Written and Designed by Michael Scott Smith
A recognized expert in making, mending and restyling fur coats, Carl F. Smith first learned his trade at the age of 18 in the year 1919 at The Meng and Shafer Co. (see advertisement at left), 182-186 Main St. East in Rochester, NY. In 1924, Mr. Smith opened his own custom fur shop at 66 Clinton Avenue South (adjacent to the old Loews Theatre) in Rochester, NY. The fur shop was a walk-up to the second floor. The showroom was nicely furnished in the style of the time with black and chrome trimmed upholstered chairs and a display of several finished coats.
Four women were employed as finishers, placing the lining in the coats, and two men were hired to cut pelts. Carl's wife, Marjorie, also spent long hours at the store styling coats. Typically, hundreds of pelts were required to make one coat. Mr. Smith continued his business at that location until 1941, when he moved it to his home at 1156 Culver Road. Also, in 1956, Mr. Smith associated himself as the manager of the fur salon at Harry Levin Co. at One Clinton Avenue South, Rochester, NY. In later years, the furrier business was operated entirely from Mr. Smith's home - until his retirement in 1972.