Wednesday, September 8, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Endicott-Johnson Cutting Room Employees



A belated Labor Day tribute - According notes my aunt made in her father's diary, my grandfather Stefan got his first job in the United States a little more than 3 months after his arrival. On April 11, 1921 he began working at the Gotham Ross Park Factory (in or near Binghamton, NY).  He worked there 16 weeks "pulling lastes" (I'd love to know what this means!).  He then went to work for Endicott-Johnson Shoe Company (June 10, 1921) first working outside with a shovel and pick, and moved inside (Sept. 22, 1921) to the West End Victory Cutting Room "Block".  He finally becoming a leather cutter (upper leather machine) Aug. 22, 1922, the job he held until he died, at work, 26 years later.

This photo was taken in 1937 in honor of the employees 100% participation in a Red Cross and company fund drive.  My grandfather is pictured in the second row, sitting in the middle, with an open collar and apron.

Endicott-Johnson West End Victory Cutting Room Employees, Photograph, 8 Feb 1937. Digital Image.  Privately held by Nolichucky Roots [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], 2007.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this interesting group work photo, which looks like it may have been taken with a wide-angle lens, judging by the slight distortion of perspective towards the edges.

    A suggestion: If the Gotham Ross Park Factory also manufactured shoes, then I imagine he was removing shoe lasts from the shoes, once they were complete, and prior to their being packed for shipment. I imagine not a very scintillating - or skilled - job, so perhaps a significant promotion to the cutting room!

    Regards and best wishes, Brett

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  2. Thanks so much for the info, Brett. I don't know if Gotham made shoes, but it seems more than possible.

    I don't think any of the jobs he held in the U.S. were remotely scintillating, but they allowed him to support his family, buy a home and assure dramatically better lives for his children and grandchildren.

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