Vegetable washing, poultry killing, EJ shoes, Glida Corp, and my mom

Endicott Johnson was one of the fairer employers of the period, as the title of Professor Zahavi’s 1988 book Workers, Managers, and Welfare Capitalism: The Shoemakers and Tanners of Endicott Johnson, 1890-1950, would suggest.

This is a photo of my mom, Gertrude Williams (later Green), that I have never seen before this week, behind the counter, in front of the scales to the left. My sister Marcia found it and put it on her Facebook page.

Apparently, my mom told my sisters that she worked at something called the Glida Corporation from the time she was 16 for four or five years, and this, apparently, is from there.

There is an obscured chart to the right about Endicott- Johnson, the shoe company that was huge in the Binghamton, NY area, and its sales for the 12 months ending November something, of $142,029,121.32.

So I wrote to Professor Gerald Zahavi, who is a UAlbany professor mentioned in the Wikipedia bibliography. He has written a history of the Endicott-Johnson Corporation, which is publicly available. Specifically, he compiled an appendix, which notes that the sales in 1947 match the numbers on the board. This would mean my mom would have just turned 20 in November 1947, and the picture was taken shortly thereafter, certainly in cold weather, based on the apparel.

Professor Zahavi also notes that there were E-J food markets in the area. Was this one of them, run by Glida, and subsidized by E-J? And if not, why would Glida be selling food, and noting E-J’s earnings? At this point, I have no idea.

What I found about the Glida Corporation is at a funky site called Fulton history. Glida made canvas products, such as parachutes, during WWII, and was a peacetime manufacturer of “light fabric bags and baby clothing;” it went bankrupt in the early 1950s, after making some questionably ethical decisions, if I’m reading things correctly.

On the other hand, Endicott Johnson was one of the fairer employers of the period, as the title of the professor’s 1988 book Workers, Managers, and Welfare Capitalism: The Shoemakers and Tanners of Endicott Johnson, 1890-1950, would suggest. The Wikipedia notes: “When asked why no attempt had been made to organize E-J workers, [labor organizer Samuel] Gompers said that E-J already gave workers more than unions had achieved elsewhere.”

And who took the picture? At least a couple of people in the photo (the boy to the left, the woman to the right) are aware of the photographer.

Anyone with info about the Glida Corportation or the EJ food markets, please share!