Florence Melton


Florence Melton

Florence Zacks Melton (November 6, 1911 - February 8, 2007) was an American inventor known for innovating the foam-soled and washable slipper.cite news
first = Stephen
last = Miller
title = Florence Zack Melton, 95, Invented Foam Slippers
url = http://www.nysun.com/article/48510
format = Obituary
work = New York Sun
publisher =
location =
id =
pages =
page =
date = 2007-02-13
accessdate =
language =
quote =
archiveurl =
archivedate =
]

Early life

Melton grew up in Philadelphia in an extremely poor family. She worked at a local Woolworth's from age 13 in order to support her family. She married her first husband, Aaron Zacks, when she was 19, and subsequently moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he worked as a merchandiser for a department store.

Career

Melton served on the Board of United Way (then the Red Feather Agency) and with the Red Cross Nutrition Corps. In the 1970s, she became the first woman to serve on the board of the Huntington National Bank and was a founding member of CAJE (the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education).cite web
url= http://www2.jewishculture.org/awards/awards_arts_melton.html
title= Awards: Florence Zacks Melton
accessdate=
work= webpage
publisher= The National Foundation for Jewish Culture
]

Melton co-founded the [R.G. Barry Corporation [ in 1946 with Zacks. While investigating foam latex as a possible material for her patented women's shoulder pad, she discovered that she could use the material to line slippers. Marketed first as Angel Treads and later as Dearfoams, Melton's slippers were immediately successful. More than 1 billion slippers have been sold, according to the company.

Before her death, she served as a consultant for Product Development and Design. Her son, author and speaker Gordon Zacks, serves as the CEO of the company. Another son, Barry Zacks, founded the Max & Erma's restaurant chain in 1972, taking it public. He died in 1990.

In 1968, Melton married industrialist and philanthropist Samuel M. Melton. Together, they created the "Florence Melton Adult Mini-School," a two-year, non-denominational program, which operates in over 70 North American communities and Australia. [cite news
author = Melissa Kossler Dutton
title = Florence Melton, Jewish education activist passes away at age 95
url = http://www.thenewstandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=251&Itemid=35
format = Obituary
work = The New Standard
publisher =
location = Columbus, OH
id =
pages =
page =
date = 2007-02-21
accessdate =
]

In the mid 1980s Melton initiated the "Discovery" program, which attempts to connect youths to their family ancestry, community, different denominations in Judaism, and to Israel. The program involves extensive field trips and culminates in a tour to Israel.

References


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