Timeline

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1893World’s Columbian Exposition

Isidore Horween attends the World’s Fair in Chicago, Illinois and secures his first tanning job in the United States.  He had been a tanner in the Ukraine before emigrating to America.

1905I. Horween and Company Opens

Isidore Horween opens the doors on his own tannery located on Division Street in Chicago.

1911Chromexcel is Developed

One of our most traditional tannages, Aniline Chromexcel, is developed and produced

1920Horween Expands

Herman Loescher and Sons tannery is purchased at 2015 North Elston Avenue – this remains our location today.

1920Harvard Defeats Oregon at the Rose Bowl

By a score of 7 – 6.  Arnold Horween Sr. kicks the winning extra point.

1921Arnold Horween Sr. plays professional football

For the Chicago Cardinals, until retiring in 1924.  He and his brother, Ralph Horween, played under the assumed last name of “MacMahon” in order to protect their families “good reputation.”

1926Arnold Horween Sr. Coaches Harvard

From 1926 until 1930, Arnold is the head coach of the Harvard football team.

1927Operations Consolidated

The tannery on Division Street is sold and operations are consolidated at 2015 North Elston Avenue, where they remain today.

1930Alden becomes a customer

Alden begins buying Shell Cordovan and other leathers for Horween Leather Co.

1930Mechanical Leather Developed

Heavyweight, highly durable leather is developed for use in oil seals and gaskets.  Applications include high performance packings and engine seals.

1938Leather Supplied to U.S. Marines

Horween becomes one of the official suppliers to the U.S. Marine Corps.  Chromexcel will later be used exclusively in the North African Campaign in the Type III Service Shoe.

1941The Tannery Expands

A large addition is completed at 2015 North Elston, which today houses the tanning pits, tanning drums, and related processes.

1960Official Football Developed

Football leather, as it’s made and sold today, is developed and offers the “Tanned-in-Tack” system.

1990Drywear Leathers Developed

Waterproof lines of leathers are developed and offered.

2006Gutmann Tannery Closes

Leaving Horween Leather the only tannery in Chicago and Illinois.  In 1978 there were more than 250 tanneries in the US.  Today there are less than 15.