John Flynn & Sons

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  • John Flynn started his leather business in 1920, bringing his three sons and daughter into business with him. The original plant was located at 80 Boston Street and employed 18 persons making 100 dozen skins a day. The company expanded over the next 10 years, producing leather for men's slippers and sweat bands for the hat trade.
  • The section of town in which the tannery operated was known as "Blubber Hollow" the most important center of the leather tanning trade in Salem.
  • The company specialized in sheepskins and lambskins for the shoe industry, especially shoe linings.
  • During the war years, Flynn tannery expanded into the cowhide leather industry to produce Air Force products.
  • In 1945, John Flynn & Sons employed 300 people.
  • Flynntan, the former John Flynn & Sons leather factory closed in 1988. It had been the scene of at least 2 major fires and a source of neighborhood concern for years.

See Also

Vertical File in Salem Collection - John Flynn & Sons

John Flynn & Sons, 1920-1945 privately printed, 1945.

"Flynn's goal: keep firm in Salem; fire called suspicious, 100 are jobless" Salem Evening News, Aug. 25, 1976.

"Salem locks up former tannery as safety hazard" Salem Evening News, Apr. 20, 1998, p. A1

"Workers go after toxic tannery" Salem Evening News, July 15, 1998, p. A1

"Salem eyes canal zone: EPA funds cleanup study" Salem Evening News, June 22, 1999, p. A1

"Flynntan coming down" Salem Evening News, Dec. 11, 1999, p. A1

"City to demolish Flyntann factory; Salem seeks bidders to raze most of building" Salem Evening News, Aug. 12, 1999, p. A1

"Flynntan property cited again" Salem Evening News, Oct. 4, 2001, p. A3

"City eyes Flynntan for redevelopment" Salem News, Oct. 24, 2002, p. A2

"Cleanup could take two years" Salem News, Aug. 28, 2006, p. A2