Interview: Julie-Anne Tremblay and Gabriel Laprade
Post-production: Gabriel Laprade
In this video clip, Léopold Hamel sits in front of a white wall speaking proudly of what he calls the golden age of the shoe.
If you look at Apex, when I was chatting with you, I never said the words “Golden Age of Footwear”, but if we’re talking about Corbeil-Apex, we’re talking 2,100 pairs per day. Not 2,100 pairs per week. It means: a pair equals two. It means: 4,200 lasts, uppers that had to be attached daily. We’d leave at 7 am and a lot of the time, at quarter to four, four o’clock in the afternoon, we were done because we were getting paid by the job. We were paid, let’s say, it gave us, if I remember right, 44 cents for thirty pairs. So, if we made 2,100 pairs, we got… That was how we earned a decent wage, for the time. For that day and age. We invited people over to visit on purpose. People were pretty impressed by the time they left. They came out of there impressed by the level of skill of the people who worked there. At the same time, you didn’t have enough time to sneak a smoke. The starting flag had been lowered and the engines were rumbling. 2,100 pairs, c’mon, you’re not gonna waste your time smoking. It means: all systems GO.