This is the only known image of Albert Weinbrenner


This is the remarkable story about the evolution of a brand and the company that bears his name. From a small cobblery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1892 to becoming a catalyst for getting work done. These unique moments in history, have helped create a brand that provides the foundation so America, can.

In 1892 Albert Weinbrenner started a partnership with Joseph Peffer, after working in his father’s shop for 14 years. Their focus was making boots tailored to the jobs people were doing. Finding success... in only eight years they invested in their manufacturing and had production reaching 60 pairs per day at the turn-of-the-century.

Throughout the first two decades of the 1900s, production grew and by 1916 the company grew to 1,200 employees and was producing 20,000 pairs of boots a day. Placing the Weinbrenner Shoe Company among the top footwear manufacturers in the country.

In 1917, the Thorogood brand we know today was started, with a new focus on work boots, that were “Job-Fitted.” And iconic boots like the Bruiser, Pole Hiker, Trophy, and Chore were created.

In 1960, the Moc-Toe boot was born, serving as the official boot for the boy Scouts of America.  And quickly becoming our most popular style. A statement that still rings true today.

Throughout the 20th century, Thorogood was there to produce military boots for our troops in the World War II, donated fire boots to the workers after the 9/11 attacks, and continued to innovate, and expand our line of work boots for people that work for a living.

Today, Thorogood continues to manufacture the iconic styles you know and love in our three central Wisconsin facilities. We look forward to developing timeless, quality, comfortable footwear for the next 130 years by continuing to build upon the foundation of our great founder, Albert H. Weinbrenner.


Original Merrill building featuring the 100 year banner on the front
Brand new Merrill manufacturing building opened in 2022

*For a timeline of Weinbrenner's history and more information, visit the history tab on our site by clicking here

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