Peabody Leatherworkers Museum

Come see why Peabody, Massachusetts was

“The Leather Capital of the World!”

Mission Statement

The mission of the Peabody Leatherworkers Museum is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of the leather industry of Peabody.

The museum’s collection currently includes paper materials, leather tools, machinery and textiles produced by the Peabody leather factories.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Peabody’s booming leather manufacturing was a vital contributor to the industrial economy of Boston’s North Shore.  The goal of the Peabody Leatherworkers Museum collection is to document Peabody’s leather industry with the collection of material culture.


Peabody Leatherworkers Museum

Permanent Collection:  Come explore machinery once used in some of Peabody’s own leather factories.  These original machines such as the measuring machine, tannery horses, and belly stalking machine were once essential to the Peabody leather industry.

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Leather Goes to World War II

The use of leather was essential to the war effort in World War II as shown in this exhibit.  Leather was the main component used in over 500 items utilized by the armed forces in World War II.  Due to its versatility, durability, and flexibility, leather was used to make many essential objects in our exhibit such as military boots, a map case, helmets, and crew patches.

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The Chemicals of Leather

Leather tannery is not only an art but also a science.  Leather factories needed both machine operators and chemical engineers for the production of leather.  However, it had been these very chemicals that brought danger to the health of the factory workers and the environment that ended a once booming industry in Peabody.  Come see the beakers, thermometers, and oils that were once used by Peabody’s own chemical engineers.

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The Peabody Leatherworkers Museum Advisory Committee meets on a regular basis for the purpose of advising museum staff on issues related to the Leather Industry and its history. Their mission is to provide advice, answer questions, and help the Director in setting up programs for the public interest. The members of the Committee are:
Ed Keenan
Jim Haggerty
John Smidt
Peter Alford
Rick LaTouch
Richard Sirois

Help preserve the legacy of George Peabody and the the history of our great city. We accept donations of all shapes and size. 
Send us an email if you’d like to learn more or mail your check to: 205 Washington Street, Peabody, MA 01960