19th century bootmaker

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peter monahan

19th century bootmaker

#1 Post by peter monahan » Sat Jun 08, 2002 8:21 am

Hello folks!

I'm just beginning a second "season" of cobbling (NOT sheomaking)for the War of 1812 re-enacting community up here in Ontario, Canada and I have a question for the experts out there. Actually, several questions.

1) There are several good shoemakers both sides of the 49th parallel but no one who I know of who makes top boots (wellingtons) for military officers and civilian gentleman. Can anyone help?
Most of the orcifers up here are getting by with second hand riding boots, either cut down into Hessians or with added top cuffs in brown. A few pairs of Russian and East German officers' boots havve also surfaced but the quality varies from "O.K. to "B...dy Awful" and a few wealthier types have expressed an interest in "the real thing". Obviously, someone in Michigan, New York or Pennsylvania would be preferablt to a Texas address [no slight on Texians intended Image].

2) Can anyone source hobnails and heel irons - "horseshoes" - in quantities less than hundred- weight lots? (I think I may have asked this one before, but hope springs eternal in the cobbler's breast!)

Hope this doesn't violate the non-commercial nature of the Colloquoy and thanks in advance for any help!

Peter Monahan, Cobbler and Corporal
Royal Newfoundland Regiment (British Army, 1812)

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#2 Post by gcunning » Sat Jun 08, 2002 5:47 pm

Peter, I'm supprised you have not received a response. The weekend may have something to do with it. I'm not able to help but you should get someone to assist soon.

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#3 Post by dw » Sat Jun 08, 2002 7:02 pm

Peter,

First, nothing you've said violates any rule of the Guild or the Forum. All we ask is that people don't solicit personal profit. So no worries.

Second, I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for but I think Arensberg in Seattle carries (or can get) hobnails and Arensberg is a rep for Goetz in the Us. Goetz has several types of horseshoe rims, including a simple strip type that may be closer to authentic. I've seen these in the Goetz catalogue and if you call Dick Arensberg he'll send you one.

Arensberg & Sons
1428 Tenth Ave.
Seattle 98122
voice (800) 521-7472
General supplies, findings, and rep for Goetz
Attn: Dick Arensberg


Hope that helps some...

Tight Stitches
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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#4 Post by ken_irvin » Mon Jun 10, 2002 9:35 pm

I am curious if anyone might know of a source for Army Best Flax. I am also interested in finding a used stitching wheel in 8,10,12 spi.

I appreciate the help, Ken

peter monahan

Re: 19th century bootmaker

#5 Post by peter monahan » Tue Jun 11, 2002 3:29 am

Gary & DW
Thanks for the kind words. DW, using your lead I've found a Canadian source/contact for Goetz which I'll follow up. Again, many thanks.

Still looking for a (northern)supplier for full wellingtons.

Peter

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#6 Post by Anonymous » Thu Jul 25, 2002 10:57 am

Hello from north of the border again!
(Peter Monahan)

I've just been gifted with an inside stitcher (McKay style)manufactured by the "United Shoe Manufacturing Company" of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It has a (model ?) number: C105 on it.

It needs a "foot" (?) - the "curved thingy" which actually supports the shoe during stitching. The most recent owner, whose father I think was the original purchaser, has given me an address up here where he assures me I can get parts and (I hope) a manual. Otherwise, it'll make a great 500Lb. doorstop!

Anyway, I'll be pursuing parts in Canada but wondered whether any of the experts out there had ever heard of this company or its products. (No date, by the way, but its a belt-drive machine so... not modern anyway.) All guesses and facts gratefully received.

Peter Monahan

fjones

Re: 19th century bootmaker

#7 Post by fjones » Thu Jul 25, 2002 11:54 am

Peter Monahan

What have is either known the the trade as a McKay machine or sometimes a Blake machine. Mr. Blake invented the basic idea but it took Mr. McKay to make it work commercially.

The part you are talking about is called the “horn” simply because it looks like one. Also the company name is United Shoe Machinery Co., always known in the trade as “USM”.

They have always been belt driven as far as I know and the really early ones (mid 19th century) were treadle operated. The later ones were designed to use a line shaft drive in factories where there was a central power source - before the days of small electric motors.

There are a lot of these machines about not only in North America but all over the world. I don’t know enough about the model numbers to know if a horn for your model will be easy to find. It might be easier to actually find another machine which is complete. Many are being broken up.

Sorry I cannot be more directly helpful.

Frank Jones
frank.jones@shoemaking.com

tmattimore

Re: 19th century bootmaker

#8 Post by tmattimore » Thu Jul 25, 2002 4:46 pm

It sounds as if you may have a model C littleway stitcher. If you can post a photo it will help identify it. The model C had an oscilating shuttle. If it is, a very early model, a horn may be hard to find. I belive the later models used the same horn as the model D. which may make it easier to find. They were large based brass castings so may be very expensive. I would suggest PAMCO. inc. or Harris at pilgrim for a start. USM will sell you the service and parts books for the model C for about $60. With out them you will never get it running. Hudson may also be a source but watch your wallet. The littleway was one of the best american made mckays but require high maintence, good parts, and are very thread sensitive. If the machine is earlier then the littleway series then parts will be almost impossibe to find.

tmattimore

Re: 19th century bootmaker

#9 Post by tmattimore » Fri Jul 26, 2002 5:41 am

I must have had a brain cloud yesterday. The best way to tell what kind of machine it is would be to look at the large casting parts for the prefix to the parts number. If the prefix is ULS it is a littleway if not you have an older machine.

Scott Yarbro

Re: 19th century bootmaker

#10 Post by Scott Yarbro » Fri Aug 09, 2002 8:35 pm

Hello
Hope this is the right place to post what I have to say so here goes. I have a friend that has some Singer single and double needle post sewing machines for sale at a really good price if anyone is interested in more details,prices and pics please email me at ernienmonk@netease.net
Thanks

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#11 Post by nj_sekela » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:21 pm

I hate to bring up the topic yet again, but I was wondering if there is a current source for pyramid shaped hobnails and steel heel plates, such as were used in Germany during WWI and II?

Any leads would be greatly appreciated.

Nick Sekela

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#12 Post by dw » Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:40 pm

This is a good place to ask the question but I don't think there's an easy answer.

Chances are in some dark, dank basement of some warehouse in Chicago or New York, London, etc., there are rotting boxes of boxes of hob nails and steel heel plates but no one uses that stuff anymore and I suspect those who own and operate the warehouses have long since forgotten that the stuff is even there.

What I'd do is call and talk to the general manager of every major finder you can find...esp. in major cities. Ask them to check. As an incentive, tell them you'll buy all the remaining stock.

The truth is out there.
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And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#13 Post by nj_sekela » Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:04 pm

Well, new made ones are showing up, and I am guessing that they are "commissioned" pieces. These are available on the reproduction market, but are quite expensive.

Were hobnails originally produced by nail making companies?

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#14 Post by dw » Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:38 pm

nj_sekela wrote:Well, new made ones are showing up, and I am guessing that they are "commissioned" pieces. These are available on the reproduction market, but are quite expensive.

Were hobnails originally produced by nail making companies
?
In my lifetime all the hobs and Hungarian nails I ever saw were produced by the same outfits that made other types of shoe nails.

I wish you luck finding new stock. If you come up with a source please share it.
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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#15 Post by farmerfalconer » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:17 am

Perhaps this will help?
http://www.dbgurney.com/home.php?cat=257
I dont know if thats what you are looking for but it might do. We use their hob nails at Old Salem.

-Cody

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Re: 19th century bootmaker

#16 Post by dw » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:03 pm

farmerfalconer wrote:Perhaps this will help?
http://www.dbgurney.com/home.php?cat=257
I dont know if thats what you are looking for but it might do. We use their hob nails at Old Salem.

-Cody
Gurney is good. I think they may be the oldest, still operating, manufacturer of shoe nails. I have always preferred them over other brands...mostly for trivial reasons--the thickness of the shafts the sharpness of the points, the smallness of the heads, etc.. And they are the only company I've ever dealt with that made Hungarian nails and hobs.
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