August 25, Dean Kimble, the 97-year-old former proprietor of Kimble Furs in Bremen, gave a History Chat at the Bremen History Center on the fur business over his 50+ years in it.
Mr. Kimble explained how his father Walter Kimble got into the trade after American Radiator packed up in 1929 and how he learned the business with his father, partly by correspondence courses and partly from his New York suppliers. Over two hours, he explained the process of acquiring fur pelts and patterns, “letting out” the pelt in strips to lengthen it, and finishing the coat with padding and lining.
A group of about ten, including his daughter SuZane Lankford, were in attendance and enjoyed the presentation enormously. Of particular interest to this writer was the “letting out” process of slicing the pelt diagonally down its length, sliding each strip a fraction of an inch, and stitching it again to lengthen the pelt and even out the fur length.
The History Center recorded the session on video, as all History Chats are, in preparation for eventual release on the Web. Our great thanks to Mr. Kimble and his family for capturing this part of Bremen’s history!
Special note: Dean and his wife Gretchen celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary in September!