History of the H.C.C

Founded in 1984 by a small group of shoemakers and historians, the HCC incorporated in 1987 as a non-profit, tax-exempt educational organization in the commonwealth of Virginia, the home of America's first English shoemakers. Also in 1987, we were recognized by The Master of The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, London, England. We are proud to have it as our mother-guild, a link with the past that inspires us to uphold the highest standards of our trade.

This trans-Atlantic association between two guilds advanced in 1993, when a delegation of American guild members were invited to Great Britain to participate in the 900th anniversary of the city of Brecon, in Wales. They participated side-by-side with English, Scottish and Italian shoemaking guild delegations at the re-dedication of the medieval cordwainers’ chapel at Brecon Cathedral. After participating in guild and civic ceremonies with the Lady Mayor of Brecon, The Worshipful Company invited the HCC delegation to London for tours of the Cordwainers' Technical College, the Horniman Museum's shoe collection, and a supper at the Law Society, Fleet Street.

The HCC is a steadily growing international organization of men and women rediscovering and preserving the practical skills, technology, and history of boot and shoemaking and its allied trades. Our diverse membership is composed of working boot and shoemakers; members of the current shoe industry; large and small scale manufacturers; historical shoemaking interpreters and museum animators; traditional leather workers; shoe repairers; and curators; archaeologists; economic labor and industrial historians; trade-history scholars; costume specialists; tool and machinery collectors; authors; educators and students, from North America, Great Britain, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

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