Old shoes factory "Leo"
DescriptionA family-run shoe company, founded in 1876, forms a beautiful chapter in the history of Bydgoszcz industrialization. It expanded from a small shoe workshop, run by WiktorWeynerowski, his wife and children, into an enterprise which in quality and production standards competed fiercely with the Czech footwear factory “Bata” during the 1930’s. Around 1891, the company “W. Weynerowski and Son. Footwear Factory” was taken overby the son Antoni, who had been helping his father in the shoe making business as atwelve-year-old boy.
The factory was moved to the buildings at 34 Św. Trójcy Street, which no longer exist. Later, the prospering factory needed a more prominent seat. For that purpose, the Weynerowski family purchased a large plot at the corner of Kościuszki and Chocimska Streets. Bydgoszcz architect Paul Sellner designed a modern factory building with two storeys and an attic, with facilities for workers and a spacious goods lift.
The factory’s growth gained momentum in its new location. The number of people employed there increased to 300. In 1929, the company was taken over by Antoni’s sons, Henryk and Witold, who three years later named the family business “Leo” Footwear Factory S.A., commemorating their brother Leon, who had died during The First World War and their mother Leokadia (who died in 1927).
The Second World War brought an end to this family enterprise. After 1945, the nationalized “Leo” Footwear Factory, known later as “Kobra”, operated at 27 Kościuszki Street until 1992.