To continue the shoe theme, Humphrey O’Sullivan saw a need and invented a solution. His idea for a more comfy shoe revolutionized the shoe industry.
January 24, 1899: Humphrey O’Sullivan, an Irish immigrant-laborer to the United States, patented the rubber heel for shoes. O’Sullivan worked in a print shop in Lowell, Massachusetts, where standing on the shop floor all day resulted in sore feet and other ailments. To ease his aching feet, he started to stand on a small rubber mat, which acted as a makeshift cushion; it proved to be a good idea, saving O’Sullivan from further physical stress, though his print shop colleagues kept taking the mat for their own personal use. Click here to read more.