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  • Jennifer Donovan

Discover Downtown Gloversville

South Main Street has Ties to the Knox Gelatin Industry

Happy birthday, Rose Knox!

Those who know of the Knox name and the Knox gelatin history, relate it to Johnstown, but did you know that Rose Markward Knox also has a legacy in Gloversville?

Born on November 18, 1857, Rose moved to Gloversville in the 1870s and she was known to have worked in the glove industry when she was a young woman. When she met and married her husband Charles, they later moved to Johnstown in 1896. History has shown that Rose would prepare gelatin at home and her husband was able to take her recipe and turn it into a business that would last until 1972, when the Lipton Tea Company bought it.

Rose was known for more than her culinary techniques, although her book “Food Economy: recipes for left overs and plain desserts” was quite popular and a copy can be found here.

When Charles died in 1908, she took over the business as president, a move that was unheard of at the time. She redirected the marketing to focus on women and she was also kind and fair to the employees, by instituting a five-day work policy, and implementing paid vacations. A force to be reckoned with in a time when women were not known to be presidents of large companies, Rose became the first woman to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Grocery Manufactures’ Association in 1929. More on Rose Knox can be found here and here.

In addition to being a distinguished role model that hailed from Gloversville, Rose and the Knox institution was responsible for the building at 52 South Main Street in Gloversville. At one time it was a prestigious office building that included offices for A.C. Lawrence Leather Company and housed the Morning Herald newspaper. According to the current building owner, it was used as a bomb shelter during World War II, and there are only two of these buildings left in the state. They were built with no wood in the construction and were made completely with concrete and bricks.

The building currently houses Beacon Bubbles laundromat.

Next time you go down South Main Street, be sure to think of Rose Knox!


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