The Order of the Knights of St Crispin was a northeastern American labor union of shoeworkers. Founded in 1867 it claimed 50,000 members by 1870, making it by far the country's largest union. It was poorly organized and soon declined. They fought encroachments of machinery and unskilled labor on the autonomy of skilled shoeworkers.
One provision in its constitution explicitly sought to limit the entry of "green hands" into the trade. That effort failed because the new machines could be operated by semi-skilled workers and produce more shoes than hand sewing.
See also 
- Commons, John R. "American Shoemakers, 1648-1895: A Sketch of Industrial Evolution," Quarterly Journal of Economics 24 (November, 1909), 39-83. in JSTOR
- Commons, John R. History of Labour in the United States - Vol. 2 1860-1896 (1918) online edition
- Dawley, Alan. Class and Community: The Industrial Revolution in Lynn (1976) excerpt and text search
- Hall, John P. "The Knights of St. Crispin in Massachusetts, 1869-1878," Journal of Economic History 18 (June, 1958), 161-175. in JSTOR
- Gerald Zahavi, "The Endicott Johnson Corporation:19th Century Origins" (2001)