Horween Leather Company (Illinois state) : The oldest continuously running tannery in the United States.


(USKings.us) Horween Leather Company is an American company specializing in the manufacturing and refining of leather and related products. It is one of the oldest continuously running tanneries in the United States of America. Since its founding in the early 20th century it has been located in Chicago.

Isadore Horween founded the company in 1905, and worked in it until 1949. His two sons, Arnold Horween (Chairman and President; 1949–84) and Ralph Horween, became executives of the company and worked in it after their careers as All American football players for the Harvard Crimson, and playing in the National Football League.

Arnold's son Arnold Horween Jr. worked with it from 1953–2003, and his son Arnold "Skip" Horween III has worked with it since 1972. The fifth generation of Horweens, Nicholas (Nick) Arnold Horween, has worked at the company since 2009.

Horween Leather Company offers an array of tannages using primarily cowhide and horsehide, and also using smaller quantities of calf and bison hides. Its leather is used in a number of products including sports equipment, sports and casual footwear, bags, wallets, briefcases, belts, coats, jackets, and other apparel and accessories. It is known for its production of Shell Cordovan (the Chicago Tribune called it the "Cordovan capital of the world"), professional football leather, and Chromexcel, among other leathers. It is the exclusive supplier of leather for National Football League footballs, and also supplies the leather that is used for National Basketball Association basketballs.

Horween Leather Company is located in a five-story block-long factory at 2015 North Elston Avenue, at Ashland Avenue near the Chicago River).

Horween Leather Company produces many different full grain and corrected grain leathers. Its leather is used in a number of products including footwear, sports equipment, bags, belts, wallets, briefcases, suitcases, jackets, coats, and other apparel and accessories. As of 2003, 60% of the company's leather was used to make clothes, shoes, and accessories, and 40% for sporting goods such as footballs, basketballs, and baseball gloves.

Horween Leather Company supplies leather shells for footwear to the Timberland Company, Alden Shoe Company (their largest cordovan customer; it became a customer in 1930, buying shell cordovan and other leathers), Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds, Brooks Brothers, Hanover Shoe, Chippewa Boots and Johnston & Murphy. Accessories and leather goods customers include J.Crew and Shinola Detroit.

Horween Leather Company has provided Rawlings with leather since 1929. In 2003, Horween was providing leather for 3,000 Rawlings baseball gloves annually, and half of professional baseball players were using baseball gloves made from Horween leather.

Wilson Sporting Goods is Horween Leather Company's largest customer, using the company's leather in manufacturing footballs and basketballs. Horween Leather Company has supplied Wilson with pebbled cowhide since 1941

According to wikipedia

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