Turns out Baker's was mentioned in the thread I was reading over in SW&D. The topic was the Kicking Mule Workshop belts that are beautiful and analogous to what Charlie is proposing, and a long conversation started between Jay_D and Mikecch, both of who are pretty knowledgeable for people not in the trade. The link is here
. The conversation over there had to do with Japanese vs American leathers, and reached back to English leathers.
Mikecch gave a link to a video of the Baker tannery that I enjoyed: Baker Tannery
I loved the "left behind" comment in the Baker slideshow that ManOfKent linked to. Lucky for us some companies got left behind in the technological arms race and still managed to make a go of it.