Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company Collection, 1910-1978

Overview of the Collection

Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company
Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company Collection
1910-1978 (inclusive)
25 photographs
Collection Number
2013.114 (accession)
Photographs and a documentary television program relating to the history of the Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company, Seattle
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library

P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2063241126 x102
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company was founded in 1908 with a partnership between Hugh L. Currin and Warren Greene. Hugh L. Currin was born in Missouri around 1874 to parents Augustus P. Currin and Frances Laurence. He served as president of the Currin-Greene Company from 1908 until his death in an automobile accident on June 27, 1916. Warren Greene became acting president after Hugh Currin’s death, and managed the company until his death at in 1935 at age 74.

The Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Co. was first established at 225 Eastlake Avenue. In 1920 the company moved to a new factory building at 2715 Western Avenue. Currin-Greene manufactured boots and specialty work shoes sold throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. In particular, they were known for hand-made, cleated logging boots, constructed with top quality hides imported from Switzerland and Austria. Currin-Greene shoes were marketed in Seattle through retail outdoor outfitters such as the Carl Schermer store. They also operated a Currin-Greene factory store and had an outlet in Ballard at 824 NW 46th Street.

By 1935, the company offered over 50 styles of custom boots and shoes for loggers, miners, stevedores, linemen and sportsmen. Currin-Greene later acquired the Rainier shoe brand, and continued to sell sport, dress, and light work shoes under that name, including the Rainier Slipper, a casual, pull-on style of low leather boot with side elastic gussets.

In 1998, McKenzie & Adams, a competitor and the maker of Ruf Duck rainwear, purchased the Currin-Greene Shoe Company. They continued to manufacture Currin-Greene styles at their Lynwood distribution center.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists largely of photographs which were mounted and framed in three groupings: one panel illustrating the Currin-Greene company history, one panel documenting the filming of the television program "Richfield Success Story," and one panel with two oversized photos of the Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company building at 2715 Western Avenue in Seattle.

The photographs include interior and exterior views of Currin-Greene Shoe Company buildings, depicting employees, machinery and inventory. The nine photographs taken during the filming of the documentary “Richfield Success Story” depict Currin-Green craftsmen at work in the factory. The collection also includes a photographic portrait of Hugh L. Currin, and a DVD copy of the “Richfield Success Story,” a television program produced by King 5 TV in Seattle. The episode about Currin-Greene was broadcast on October 13, 1959. The 30-minute program features Currin-Greene Company history, product descriptions and interviews with long-time employees. It includes a detailed description of the boot manufacturing process.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

2a.1.9 (photographs)

Location of Collection

1a.3.12 (oversize photographs)

Location of Collection

5a.1.4 (DVD)

Acquisition Information

Gift of Tom Greene; received in 2013.

Processing Note

The photographs were originally mounted on cardboard in three groupings; each of these large assemblages was framed. These original configurations were photographed for documentation, then the pieces were deframed and the photographs were removed from their cardboard mounts. Photographs numbered .1 through .13 were mounted together, giving a general historical view of the company. Photographs .14 through .22, nine 8 x 10 photographs, were mounted together, and document the filming of the documentary "Richfield Success Story." Photographs .23 and .24 were mounted together, and show the exterior and interior of the company building at 2715 Western Avenue.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Photographs, 1910-1978Return to Top

25 photographs
Description Dates
Currin-Greene Manufacturing Company history
13 photographs
Thirteen photographs which were mounted together and framed, illustrating various aspects of the company and its history.
2013.114.2: Shoe factory interior with workmen, equipment and shoes
225 Eastlake Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.4: Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company, exterior view of building with group of workers
2715 Western Avenue, Seattle Different building from that pictured in 2013.114.3
2013.114.5: Group of workers posing in front of Currin-Greene factory entrance
2715 Western Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.6: Carl Schermer store window with shoemakers and display of Currin's shoes in window
103-107 First Avenue South, Seattle
2013.114.8: Building construction site
2013.114.9: Building construction site
2013.114.10: Group of men being photographed outside Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company entrance
Identifications written on mount: Robert Waldo (holding Rainier) Jimmie Greenhill, Ray Bower, Stan Gibson, W.B. Peterson, Earl McDonough (from Peters Shoe Co.) 2715 Western Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.11: Color snapshot of Currin-Greene Shoe Co. exterior
2932 First Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.12: Color snapshot of Currin-Greene Shoe Co. exterior
2932 First Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.13: Color snapshot of Currin business logo painted on a wall
Filming of "Richfield Success Story" documentary about Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company
9 photographs 8 x 10 inches
These nine photographs were mounted together on board and framed. Each photograph is stamped on back: Richfield Success Story, Commercial Productions, Inc.
Currin-Greene Retail Store and Shoe Factory building
2 photographs (16 x 20 inches)
2013.114.23: Currin-Greene Retail Store and Shoe Factory, exterior view
2715 Western Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.24: Currin-Greene Retail Store and Shoe Factory, interior view of showroom and customers
2715 Western Avenue, Seattle
2013.114.25: Photograph of Hugh Currin
circa 1912

Audiovisual material, 1959Return to Top

Description Dates
2013.114.26: "Richfield Success Story" episode on the Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company
1 DVD (30 minutes)
Television program featuring Currin-Greene, including company history, employee interviews and detailed description of shoe manufacturing process.
1959 October 13

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Boots
  • Business enterprises--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Footwear
  • Shoe industry--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Shoemaking--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Television programs--Washington (State)--Seattle

Personal Names

  • Currin, Hugh L., d. 1916
  • Greene, Warren, d. 1935

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photographs
  • Video recordings