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Brand History

The wall of a business painted blue and yellow with a shoe polish can the reads "Lincoln Quality Shoe Polish"

John Lincoln spent his entire life in the shoe-care trade, supplying cobblers and shine shops before developing his own brand. His first product, Lincoln Shoe Polish, remains our best-seller almost 90 years later. Our first “headquarters” was Mr. Lincoln's San Francisco kitchen, where he blended the colors and melted the waxes according to a formula we still use today. Lincoln Shoe Polish quickly gained a loyal following among the many shoe shine stands of the Financial District and Union Square because Lincoln went on evenly and raised a gleaming bright shine. The company grew quickly and settled into its new home on 7th and Folsom Streets in San Francisco's SOMA District.

Always a byword for quality, Lincoln Shoe Polish gained national attention after World War II, when the company became the preferred supplier to the United States Marine Corps. Lincoln's “Marine Cordovan” shipped out with each jarhead's duffel bag, ensuring that US Marines could meet parade dress standards wherever they were stationed. As Marines returned to civilian life, they often took a few cans back home with them as mementos of their service.

Lincoln moved its operations to Sunnyvale, California in 1972, arriving just before the start of the fabled Silicon Valley tech boom. Under the leadership of Manny Rice, John Lincoln's son in law, Lincoln expanded its offerings nationwide and developed other shoe-care products. As fashions and trends came and went, Lincoln examined and eschewed so-called improvements such as synthetic waxes, plastic applicators, and volatile solvents, ingredients which could dry out and weaken shoe leather. As a result, Lincoln remained a favorite with shoe-care professionals due to the consistency of its colors and the quality of its ingredients.

Today, we are still in California, using the time-honored formulations that have helped the Lincoln Shoe Polish company become a 90-year success story. We still proudly serve shoe-care professionals and shine shops. We are also happy to offer our products directly to discerning customers who want a bright, durable shine that protects and nourishes the leather underneath. We believe in our products, our methods, and our history. Try a can of Lincoln Shoe Polish, and you'll join the legions of customers who wouldn't think of using anything else.