This info is from a friend living in Rockford, IL. If anyone lives in the area, you might want to go to this event:
Sock Monkey History
The Sock Monkey Doll is an important part of Rockford’s history. In 1880 the Nelson Knitting Co. was incorporated. John Nelson, a Swedish immigrant, invented the seamless sock knitting machine. The Nelson Knitting Co. was the first to commercially produce seamless socks.
John Nelson came to this country in 1852 and was amongst the first Swedish settlers to arrive by train in Rockford. It took nearly ten years to perfect the machine. After Nelson’s death in 1883, his sons made an improvement on the machine and started the Forest City Knitting Co. These machines made a “work sock” worn mainly by farmers and factory workers. It was sturdy and comfortable. Rockford socks became known as the standard in the industry.
These socks were used to make sock dolls. In 1932 the red heel was added to the sock. In 1955 Nelson Knitting received a patent for the sock monkey doll. Rockford proudly is the Home of the Sock Monkey.
Our Sock Monkey Festival will be at the Midway Village and Museum Center on Saturday and Sunday.
4th Annual Sock Monkey Madness Festival:
Rock, Sock and Roll
The Sock Monkey Madness Festival returns to Midway Village & Museum Center on March 8 & 9, 2008, from 11am to 5pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children and students 3 to 17. There is an additional charge for workshops. Members are always free!
At the family festival visitors can learn to make a sock monkey from scratch, accessorize a sock monkey or buy a blank sock monkey and adorn it with our free material.
Featured this year:
Vendors of sock monkeys and sock monkey accessories and products
Miss Sockford 2008 Beauty Pageant
International Sock Monkey Film Festival
Make-a-Monkey Workshops (additional fees for supplies)
Sock monkey crafts, food, book signings and more
Midway Village and Museum Center