Off The Rack – W.J. Voit Rubber Company, 1922 – 1983

The Voit Rubber company was founded in Los Angeles in 1922 by W. J. Voit. Starting as a rubber tire manufacturer, the company branched into sporting goods and claimed they invented the inflatable beach ball in the late 1930s.

In 1957, the company was sold to AMF and in 1963 operations were moved to Santa Ana, California. It was around this time, when the company was at the height of its production, that a line of sneakers were added to their yield. Over the next twenty years the rubber business dwindled in the U.S., eventually leading to the closure of Voit in 1983.

Voit_1960s

 

Voit2_1960s

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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5 Responses to Off The Rack – W.J. Voit Rubber Company, 1922 – 1983

  1. Leigh Medina says:

    Hello, I have a very unusual request. My father, Francis Hinderscheid, was employed with Voit Rubber in 1963 while residing in Newport Beach, Ca. Would you by chance have those employment records? He is now deceased and we are working on geneology type issues. I was needing his address in Newport Beach during that time. I know this is a very long shot, but need to try. Thank you kindly, Leigh Medina.

    • Jonathan says:

      The records would have gone to AMF (American Machine & Foundry) when Voit was bought out, however, AMF was itself bought out in a hostile takeover in 1985 and AMF’s holdings slowly sold off. I have no idea where the AMF archives would be now – but in most cases when defunct branches of companies are closed, the old archives are forgotten in an old warehouse somewhere, or destroyed. Sorry I can’t help.

    • jeff from costa mesa says:

      I recommend that you contact the Sherman Gardens and Library in Corona Del Mar, 949-673-2261. They have many old telephone and address directories available to the public. You should be able to get something from one of their many local directories.

      http://www.slgardens.org/city-directories-search

      Happy Hunting !!

      – jeff from costa mesa

  2. Edward Winslow says:

    Howdy, my Grandfather- Virgil Edward Holihan worked for Voit before and through WW2 until 1966 or 67. He was in the pictures of the groung breaking of the Orange County plant.The family story is that after the war, Voit was in trouble because of the amount of Re-Tread operations for the war. My Grandpa went to (his longtime friend) Mr. Voit and suggested that the company develop a market to introduce re-treading (not re-caps) to the public. Unfortunately the pictures of the Orange County plant groundbreaking were lost due to a burglary. A friend of mine told me that the pictures were on displayed in the lobby of the Orange County plant. Is there any mention of my Grandfather in the Voit Rubber history? If so what do I need to do too get copies of that information?
    Thank You for anything that you can do. Edward Winslow

    • Jonathan says:

      I didn’t see any information about any employees of the company – typical of corporate publications. Although sometimes the president and/or founder is featured, the rest of the company is rarely individualized in corporate histories.

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