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.


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
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.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MELTON, FLORENCE — (1911– ), U.S. community leader and philanthropic supporter of a variety of Jewish causes. Melton is best known for envisioning and establishing a highly successful program of serious adult Jewish learning called the Florence Melton Adult Mini… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • EDUCATION, JEWISH — This entry is arranged according to the following outline. Bibliography at the end of a section is indicated by (†). in the biblical period the nature of the sources historical survey the patriarchal period and the settlement the kingdom the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Gordon Zacks — is a Jewish businessman, author, and former presidential adviser. Contents 1 In Business 2 In Politics 3 Book 4 Notes In Business …   Wikipedia

  • Chizuk Amuno Congregation — Chizuk Amuno Synagogue U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

  • Bronfman Jewish Education Centre — The Bronfman Jewish Education Centre (BJEC) is the planning and coordinating agency for Jewish community educational needs in Montreal, Quebec. DescriptionA constituent agency of the FEDERATION CJA, BJEC strives to respond to the educational… …   Wikipedia

  • Deaths in February 2007 — Contents 1 February 2007 1.1 28 1.2 27 1.3 26 …   Wikipedia

  • Lawrence Troster — Rabbi Lawrence Troster is Director of the Fellowship program and Rabbinic Scholar in Residence for GreenFaith, the interfaith environmental coalition in New Jersey. Rabbi Troster co chairs the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment of UNEP… …   Wikipedia

  • CINCINNATI — CINCINNATI, S.W. Ohio metropolis. Cincinnati shelters the oldest American Jewish community west of the Alleghenies. It was mid 19th century America s third largest Jewish community. Congregational Life The first Jew to settle in Cincinnati was… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • REFORM JUDAISM — REFORM JUDAISM, first of the modern interpretations of Judaism to emerge in response to the changed political and cultural conditions brought about by the emancipation . The Reform movement was a bold historical response to the dramatic events of …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • WILMINGTON — WILMINGTON, the largest city in Delaware, midway between New York and Washington, some 27 miles south of Philadelphia and 70 miles north of Baltimore. In 1995, 7,600 Jews, 56% of Delaware s Jews, lived in Wilmington and its suburbs. Since 1879,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.