Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Phelps, Dodge & Palmer
Phelps, Dodge & Palmer

Phelps, Dodge & Palmer

This shoe company had its start in 1864, when Erskine M. Phelps and George E. P. Dodge moved from Boston to Chicago and founded Phelps & Dodge, a shoe wholesaling business. N. B. Palmer became a partner the following year, and in 1867 the company's name became Phelps, Dodge & Palmer. By the early 1870s, when annual sales hit $1 million, the company owned its own factory on Wabash Avenue, where about 90 employees produced about one-quarter of the shoes the company sold. Manufacturing operations expanded during the 1880s, when annual sales rose to $3 million and the company employed some 900 workers in its factories, which produced about 2,000 pairs of shoes a day. By this time, Phelps, Dodge & Palmer had become one of the leading shoe companies in the Midwest.