Monday, July 16, 2007

1.21 - Antique Postcard

MONKEY ISLAND, Early Twentieth Century - Before its incarnation as an accidental resort for residential tourists, Monkey Island had a sordid reputation as an offshore haven for knitting factories and other parts of the garment industry.

This hand-tinted postcard from about 1910 shows the front of the notorious
Handel-Schwemer-Kaplowitz shoe factory. The owners of this company were well-known for their psuedo-benevolence in hiring only people who had lost one or both feet in industrial accidents, which were very common at the time.

Crippled as they were, employment was hard for them to come by, regardless of their skills. H-S-K was not only able to hire them for a cheaper rate, but was able to do so with an air of good will.

You may have guessed the third advantage for a shoe manufacturer hiring employees with missing feet. The rates of employee theft were miniscule.

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