Women's bronze kidskin slippers. Dyed black/bronze leather outer, brown cloth trim, light brown leather inner, one strap fastened with single copper alloy button. Small heel and pointed toe, a small size. left shoe: 24 cm L, 6 cm W, 9.7 cm high right shoe: 24 cm L, 6.5 cm W, 9.5 cm high
These kidskin slippers were produced by N. B. Holden, a Chicago shoemaker, circa 1900.
These slippers are representative of the goods produced from byproducts of the meatpacking industry. One of Chicago's major industries from the Civil War into the 1920s, meatpacking produced not only foodstuffs, but numerous byproducts, including gelatin, glue, fertilizer, soap, and leather. Companies like N.B. Holden capitalized on the availability of leather, reliable water sources, and proximity to tanbark to produce goods like these slippers, as well as sports equipment, and luggage. Although Chicago did not displace older Eastern producers of fine leather goods in the national market, decentralized tanneries and associated business fed a thriving local demand.