Thursday, October 31, 2013


Cordwainer is the Anglicization of French cordonner a word derived from the city of Moorish Cordoba in south of Spain which was well known for two trades, silversmithing and the production of Cordoven leather. This special leather was made from the skin of the Musoli goat of Corsica and Sardinia, wrought by the Moorish, and brought to England around 1066 after the Norman Invasion.

The term 'cordwainer' first appeared in England around 1100 and applied to 'shoemaker'. There were two classes of shoemakers, the Alutari, the ones who used the cordwain leather and the Basanarii, who were also known as bootmakers, which used the skin of sheep and could only make hightop boots. The cordwain leathers were used for high quality shoes only.

Cordwainers, the shoemakers, came to America in early 1600's, to Jamestown, Virginia . Captain John Smith was a cordwainer himself and it is known that he was supported by profit of the English shoe trade.

Tanners and shoemakers were in Jamestown by 1610 and by 1616 the village had a flourishing leather trade with the New England Pilgram settlement which came about 1619. The leather market held with Jamestown until after the 1760's.

Cordwainers are not Cobblers. Cordwainers work only with new leather whereas a Cobbler works only with used leather and does mainly repairs.

The Honourable Cordwainers Educational Foundation of Virginia is the source of this abstract information.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013



On the 23d of October, 1711, Maryland Legislature provided 3000 acres along Broad Creek for an Indian reservation, laid out by George Gale, Samuel Worthington and Charles Whittington. Is so happened that the Indians did not care to be so confined and most move on to the northwest, leaving the reservation to be sold in 1786 so that the Indian Tribe could be reimbursed.
At this sale the land was purchased by Barkley Townsend and on parts of this property the town of Laurel was plotted, there were three streets running East and West, named Front, Market and Back, the North and South streets were Rye, Wheat, Corn and Lumber.
April 13, 1883, Laurel was incorporated by an Act of Delaware Legislature.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Major George Welsh, Wilmington Delaware Pilot, Pearl Harbor Hero, Death.

October 12, 1954 - Wilmington, Delaware :

George Lewis Welsh, age 36, of Wawset Park, Wilmington, Delaware, a Pearl Harbor hero, December 7, 1941, , was killed while testing an F-100 Saberjet aircraft in the Mojave Desert at Edwards Air Force Base, California, while chief test pilot for North American Aviation. Welsh was born George Lewis Schwartz but his parents change their name to avoid anti German sentiment during WWI. His father was a research chemist at duPont Experimental Test Station, Wilmington. Welsh was a graduate of St. Andrews School and took a mechanical Engineering major at Purdue University before joining the Army Air Corp in 1939. While stationed at Wheeler Field in Oahu, Hawaii after he received his wings and commission in January 1941, during the Japanese attack, he and Lt. Ken Taylor took off from Haleiwa Fighter Strip in two Curtiss P-40B taking several kills. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal among others, flying 348 combat missions in WWII and Korea with sixteen victories before malaria caused him to retire from the military. Major Welsh is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.