Accounts of E.C. Kinnear, Shoe Manufacturer. Ledger. Shoe Industry.
Accounts of E.C. Kinnear, Shoe Manufacturer.
Start-Up After the Civil War, With Focus on Cost of Supplies and Wages

Accounts of E.C. Kinnear, Shoe Manufacturer.

Dover, New Hampshire, 1865-1866. Item #854

Tall folio. 340 x 215 mm. [13 ¾ x 8 ½ inches]. 106 pp. Lined, numbered pages. Text in very legible hand.  Leather spine over marbled board covers. Spine rubbed, some wear to the marbled paper covering; otherwise very good condition.  Legible ink.


Fine ledger of the nineteenth century shoe industry in New Hampshire, particularly Farmington and Dover. The first leaves of the ledge record expense for machines purchased, tools, and supplies such as uppers, lasts, blacking, nails, brushes, paste, and stiffenings, suggesting the opening or reopening of a business six months after the end of the Civil War.  Dozens of employees are named and a typical worker, James B. Edgley, received thirteen dollars for six days work in 1865, averaging about $2.50 per day.


Prior to the mid-19th century and the advent of shoemaking machinery, shoes and boots were handmade by local cordwainers. Subdivision of labor inherent in a factory system was introduced in these small shops, with one man occupied in cutting, another stitching, and another attaching the sole. It was also common for larger shops to prepare the leather stock that was then sent out to local cordwainers or smaller shops to be assembled into the finished shoe. It is believed that the first shoe "factory" of this type in New Hampshire was established in Weare in 1823, followed by those in Farmington (1835), Rochester (1843), then Dover (1847). By 1859 there were six boot/shoe manufacturers listed in the Dover city directory.


During the Civil War many companies had to stop production but advances in shoemaking machinery post war allowed for major expansion of the shoemaking industry in Dover and elsewhere. The number of boot and shoe manufacturers in Dover remained fairly steady in the 1860s and 1870s, with about a half dozen active factories at any one time. It was not uncommon for two competing shoe manufacturers to share the same building. By 1874 there were eight boot/shoe manufacturers operating in Dover.


Elvin C. Kinnear was born in New Castle, Rockingham, New Hampshire, in 1827 of William and Mary (Martin) Kinnear. He married Catherine M. Curtis and they had at least four children. Kinnear was one of the largest manufacturers in Farmington, New Hampshire, for a number of years. He continued for some ten or twelve years, when he moved to Dover, and continued the manufacture until 1880, when he moved to Rockland, Massachusetts. Moving again sometime after 1880, Kinnear died in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1904. He was listed as a "merchant" at that time.

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Price: $450.00