February 1, 2018 § Leave a comment

Ben Benjamin: “Cause while he met me he didn’t know anything about me, so uh he went and spoke to his old boss about me, and a few other people. His old boss says to him, he says if you two can get along, he says you can be the biggest men in this town in the shoe business. He says you (Ben Schwartz) in the selling end of it and Ben running the factory. He’s a good factory man, designer – but you’ve got to learn to live with one another, and we got a long fine – When I first told him I wanted to get out, he says no, he wouldn’t let me. Now in all those years, we never had a fight. We never had an argument.”



Steve Madden Buys Schwartz and Benjamin.

December 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

For the record.

Steve Madden Snaps Up Schwartz & Benjamin  FN 1/30/17

torn label -Schwartz & Benjamin

Bebe Schwartz and Ben Schwartz 1972

Ben Schwartz with daughter Bebe

Ben Benjamin 1972

Ben Benjamin (Left)

The Back Story

Happy Boxing Day!

December 26, 2016 § 1 Comment

Boxing Day has a very special significance for me.  It’s the birthday of my Grandfather, Ben Benjamin, my motivation behind my blog. Enjoy your day!

Women Boxing On A Roof 1938.

Women Boxing On A Roof 1938.



Ben Benjamin.

Happy Boxing Day And Birthday To My Grandfather.

December 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today December 26th, Boxing Day has a very special meaning for me. It’s the day my grandfather, Ben Benjamin was born.


B.Benjamin Bio

Sam, Dinah and Benjamin Benjamin

Grandpa & Me

The World: Tuesday, January 15th, 1929 | Metropolitan Movies

November 6, 2014 § 2 Comments

While doing research on my grandfather Ben Benjamin I stumbled upon this beautiful illustration by artist Denys Wortman from a comic strip he drew called Metropolitan Movies that ran in The New York World from 1924 – 1954. If you’d like to learn about Denys Wortman and see more of his artwork check out this website created by his son, Denys Wortman VIII.

Wortman Sketch

Copy - 1929

Random Photographs

October 5, 2014 § 10 Comments

Left with a treasure trove of film, photographs and newspaper clippings that have no dates or names I think about the thousands of digital photographs sitting in my own computer that need to be labeled. The task so daunting I keep putting it off. I guess the lesson learned from my own ancestors is take the time and do it.

Grandpa - I. Miller? Crikets? - c Schwartz and Benjamin

The Historialist of Shoes and Shoemakers/Ben Benjamin

August 30, 2014 § 4 Comments

When I began researching my grandfather, Ben Benjamin I discovered a wonderful shoe blog The Historialist belonging to Milo Bandini & Irma Vivaldi. I felt I had found a kindred spirit in their passion for preserving the history of footwear. Theirs is from the starting point of Lombardy and the Parabiago-Milan area and the Italian-French  shoemaker André Perugia. Mine from the American 1900s and my grandfather Ben Benjamin. I hope you will take the time to check out their website and read their latest posts on my grandfather.  Thank you Milo and Irma!


Ben Benjamin


The Historialist of Shoes and Shoemakers


August 1, 2014 § 4 Comments

While listening to the radio as I drive my son to and from camp I’ve heard the word Ephemeral so many times this week. In hindsight I think it would have been the perfect name for my blog. It’s the word that best describes what I’m trying to document. Often I’m completely overwhelmed when I think about preserving everything that I find.

Just a few things from this week. A photograph of Ted Shawn “The Father of Modern Dance,” at Jacob’s Pillow, taken by my father Arthur L. Benjamin.  A crumbling Polish birth certificate that belonged to my Grandmother Rose and my father’s discharge papers from the army.

photo 3

Ted Shawn Jacob’s Pillow – photo by Arthur L. Benjamin, date unknown

photo 4

photo 2(1)photo 1

More Family Relics Found

July 30, 2014 § 1 Comment





May 14, 2014 § 8 Comments

Cut Out

Shoe – B. Benjamin Nov. 18th, 1938

Haunted by the tapes I made of my grandfather as a child I’ve always wanted to share his story. A few months ago when I submitted an article to Wikipedia on him it was rejected due to not being notable. Kate Gosslein and Kim Kardashian are notable, but not my grandfather? i.e. A self-made man orphaned at 12 who rose to be one of the biggest shoemen in this country.  Instead of spending my time proving to Wikipedia that he is, I started this blog to try and put together the missing pieces. The answers are out there I just have to keep asking the questions.


My Dad and Grandfather.

The first place I started was a box of papers I had.  It was a mess of old college letters, drawings from high school, stickers, junk, but inside all of that junk there was a manila envelope with some letters and notebooks that my grandfather must have given me I had forgotten about. They were his notebooks from when he was an apprentice in England as a boy and the letters of reference that he brought with him to America.



Each twist and turn I take is just another layer to be peeled away.

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