Currin’s Whale Oil Paste
In 1898 the Alaska Gold Rush drove demand for sturdy boots. By 1908, Hugh Currin and Warren Green opened the Currin-Greene Shoe Manufacturing Company in Seattle, specializing in work shoes for miners, stevedores, loggers and sportsmen. Working in the woods, especially in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, meant boots needed greasing to break shoes in, and prevent absorption of moisture and cracking. Whale or “train” oil–as opposed to sperm oil from sperm whales–was used to make a variety of products from lubricants to margarine, including grease for boots.