One of the largest sock monkey collections in the world is located right in the heart of Long Grove, Illinois at the Sock Monkey Museum, 210 Robert Parker Coffin Road. For decades this cuddly friend has brought joy to people of all ages. Turn that red frown upside down and you learn more about the world of sock monkeys.
Sock monkeys are simply stuffed toys made from socks to form a monkey. A Swedish immigrant John Nelson began knitting socks on a machine in Rockford, Illinois which led to forming a company in 1880 called the Nelson Knitting Company. Imitators threatened to derail the company so red heels were sewn into the sock to distinguish the difference in authenticity. This evolved into the mouth of the monkey when dolls were eventually made out of socks for children who faced challenges during the Great Depression.