See Rockford Historical Society’s Nuggets of History Vol. 53 No. 2, Spring 2015 Article by Carol J, Fox
The original sock monkey was made with Nelson Knitting Co. red-heeled socks (red heels since 1932) of Rockford, Il in business from 1880 – 1992.
In 1953 Helen Cooke from Aurora, IL patented the sock monkey. She sued Mr. Stanley Levy for patent infringement. Levy enlisted the help of Nelson Knitting Co., of Grace Winget, who made a sock monkey in 1951. Nelson Knitting Co., then bought all patents for the sock monkey until it expired in the 1970’s.
Joan Sage, marketing director of Midway Village and Museum Center, inspired by Chicago’s fiberglass Cow Parade, suggested that Rockford could do similar with Rockford as the Hometown of the Sock Monkey. In 2004-5 businesses and individuals were asked to sponsor six-foot tall fiberglass sock monkeys, Lpcal artists designed each monkey.
Where they are located: [pictures of each in the article] additional information in article
- “Soxanne” Artists: Marion Olson, Carol Anderson, Carol Ubben Seated monkey, outdoors, Midway Village.
- “Forest” Artist Diane Garrett, Location: Chicago Rockford International Airport
- “Earthly Angels” Artist: Carol Jacobson, Location: Swedish American Hospital
- “Lady Liberty” Artist: Cora Hutchinson, Location: National Business & Industrial Centre, in the old National Lock Building, 7th St. and 18th Ave.
- “Rockford in Bloom” Artist: Marty Panzer, Location: Rockford Arts Council
- “Carl Anders” Artists: Marion Olsen, Candy Wolf and Carol Jacobson. Location: Stockholm Inn
- “Symbol” Artist: Deborah Stromsdorfer Location: Private residence of sponsor, Dr. Kris Tumilowicz, across the river from the namesake “Symbol” sculpture.
- “Paper Boy” Artist: K Dyer Location: Rockford Register Star lobby.
- “Rockford College Sock Monkey” Artist: Jeanne Coe. Location: Nelson Hall, Rockford University
- “Victor e. Lane” Artist: Jeanne Coe. Location: Rockford Speedway
- “Patriot” Artist: Lonny Stark Location: Midway Museum Center inside,
- “Cheap Trick” Artist: Jeanne Coe Location: Midway Museum Center inside
- “J. Nelson Pollack” Artist: Lorie Painter Location: Library Center, Nelson Elementary School
- “Julia M. Scout” Artists: Karen Harding, Sandy Ures, Lisa Normoyle. Location: Camp Medill McCormick, Friendship Center
- “Stillman” Artist: Joyce Bietau Rienken Location: Stillman Bank, Oregon, IL (now in storage area)
- “Tradesman” Artist: Doug Adcock Location: Project First Rate
- “Building Rockford” Artist: Doug Adcock Location: Fridh Construction
- “Power of the Sun” Artist: Nicole Georgis Location: Rockford Day Nursery
- “Faces of Rockford” Artists: Mary Rosandich, Jeanne Coe, Joe Marchione Location: Transatlantic Connection resides in private residence, and has been on display in Stewart Square
- “Rockford Sports Tourist” Artist: Jessica Cannova Location unknown, once seen in Stewart Square
- ” E.A.R.L.” Artist: Lorie Painter Location: Private residence
Source: Nuggets of History, Midway Village, 2015 President: Scott Lewandowski