Leverett Candee

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Leverett Candee
Born 1 June 1795
Oxford, Connecticut
Died 27 November 1863 (1863-11-28) (aged 68)
Nationality American
Occupation businessman
Known for manufacturer of rubber footwear
Spouse(s) Jane Caroline Tomlinson
Children one son
Parent(s) Job Candee and Sarah Benham

Leverett Candee (1 June 1795 – 27 November 1863) was an industrialist, businessman, and pioneer rubber manufacturer.[1]


Trade card for Candee Rubber Co.

Candee went to New Haven at the age of fifteen after receiving a minimal education at the local school in Oxford, Connecticut. There he obtained employment first with a Gad Peck who was a merchant in foreign trade. His next position was with a firm named Root & Atwater. They were dealers in dry-goods. This began his twenty-five year career with the dry-goods business.[1]

Candee soon organized the firm of "Candee, Dean & Cutler" with two co-workers named James E. P. Dean and William Cutler. They then took over the business of their employer. Candee retired from the company in 1833 and moved to New York. In New York Candee he was a partner in a dry-goods jobbing house for two years. He then returned to New Haven in 1835 and entered into a partnership with Timothy Lester and Abraham Murdock. They all formed a general merchandise business which they ran for a few years before they dissolved it. Candee was then interested in the manufacture of book paper at Westville, Connecticut which he did for several years. This firm was called "Candee, Page & Lester" and later changed to "Candee & Lester." The business was unsuccessful and failed in 1842. It wiped out Candee's fortune he had accumulated over a period of twenty-five years.[1] Candee then started manufacturing elastic suspenders. He became interested in rubber and rubber products. In the same year of his previous business failure he started to manufacture rubber footwear. Charles Goodyear offered Candee a license to use the rubber vulcanization process he had just discovered. Henry and Lucius Hotchkiss of New Haven put up the money to put Candee into the manufacture of rubber footwear at Hamden, Connecticut.[1]


Candee became the first person in the world to manufacture rubber footwear.[2][3] Candee used Goodyear's patent on rubber. These first overshoes were crude and needed much refining which his early years of manufacture took up in research and development. Candee improved the market for his rubber footwear and by the late 1840s his firm was on good footings. The name of the firm was established in 1852 as "Candee & Company" which consisted of four partners; the Hotchkiss brothers, Timothy Lester, and Candee as president.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Faulkner, Dictionary of American Biography
  2. ^ Atwater, Edward E., History of the City of New Haven to the Present, 1887, p. 591 "Candee became the first person in the world to manufacture rubber over-shoes under the Goodyear Patent."
  3. ^ Kane, Joseph Nathan, Famous First Facts—A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries and Inventions in the United States, H . W . Wilson Company, 1950, p. 395, "The first rubber shoe manufacturer was Laverett Candee who established the L. Candee Shoe Factory at Hampden, Connecticut in 1842. He used the Goodyear vulcanizing patent."


  • Faulkner, Harold Underwood, Dictionary of American Biography. American Council of Learned Societies, 1928–1936.
  • Wolf, Howard et al., Rubber: A Story of Glory and Greed, Covici, Friede, 1936
  • Wolf, Howard et al., India Rubber Man: The Story of Charles Goodyear, Caxton Printers, 1940