Michael Fitzgibbons was born in Ireland in 1857 and immigrated to the USA as a young child. He grew up in Taunton, Massachusetts, a suburb just south of Boston.
In his young days he worked in East Taunton at the shovel works. He knew this was not for him long term. With his Irish entrepreneurial spirit, he learned the shoe trade business and later opened his own shoe making business.
His shoe shop was often the gathering place for a number of well known business and working men who were interested in the discussion of the events of the day. Mr. Fitzgibbons, who was very familiar with current events, always took a prominent part in the discussions.
Although very politically involved, he never sought to run for office. In his business dealings he was honest, and as a neighbor and a friend, he was a man who was possessed of sterling qualities which won for him the respect of all who knew him. For many years, he resided in the home which he had constructed.
He was much interested all of his life in the affairs of Ireland and for thirty-seven years was a member of the ancient order of the Hibernians. He was also a member and secretary of the Boot and Shoe Worker’s Union Local 295.
Being a dignified business person in the area, he wanted to always look his best. He and his colleagues set out one day to create not only a moustache wax but also other gentleman’s products that would hold up for hard working men of 1895. He took a jar of petroleum jelly, mixed in some beeswax and a couple of other ingredients. He scented it with some aftershave he had on hand. Both he, his friends and other customers of his shop loved it, continuing to improve it and create other manly shave items. Although he had created a great product that he could have sold, he remained a shoe maker until his death in 1923 retaining the tonsorial recipes as a joyful hobby.
Now Michael F. Fitzgibbons Tonsorial Products has utilized this famous family recipe and tweaked it to make it all natural. In place of the petroleum jelly, you’ll find natural oils and butters. Just like Great Uncle Mike, there are a variety of scents to choose from and have utilized their friends to test out these creations as well. The response has been outstanding as it obviously was in his day as well. Watch for more tonsorial items sold at Barclay Crocker and inspired by the men of Michael F. Fitzgibbons’ boot and shoe shop.
…the legend continues.