In 1881, Daniel Green, a young traveling shoe salesman for the Wallace Elliott Company in New York City, visited Dolgeville, New York. Daniel Green was shown a pair of felt shoes fashioned from waste pieces of piano felt which had been made in the Dolgeville Felt Mill. Daniel Green noticed that these felt shoes were worn by many factory workers to keep their feet warm and comfortable on the cold factory stone floors.
Impressed by the warmth and comfort of the slippers, Daniel Green took a pair back with him to his home in Canastota, New York to show his brother William. These two enthusiastic young men returned to Dolgeville and met the felt mill owner Mr. Dolge to see if they could arrange for them to manufacture felt shoes and slippers to sell to the shoe trade. Mr Dolge agreed to make all the felt footwear and gave Daniel Green the sole agency. The Green brothers returned to Canastota, and in a room over the kitchen of Daniel Greenís house, the business was founded. Both William and Daniel Green carried samples of felt slippers, and during 1882, 600 pair were sold. The second year 2,400 pair were sold, and in 1884 they sold 24,000 pair of slippers.
In 1885, the felt shoes and slippers were made with felt heels and could be worn either in the street or in the boudoir. Fancy colored felt was added with white piano felt soles and sales jumped to 75,000 pairs. With the business rapidly expanding, the company moved to Utica, New York and eventually to New York City. Daniel Green died in 1891, and soon after his death the company was incorporated in New York state.
Over 100 million pair later, Daniel Green slippers continue to represent the very same high quality and unparalleled comfort as they did during the days of William and Daniel Green. While many of the styles remain classic and traditional, the Daniel Green slipper collection of today has expanded into a wide variety of new looks, fashion and utility for inside and outside the home.
In 1804, T. & A. Evans (Thomas and Amos) were running a small shoe business connected with a general store in the town of South Reading (present day Wakefield, MA). There was no shoe factory as we know it today, just a small shop where Thomas and Amos cut the leather for their shoes. The actual shoe making was farmed out among the people of the town, Thomas and Amos supplying them with uppers, soles, counters and heels to be assembled into shoes. All shoes were sewed by hand whenever the shoemaker-farmers could spare the time.
The shoemaker-farmers traded at the Evansí store, and according to the account books, very little cash ever changed hands. In fact, a cash settlement with each individual shoe worker was made but once every six months. Customers settled their accounts every six months, too, and even here not much cash was involved.
James Madison Evans entered into the business in 1832 and carried on the enterprise through 1857. Lucius Bolles Evans, the younger brother of James Madison, started in the shoe business on his own in 1841, at that time founding the present company L.B. Evans which bears his name.
Lucias Bolles worked in the business until 1880 with his son Harvey B. Evans as his partner in the later years. It was during his time that shoe machinery was first introduced. After L.B. Evans passed away, Harvey B. continued the business building the strong foundation and commitment still present today.
Harvey passed away in 1905, and the business was then incorporated as the L.B. Evansí Son Company. The next generation of Evans stepped into leadership and continued with the values and commitment to quality of the generations passed. Through many wars and depressions, L.B. Evans survived.
Today L.B. Evans is owned and operated as a division of Daniel Green Enterprises. Many of the traditional gentlemanís slipper styles are still part of the line, but the business has grown to include new updated classics, premium products including elk and deer, and an array or rugged, warm outdoor styles. Daniel Green Enterprises remains committed to the quality and comfort guarantee that the Evans brothers established over 200 years ago.
In Pennsylvania, in the 1820ís John Rich made his way traveling from logging camp to logging camp selling fabrics, socks, coverlets and yarn from the back of a mule cart. 1830 was a time when the western frontier was largely undiscovered and the eastern states were beginning to settle. John Rich was only 25 when his first woolen mill in Plum Run, Pennsylvania was constructed. Within 5 years, the mill expanded and it was moved to what is known today as Woolrich, Pennsylvania.
Clothing was made to accommodate the trades of a forging nation in form of utility, function and protection from the elements and environment. From this rather modest beginning, Woolrich grew and developed more sophisticated products with new production methods.
By the early 1900s, Woolrich clothing had become legendary for its durable, rugged style and exceptional quality. Legend has it that Woolrich was the first to use zippers in menís trousers. There are many original items which are still popular in the Woolrich line even to this day. The timeless Railroad Vest introduced when the railroad was being built through Pennsylvania. The red and black Buffalo Shirt, named after the buffalo raised by designer of the plaid pattern in the mid 1800s.
Woolrich outfitted the 1939 Admiral Byrd Expedition to Antarctica . During World War II, Woolrich outfitted US civilian war workers in cold climates. In the 60ís the popularity of Woolrich clothing boomed on college campuses. The company expanded into four season apparel embracing cotton sportswear and outerwear in new product lines, as well as enhancing the performance of wool. During the 1970s, several Himalayans mountaineering expeditions utilized Woolrich gear in extreme conditions
Today Woolrich headquarters are still in Woolrich, Pennsylvania. Daniel Green Enterprises (St. Louis, Missouri) owns the licensing to Woolrich footwear, developing slippers for men and women. Function, comfort and durability are incorporated into all Woolrich products, and Daniel Green Enterprises maintains that commitment in the footwear category.