"Canada's quality shoe"
The founder of The Hartt Boot & Shoe Company, Odber M. Hartt, was born in Fredericton in 1852. At the age of 22, he left for the United States, where we found much success in the shoe industry.
In the mid 1890’s, Hartt returned to Fredericton and recognized the opportunity for Fredericton to have a world class shoe manufacturing facility. In 1898 he wrote an impassioned letter to the Daily Gleaner seeking investors to help him make his dream a reality.
Hartt was successful in raising the capital required to build the factory. He then traveled to Upper Canada and New England to research the best shoe construction methods and experienced staff.
On July 26, 1899 the steam was turned on for the first time. The next day, the factory began producing shoes.
In the early days of the factory, a sales team was sent across Canada to secure wholesale accounts. Within months, the sales team was recalled due to production capacity being filled.
The factory was a success story for New Brunswick. By 1903, the factory employed nearly 500 workers and produced 2000 pairs of shoes daily.
A book entitled “Who’s Who in Canada”, published by International Press Ltd. featured Vice President John Albert Reid. This book went on to refer to the Hartt Boot and Shoe Co. as a leading concern of manufacturing in Canada.
In the early 1900s, the company starting on a national retail expansion. Hartt stores were located in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax, and other Canadian cities.
World War I and World War II
Hartt was contracted by the Canadian Government to produce military boots for Canadian soldiers serving in both World War I and World War II.
RCMP Strathcona Boot
Beginning in 1974, Hartt began manufacturing the Strathcona dress boots for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.