Making life easier | News, Sports, Jobs – Evening Observer

Nov 5, 2021
I confess I’ve had a ball researching the Crossett Shoe Company and its founder Lewis Abbott Crossett.
Didn’t think there could be such a thing? Well, guess again. They were pretty much famous – and large back in the early 1900s.
My daughter is understandably proud of the three-dimesional sign (meant to fit around a corner) that is hanging in her home.
The I-net tells me that “information about the brand is not clear. There is an advert from the Munsey’s Magazine (c 1900s) which states that The Crosett [sic] Shoe belongs to Lewis A. Crossett, inc. maker from North Abington, Mass. Some sources mention that Lewis Crossett has built a 4-story builidng for his factory in Abington in 1888.
“Brand moto: Makes Life’s Walk Easy.”
With that, who wouldn’t want to buy?
“Just Answer” has a property appraiser who added to the little already known that “the company was so successful that between 1900 and 1905 the company’s business doubled.”
Lewis Abbott Crossett, the founder, was born in Springfield Mass Jan 29 1859 and died April 24 1926.
A 1922 ad for The Crossett Shoe states “Laboratory experiment – the exact testimony of the X-ray and moving picture – leading orthopedists and the experence of years of shoe manufacturing have resulted in the Crossett Supple Treat, Last 62.”
Certainly I can’t be the only one who remembers having feet in new shoes x-rayed to be sure of the fit, my mother driving to Jamestown. I suppose I had feet too long to be fitted in Warren. Hardly a problem anywhere now. (I was just ahead of my time!)
“The Crossett Last prevents fallen arches and its flexibility and the natural position it allows the toes, stimulates muscular action, thus correcting existing arch trouble. Men and women will be surprised that the comfort – and preventitive – corrective qualities of the Crossett Supple Tread can be combined in this stylish shoe.
“Endorced by the Y.W.C.A.”
This was the only mention I found that women’s shoes were also made, quite stylish oxfords for the day.
All this came about because of a very old article I’d had about the company and a lawsuit, the first (as far as I knew) mention on the internet.
And that was because the Lewis Abbott Crossett Company filed a claim against the United States on June 11, 1931, suing to recover the sum of $100,000 with interest hereon, an alleged overpayment of its income and excess profits taxes for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1920. “The basis of the suit is that the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in computing plaintiff’s invested capital for the year in question, erroneously failed to included therein certain sums representing good will.
“The plaintiff corporation upon its organization in 1912 acquired all the assets of every name, kind, and character, including good will, trademarks, trade-names, both tangible and intangible personal property and assets of its predecessor corporation, Lewis A. Crossett, Inc. for which it issue and paid therefore, $749,000 par value of its stock.”
Turns out the petition was dismissed because the “plaintiff not having filed with the commissioner of Internal Revenue within the time provided by law, a claim for refund setting forth the grounds relied upon in this action, cannot maintain suit in this court.”
I did learn that there is now a Crossett Shoe Company – in India. “The Website is temporary [sic] Shutdown by Administrator.”
My son-in-law has done much research on the family tree but couldn’t tie Lewis to my side. In fact, beyond my grandfather almost nothing is known.
Definitely makes life’s walk more interesting, wouldn’t you say?
Susan Crossett has lived in Arkwright for more than 20 years. A lifetime of writing led to these columns as well as two novels. Her Reason for Being was published in 2008 with Love in Three Acts following in 2014. Information on all the Musings, her books and the author may be found at Susancrossett.com.
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