Gloversville, in Fulton County, New York, was once the hub of America's glovemaking industry with over two hundred manufacturers in Gloversville and the adjacent city of Johnstown. In 2000, Gloversville had a population of 15,413, and 15,665 in 2010.
The region, historically known as "Kingsborough", was acquired by Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet. In 1752, Arent Stevens bought land. Puritans from New England settled there at the end of the 18th century. The proximity of hemlock forests to supply bark for tanning made the community a center of leather production early in its history. It earned its name for being the center of the American glove making industry for many years. Upon the establishment of a United States Post Office in 1828, Gloversville became the official name of the community.Prior to that Gloversville had been known as "Stump City" because of the large number of tress that had been cut down. In 1890–1950, 90 percent of all gloves sold in the United States were made in Gloversville.
Large tanneries and glove shops employed nearly 80% of the residents of Gloversville and environs. Home workers sewed the gloves from leather that had been cut in factories. Related businesses, such as box makers, sewing machine repairmen, and thread dealers opened to serve the industry.
Until 1936, Gloversville had a very active electric interurban line, the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad. It ran from Gloversville, through Johnstown, along the Mohawk River to Amsterdam, then to Scotia, then across the Mohawk River, and into downtown Schenectady to the New York Central station. In 1932 in a bold move during the Great Depression it acquired unique Bullet cars in an attempt to revive business. Passenger service ended in 1936, but freight operation continued.
Gloversville was the main headquarters for the Schine movie industry. The Glove Theatre was the Schines' favorite movie house. Hollywood movies sometimes premiered in Gloversville before they opened in California.
The decline of the glove industry left the city financially depressed, with many downtown storefronts abandoned and store windows covered with plywood. Many of the houses were abandoned when people moved out of town to find jobs elsewhere.