• "United Shoe Machinery Building, Federal St., under construction," 1929. In 1929, a new Art Deco corporate headquarters was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Digital Commonwealth.

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    United Shoe Machinery Building, Federal St., under construction
    • Date
    • 1929
    • Creator
    • Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
    • Description
    • Title and date from information provided by Leslie Jones or the Boston Public Library on the negative or negative sleeve.
    • Rights
    • Copyright (c) Leslie Jones. All rights reserved.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "United Shoe Machinery Building," 1930. Although the United Shoe Machinery Company no longer exists, the building remains and is now called the Landmark. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Digital Commonwealth.

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    United Shoe Machinery Building
    • Date
    • 1930
    • Creator
    • Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
    • Description
    • Title and date from information provided by Leslie Jones or the Boston Public Library on the negative or negative sleeve.
    • Rights
    • Copyright (c) Leslie Jones. All rights reserved.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "Beverly, Massachusetts., United Shoe Machinery Co." Courtesy of Beverly Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Beverly, Mass., United Shoe Machinery Co.
    • Description
    • Information about this item was supplied by NOBLE Digital Heritage. United Shoe Machinery Company from Balch Street.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. Contact host institution for more information.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Beverly Public Library

  • At its peak, United Shoe Machinery Corporation employed 9,000 workers, as shown here in a photograph taken outside of the Beverly, Massachusetts factory. Courtesy of Beverly Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    [Group photograph of employees of the United Shoe Machinery Company]
    • Description
    • Information about this item was supplied by NOBLE Digital Heritage. Group photograph of the United Shoe Machinery Company employees taken outside the Beverly plant.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. Contact host institution for more information.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Beverly Public Library

Interestingly, shoe manufacturers did not have the option of purchasing the machines that would produce and combine the components of each shoe. Companies instead were required to rent machines from the manufacturers, who retained patents for these inventions. This structure allowed the innovators of the shoemaking industry, such as McKay and Goodyear, Jr., to receive a steady flow of royalties from each shoe produced in factories that rented their technologies.

In 1899, the machine-leasing companies of Goodyear and McKay merged to found the United Shoe Machinery Company (USMC) of Beverly, Massachusetts.

The USMC owned seventy percent of patents for shoe-manufacturing machinesa position that eventually led them to monopoly status. In 1913, the United States government tried to break up this monopolization and sued the company in an antitrust lawsuit that was eventually brought before the US Supreme Court. The suit, United States v. Winslow, failed. Through a series of mergers, the USMC is now part of the Black & Decker Corporation.