The Original 'Makers': Meet Brooklyn's 91-Year-Old Cobbler The Original 'Makers': Meet Brooklyn's 91-Year-Old Cobbler
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The Original 'Makers': Meet Brooklyn's 91-Year-Old Cobbler

by Meghan Neal

April 9, 2013

Frank Catalfumo began making shoes in a small shop in Brooklyn after returning from World War II. The 91-year-old is still at it, five days a week. 

"The neighborhood was very, very, very friendly," he remembers. "Everybody was friends with each other. There were five shoe repair shops in the radius of three blocks at that time."

Back then, New York was the richest city in the world, thanks to its manufacturing culture. This beautiful video, the latest in New York-based photographer and director Dustin Cohen's Made in Brooklyn series, gives us a peek into those bygone days.

In some ways though, Brooklyn is resurrecting the trend. It's home to the Maker movement (the leading 3D printing company, MakerBot, is based in the Williamsburg neighborhood) and there are even made-in-Brooklyn guided walking tours that take tourists through the past and future of manufacturing throughout the borough. 

"I think there is this resurgence of interest in mechanical things, more analog things," says David Sokosh, a watchmaker featured in episode two of the series. "Less hooked into the web or into your cell phone."
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The Original 'Makers': Meet Brooklyn's 91-Year-Old Cobbler