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Production Processes at Simpson's Gloves Factory

Glove Cutters

Image: Glove Cutters

Source: Museum Victoria

Production processes in the making of coats, gloves and handbags did not change greatly in the period from the 1920s to the 1980s, apart from the introduction of hydraulic leather cutters and new sewing machines.

Designs for the gloves and coats were usually drawn by Amos Simpson. Handbags were designed by the foreman Ernest Stokes Munro, and then subsequently by his son Keith Munro. The bulk of the leather came from Victorian and South Australian tanneries. Every part of the leather was used, with the smallest pieces being used for trim on hats or purses.

The pattern was placed on the leather on the cutting table, and cut by hand; subsequently the leather was placed under the pattern press that stamped the piece out. For handbags, leather and linings were pasted together by assemblers, then sent on to the machinists. For coats and jackets, the patterns were used to cut the linings and leather, and then sent to the machinists. One cutter could keep several machinists busy.

The factory was divided into several departments: cutting; table assembly; handbag department; coat machining; and glove machining. Men were used exclusively to do the designing and cutting; women did the assembly and machining. The cutters and assemblers stood at their work benches to do their work; machinists sat at their machines.

Archives:

The University of Melbourne Archives holds business records relating to the company, including ledgers, journals, wages books, time books and catalogues.

References:

Frances, Raelene (1986).'No More Amazons: Gender and Work in the Victorian Clothing Trades, 1880-1939', Labour History, no 50: 95-112.

Interviews with former managers and workers: Arthur Atkins (1989), Ernie Jordan (1989), Nell Marks (1989), Hazel Eddy & Gwen Simons (1990).

Items per page: 10 50 (showing 31 - 40) 400 items

  • Shade Card - Gazelda Ltd, 1936 Object

    Shade Card - Gazelda Ltd, 1936

    Shade Card issued by Gazelda Ltd., Watford, England in 1936. Simpson's Gloves Pty. Ltd., Melbourne were the Sole Agents for Australia for Gazelda products. Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd was ...

    Images: 2
  • Sample Card - J Hewit & Sons Ltd, circa 1950s-1970s Object

    Sample Card - J Hewit & Sons Ltd, circa 1950s-1970s

    Leather Sample Card from J. Hewit & Sons Ltd, Tanners and Leather Dressers. City Tan Works, Edinburgh, circa 1950s-1970s. It would have been used by Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd in sourcing ...

    Images: 2
  • Shade Card - Gazelda Ltd, 1937 Object

    Shade Card - Gazelda Ltd, 1937

    Shade Card issued by Gazelda Ltd., Watford, England in 1937. Simpson's Gloves Pty. Ltd., Melbourne were the Sole Agents for Australia for Gazelda products. Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd was ...

    Images: 2
  • Shade Card - Gazelda Ltd, 1937 Object

    Shade Card - Gazelda Ltd, 1937

    Shade Card issued by Gazelda Ltd., Watford, England in 1937. Simpson's Gloves Pty. Ltd., Melbourne were the Sole Agents for Australia for Gazelda products. Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd was ...

    Images: 2
  • Handbag Frame - Metal, circa 1930s-1970s Object

    Handbag Frame - Metal, circa 1930s-1970s

    Metal handbag frame from the Simpson's Glove Factory, Richmond, Victoria, Australia. Leather handbags were introduced as a new production line at Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd in 1930, they ...

    Images: 1
  • Handbag Frame - Brass, Turquoise Clasp, circa 1930s-1970s Object

    Handbag Frame - Brass, Turquoise Clasp, circa 1930s-1970s

    Brass handbag frame from the Simpson's Glove Factory, Richmond, Victoria, Australia. Leather handbags were introduced as a new production line at Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd in 1930, they ...

    Images: 1
  • Handbag Frame - Metal, Oval Clasp, circa 1930s-1970s Object

    Handbag Frame - Metal, Oval Clasp, circa 1930s-1970s

    Metal handbag frame from the Simpson's Glove Factory, Richmond, Victoria, Australia. Leather handbags were introduced as a new production line at Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd in 1930, they ...

    Images: 1
  • Handbag Frame - Metal & Diamentes, circa 1930s-1970s Object

    Handbag Frame - Metal & Diamentes, circa 1930s-1970s

    Metal handbag frame from the Simpson's Glove Factory, Richmond, Victoria, Australia. Leather handbags were introduced as a new production line at Simpson's Gloves Pty Ltd in 1930, they ...

    Images: 1
  • Glove Pattern - Simpson's Gloves, No. 7, 1950s-1960s Object

    Glove Pattern - Simpson's Gloves, No. 7, 1950s-1960s

    Single flat tin glove pattern, removed from a bundle of iron glove cutters and paper and tin patterns. It is one of a number of glove patterns and cutters used at Simpson's Gloves Pty L ...

    Images: 1
  • Glove Pattern - Simpson's Gloves, No. 8, 3160, Back, 1950s-1960s Object

    Glove Pattern - Simpson's Gloves, No. 8, 3160, Back, 1950s-1960s

    Single flat tin glove pattern, removed from a bundle of iron glove cutters and paper and tin patterns. It is one of a number of glove patterns and cutters used at Simpson's Gloves Pty L ...

    Images: 3
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