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Since the beginning of the leather industry in America, Peabody and leather have always been considered synonymous. The Civil War and Reconstruction Era brought great prosperity to the industry, and by the late 19th century, the leather industry’s success was firmly established in Peabody. After the great Boston fire of 1872, many leather shops in Boston were completely destroyed, leaving Peabody’s tanneries unrivaled. In 1894, Arthur C. Lawrence and his A. C. Lawrence Leather Company arrived in Peabody, employed thousands of workers, and secured the city’s place in history as the largest manufacturer of calf and sheep skins in the world, earning Peabody the title of “Leather Capital of the World.”
About the Author
Ted Quinn is currently a lieutenant in the Peabody Fire Department, a member of the Peabody Institute Library’s board of trustees, a local historian, and author of Peabody Firefighting, also in the Images of America series. The vintage images in this volume have been graciously loaned from the George Peabody House Museum, Peabody Historical Society, Peabody Leatherworkers Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, Peabody Institute Library, and many other private sources.