Robinson & Bookshin, manufacturers of high grade leather heels, were located in this building from 1919 to 1923. The proprietors were Charles Robinson (1879-?) and Samuel Bookshin (1878/79-?). Their partnership began in 1916, when the business was located on Flushing Ave. near Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn. Charles Robinson registered for the World War I draft in 1918 when he was 39 years old and lived at 16 Vernon Ave., Brooklyn. He said that he was born in Russia, 29 December 1879, and that his occupation was "Leather Heels, Charles Robinson, 860 Flushing Ave., Brooklyn."
Both Charles Robinson and Samuel Bookshin can be found in the 1920 and 1930 U. S. Census reports. In 1920 both men lived with their families at 16 Vernon Ave., Brooklyn. In this and the 1930 census Robinson said that he was born in England, as was his wife, Eva. In 1930 Bookshin continued to live at 16 Vernon Ave., but Robinson now lived at 1 Vernon Ave. In this census Robinson gave his occupation as "Leather Heels, Own Business," but Samuel Bookshin's occupation was "Dealer, General Merchandise." Both men were also recorded in the 1915 and 1925 New York State census reports. In 1915 Bookshin was 35 years old, born Russia, and lived at 35 Graham Ave., Brooklyn. His occupation was "Merchandise." The same year Charles Robinson was also 35 years old, and his occupation was "Shoe Leather." In 1925 Bookshin was 47 born Russia, a manufacturer of wooden heels, and Robinson 45 born England, occuaption "Shoemaker." In the 1940 Census Robinson was 60 years old and lived at 168 Ainslie St., Brooklyn. His occupation was recorded as "Heel Builder Leather Heel Factory."
In 1942 both Bookshin and Robinson registered for the World War II draft. At this time Samuel Bookshin was 63 years old, born 4 March 1879, Russia, and lived at 388 Midwell St., Brooklyn. His employer was Herman Thea, at 92 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn. Charles Robinson was 62 years old, born 29 December 1879, Kiev, Russia, and lived at 5211 Snyder Ave., Brooklyn. He was self employed at 491 Bushwick Ave., Brooklyn, but the nature of his occupation was not specified.
The view above is of the Bayard St. side of the building. In 2009 the Manhattan Ave. side showed the slogan "High Grade Heel Mfrs" more clearly.
Copyright © 2011 Walter Grutchfield