Hanover Shoes: A History with Pics

Discussion in 'Andy's Trad Forum' started by Cardinals5, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Cardinals5

    Cardinals5 Honors Member

    United States
    SC
    Greenville
    I've been more than tardy with a second installment of my brief histories of American shoe companies. Today I offer a brief history with lots of pics of one the unsung heroes of American shoe companies - Hanover.

    Installment 1: Nettleton Shoes (http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101215&highlight=Nettleton+shoes)

    Please enjoy and add pics of other Hanovers.


    Hanover Shoes

    Harper Donelson Sheppard (1868-1950), with C.N. Myers, founded the Hanover Shoe Company in 1899 in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Sheppard was born in Pitt County, North Carolina on October 9, 1868, the 13th of 15 children. In his youth, he was educated in Noth Carolina and assisted his uncle in overseeing 3 plantations during the Reconstruction era. At age 17, Sheppard ventured to Baltimore and worked as a stock clerk. In 1892 he took a job for no pay with the Charles Heiser Shoe Company thus beginning his career in the shoe industry. By December of 1896, Harper married Henrietta Dawson Ayres from Accomac, Virginia. Sheppard was then working for a shoe company based in Boston as a traveling salesman with his route taking him from Delaware to Key West. In 1898, Sheppard’s old employer, Heiser, asked him to investigate a floundering factory in the town of Hanover, Pennsylvania. After visiting Hanover in 1899, Sheppard convinced the Board of Directors to hire him to run the company. Sheppard then entered into a financial partnership with C.N. Myers and they leased the manufacturing operation from the company. Together they took charge of the factory on December 26th, 1899 with a common vision: sell the best shoes possible for one price, $2.50 a pair, and eliminate the middle-man by selling directly to the public. They opened their first store in York, PA, in June of 1900; within fifteen years the Hanover Shoe Company had 61 stores from Indianapolis to New York City.

    The Sheppards had two sons: Lawrence Baker Sheppard (of LB Sheppard Signature fame) in 1898 and Richard Harper Sheppard in 1912. L.B. Sheppard ran the Hanover Shoe Company after his father’s retirement and death in 1950, took the company public in March 1956, ran it until his own death in 1968 – though most of his attention seems to have been focused on the famous Hanover Shoe Farms horse racing stables.

    The original Hanover Shoe Factory closed its doors in 1974 and the name and right to manufacture Hanover Shoes was purchased by C. & J. Clark Ltd (the British firm of Clarks shoes, who make Wallabees, desert boots, etc.) in 1978. In 1979, Clark also purchased the Bostonian operations. In 1996 Clark moved the production of Hanover shoes from Hanover to West Virginia. During this period, from the late 1970s until the 1990s, Hanover and Bostonian shoes were manufactured at the same factory.

    Original Factory Location: Carlisle Street, Hanover, PA. The factory was transformed into apartments in 2002/2003 and the building is known as “Residences at Hanover Shoe.”

    Factory in 1903
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    Factory in 1912
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    Recent picture of old factory – now apartments
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    Hanover employee cutting leather
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    Shell cordovan saddles
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    Shell cordovan ptbs
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    ravello shell ptbs
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    Well-worn shell ptbs (mine)
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    black shell lwbs
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    burgundy shell lwbs (mine)
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    shell ptbs
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    burgundy shell lwbs
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    faded burgundy shell lwbs
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    Pebble-grained ptbs
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    Imperial captoes (mine)
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    black lhs beefroll pennies

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    burgundy lhs beefroll pennies – insole detail
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    burgundy calf lwbs
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    pebble-grained lwbs
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    burgundy calf lwbs
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    pebble-grain ptbs
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  2. WouldaShoulda

    WouldaShoulda Suspended

    United States
    VA
    Alexandria
    I owned the beefroll pennies.

    Great shoe!!

    At least Hanover is still the Nation's snack food capital!!
     
  3. 127.72 MHz

    127.72 MHz Advanced Member

    United States
    Oregon
    Portland
    This is a very nice little piece you've put together Cardinals5.

    The story of yet another one time American success. I don't think I saw one model that I wouldn't wear.
     
  4. Pundit

    Pundit New Member

    47
    Thanks for sharing such an interesting story. I owned a few pair of Hanover shoes back in the 80's and they were a quality product.
     
  5. Nick V

    Nick V Senior Member

    762
    United States
    New York
    New York
    Interesting.....thanks.
     
  6. eagle2250

    eagle2250 Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator

    Harmony, FL
    United States
    Florida
    Harmony
    What an absolutely grand presentation, Cardinal5. Your picture of those tan calf, pebble grain long wings brought back some very fond memories of my first pair of "real" Gunboats! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
     
  7. Got Shell?

    Got Shell? Senior Member

    780
    Awesome contribution, thanks. Some of those offerings are amazing!
     
  8. frosejr

    frosejr Super Member

    United States
    Maryland
    Gaithersburg
    Wonderful story and pictures. I too owned at least one pair of the beefroll pennies, when my dad said I should go buy some "grown-up" shoes. I went to the store on the square in Hanover and took home a pair in that classic brown box. I didn't buy any brogues though - at age 18 in 1983, I thought they were "old guy shoes". Now I wish I had every pair in this post!

    Thanks for the post. Great stuff.
     
  9. greekgeek

    greekgeek Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    249
    United States
    INDIANA
    EVANSVILLE
    Great read, Thanks Cardinal!

    Here is a Hanover Imperial Shell Cordovan Tassel Loafer, all leather shoe.

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  10. Patrick06790

    Patrick06790 Connoisseur

    United States
    Connecticut
    Lakeville
    So the family had a horse farm, eh? That explains all the shell.
     

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