Series 9 - Company History Files

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Company History Files

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

15.2 cm
16 photographs : b&w and col. ; 26 x 21 cm or smaller

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Administrative history

Greb Industries Limited was a shoe and boot manufacturing company based in Kitchener, Ontario. Charles E. Greb, who had moved to Berlin (now Kitchener) from Zurich, Ontario, in 1909, became the secretary-treasurer of the Berlin Shoe Manufacturing Company when it was incorporated in 1910. His son Erwin Greb joined the company as book-keeper. In 1912, Charles and Erwin acquired the company, and in 1916 it received a new charter of incorporation under the name Greb Shoe Company Limited, with Charles as president and Erwin as secretary-treasurer. In 1918, Erwin bought the controlling interest in the company from his father, who remained involved with the business in an advisory capacity.

The Greb Shoe Company, which had plants on Queen Street and at the corner of Mansion and Chestnut Streets in Kitchener, was again reorganized and received a new charter in 1930. In 1938, it acquired Valentine and Martin Limited, a Waterloo manufacturer of work boots, shoes, and dress shoes, which continued to operate as a separate business until it was merged with the Greb Shoe Company in 1951. Operations by that time were consolidated at a plant on Breithaupt Street in Kitchener. When Erwin Greb died in 1954, his son Harry D. Greb took over as company president. Erwin’s other sons were also involved in the company as directors; Arthur was in senior management and Charles was a plant manager and eventually became executive vice-president (1969-1976).

In 1959, the company purchased the Canada West Shoe Manufacturing Company of Winnipeg, including its popular Kodiak brand boots. The expansion into Western Canada began a period of tremendous growth for the company. Manufacturing facilities were expanded, and the company made several other acquisitions, including Bauer Canadian Skate; Tebbutt Shoe and Leather Company of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec; and Collins Safety Shoes of Peterborough. A skate and boot plant was eventually opened in Bangor, Maine. The most significant factor in the company’s growth through the 1960s was the popularity of Hush Puppies brand of casual shoes, which Greb began manufacturing under license from Wolverine World Wide of Rockford, Michigan, in the early 1960s. The mascot for this line of footwear, a basset hound named Velvet, was a popular symbol for the brand. In 1966, Greb Industries Limited became a publicly-traded company, and by the early 1970s it had grown to become Canada’s largest footwear manufacturer, employing 1200 people in Kitchener and another 1100 in Winnipeg, Trois-Rivieres, and Bangor. In 1974, the company was purchased by Warrington Products Limited of Mississauga.

Greb Industries Limited continued to manufacture footwear under the new owners, with several changes in operations, including the closure of several plants and a move for the head office from its Ardelt Avenue location in Kitchener to Mississauga. In 1987, Warrington sold the Greb division, which consisted mainly of Hush Puppies and Kodiak shoes and boots, to Taurus Footwear of Montreal. Production of Hush Puppies ended in 1989 when the licence was surrendered to Wolverine. The Bauer skate division, operating as Canstar Sports, had been relocated to Cambridge and sold to Nike. The last Greb plant in Kitchener, a Kodiak boot plant on Hayward Avenue, closed in 1991. In 1992, the Royal Bank took control of Taurus Footwear and formed Greb International to market the Kodiak brand domestically and internationally. In 2000 this company became Kodiak Group Holdings Inc., and in 2005, it purchased Terra Footwear in Newfoundland and has factories in Markdale, Ontario; Harbour Grace, Newfoundland; and in Asia.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of material relating to the history of Greb Industries Limited and its predecessor, the Greb Shoe Company Limited. Includes press clippings, scrapbooks of press clippings, correspondence and memoranda, speeches, agreements and leases, advertising material, price lists, photographs, and other material. Material probably collected and compiled by Charles E. Greb.

Notes area

Physical condition

Linear extent of series does not include oversized materials.

Immediate source of acquisition


Series arranged alphabetically.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres