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Endicott Johnson Exhibit Set to Open

Stepping into the History and Heritage Center of Endicott is like looking through a window to the past. Thanks to the hard work of Ted Warner, artifacts dating from the early industrial days of the town are display for all to see, but Ted wanted to remember a beloved local company.

"It really is the only museum in Broome County that shows the history of Endicott Johnston Shoe Company," said Ted Warner, President of the Endicott Historical Society.

The Endicott Johnson Shoe Company was founded in 1899, and employed 10,000 workers in eight factories around Broome County in its heyday.

"We've got Endicott Johnston which was the largest shoe company in the world by 1950, so if you're from Endicott you really have a big story to tell people," said Warner.

Endicott is known as the "Square Deal Town" thanks to industrialst/shoe company owner George F Johnston, who introduced an eight hour workday in 1916.

"George F had a policy called the Square Deal policy, and what he felt was if the company provided for the employees, then the employees would then turn around and provide good jobs and workmanship for the company," said Warner.

Unlike many industrial companies at the time, Endicott Johnston workers never formed a union, as he also provided factory funded health care to his workers, in addition to financing community projects like carosels and libraries.

"I think the only place in Broome County can go see the history of Endicott Johnson would be here, we've got several hundred artifacts from the company and I'm very excited for families and kids to come and see this," said Warner.