations of Churchills.

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True to his enterprising nature, Churchill had the hides tanned and began sewing them into gloves, which turned out to be a hot commodity for the area’s booming timber industry.  Sturdy and durable, yet able to retain its flexibility after getting wet, deerskin was much better suited for gloves than the more commonly used cowhide. It wasn’t long before hr was selling more gloves than crockery out of his horse-drawn cart.

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Churchill phased out the kitchenware and focused solely on gloves, working to perfect the craftsmanship and materials that went into his product. In 1897, he opened his first glove-making factory in Centralia. The business continued to thrive.  Seven years later, he expanded into a second factory building.

Churchill Price List from 1954. Over 50 years they are still in the same building.

Churchill 1954 Price List . 55 years later, they are still in the same building.

Churchill Gloves Today

Over a century later, Churchill’s grandson, Niles and his great-grandsons, Mike and Andy, carry on the family tradition of glove-making excellence. In an era when most companies farm out manufacturing to take advantage of cheap overseas labor, the James Churchill Glove Company’s 35 employees turn out 38,000 pair of gloves annually from their Centralia factory.

Churchill Elkskin Gloves

Churchill Elkskin Gloves

“We specialize in customer service and quality,” says Mike Churchill.  “We believe in ‘Made in America’”. They still use the highest quality thread and a wax enhanced lock-stitch, which, unlike the chain stitch used in cheaper gloves, insures a severed thread won’t cause the gloves to fall apart. Only the finest grades of deer and elk hides from the U.S. are used. And just in case an imperfection has slipped through the cracks, every glove is tried on by an inspector before it’s shipped.

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You can see why, although you might pay more for a pair of Churchill gloves, they’ll last two to three times longer than the cheaper variety. In fact, you might end up passing them on to your children. No doubt James Churchill would still be proud of the legacy he created.

Churchill Maverick Gloves

Churchill Maverick Gloves

Made in America

Made in America

Click here for Churchill gloves

Copyright © 2009 Darryl Abrahms

History: Deerskin

Some of our most popular gloves are made from deerskin. Here are some interesting facts about deerskin.

Winter Deer

Winter Deer

  • Stone age people, cavemen, and hunter gatherers all over the world soaked deerskin hides in brains. Deerskins were the most commonly tanned, worn and utilized skin because of their durability, softness and availability. They were the basic “fabric” of pre-historic times. Today deerskin is much more scarce.
    Zulus Working with Deerskin

    Zulus Working with Deerskin

    African Deerskin Shield

    African Deerskin Shield

  • Israel is referred to in the bible as “The land of the deer.”
  • Deerskin is one of the most difficult leathers to work with, both in it’s tanning process, and in the making of leather goods.

    Deerskin Hides

    Deerskin Hides

  • Deerskin was used for bookbinding purposes as long ago as the 8th century.

    14th Century Bookbinding

    14th Century Bookbinding

  • The first piano was invented in Florence, Italy in 1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655 – 1732). Cristofori’s invention was a simple keyboard with strings that produced different sounds when struck by small wooden hammers covered with deerskin.
  • The Deerskin Dance is one of the Native Americans’ most sacred rituals. The purpose of the ritual is to renew the world or “firm the earth”, as one tribe described it. This ceremony includes songs and dances that have been preserved for countless generations.

    Native American Deerskin Dance

    Native American Deerskin Dance

  • Many of the animals that the Native Americans killed for food also furnished skins for clothing. Deerskin was fashioned into shirts, leggings, dresses and moccasins. In the winter, both deerskin and buffalo clothing was worn and decorated with dyed porcupine quills or shells and glass beads.
    Native American Tools for Tanning

    Native American Tools for Tanning

    Native American Deerskin Gloves

    Native American Deerskin Gloves

  • Deerskin has a long and valued tradition in American history. It was the original “buck skin”.
    Buckskin Jacket

    Buckskin Jacket

    Civil War Style Deerskin Gloves

    Civil War Style Deerskin Gloves

  • Tandy Leather is one of the largest sellers of deerskin in America. It’s founder went on to start Radio Shack.
  • Deerskin produces one of the strongest, softest, most durable, and comfortable gloves you can wear.
Deerskin Gloves Today

Deerskin Gloves Today

Click here to see our deerskin gloves.

Copyright © 2013 Darryl Abrahms