Civil War Shoemaking

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Civil War Shoemaking

#1 Post by admin » Mon May 06, 2002 7:49 pm

Almost 75 messages posted prior to 25 February 2002 have been moved to the first Crispin Colloquy CD Archive. Those interested in obtaining a copy of this CD need to contact admin@thehcc.org

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stever

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#2 Post by stever » Sat May 18, 2002 8:39 pm

I was sent the measurements for A Lincoln's shoe/boots dated Dec 13,1864 taken from a "template" (I assume it is a foot tracing with notated measurements on it)from a New York shoemaker. The sender is assisting a Professor in researching the "exact" shoe size of the period and the modern size for having a life size statue made of the President. Measurements and remarks as sent to me are as follows:

Left foot: Ball 10"
Right toe 9 1/8"
Just above the 9 1/8 area 8"
Middle of the foot 10 1/8"
Middle of the instep 7 1/2"
Heel 14 5/8"
Length 12 1/4"
The sender mentioned that the right foot measurements were in different locations:
Right foot: Left toe 8"
Toe measure 12"
Center of foot 9 3/4"
Outerstep opposite of instep 7 1/4"
Heel 14 1/2"
Length 12 "

Right of the center of the foot 3 1/8"

Any assistance would be invaluable.

Stephen Ratterman

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#3 Post by dw » Sat May 18, 2002 9:42 pm

Stephen,

It's hard to interpret the meaning of some of these measurements. They seem very idiosyncratic, to me, in that I've never seen anyone take measurements in quite that fashion. What exactly does "right toe" mean...on the left foot? And "left toe" on the right foot? Is that a way of referring to the first (the large toe) or is it referring to the medial ball joint? Could it mean the length of the shank? The "middle of the instep" measurement completely stymies me...it seems to bear no relationship to any known measurement nor any possible measurement taken from the instep area.

The overall length is probably about a 15 in modern parlance and a 9 to 9 1/4" shank length taken at the medial ball joint would be about right. A 10" ball girth, if taken from the medial ball joint to the lateral ball joint (not at all a given) would indicate a A width, but from what I have read of Lincoln, that seems too narrow. On the other hand if the "middle of the foot" measurement is anywhere near the instep, as most of us know and understand it, and is even close to being accurate, then the A sizing may be close. The 'heel" is probably the short heel measurement and that seems in line with a size 15 foot.

From what I understand, Lincoln suffered from some sort of disease (the details escape me at the moment) that contributed to his size and gangly appearance. It has been speculated that if he had not been assassinated he probably would have succumbed to the disease within a relatively short time--in all likelihood, he would not have served out his second term.

Just some rambling thoughts...and one other--this question might be better asked of a forensic scientist. In recent years, forensic science has been capable of reconstructing the details of a person's appearance from very little data--even recreating the facial features, quite accurately, from the skull alone..

Tight Stitches
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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#4 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sun May 19, 2002 4:34 am

Stephen & DW,

DW has the grading charts handy, so his suggestions sound reasonable. Several years' ago I studied an alleged John Wilkes Booth's theatrical shoe, to compare it with his known boot [on display at Ford's Theater in DC], to see if they might have been indeed for the same person/foot. The comparison was never done, but it might be interesting to revisit this once we nail down [or should that be "peg"] one as genuine.

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#5 Post by dw » Sun May 19, 2002 7:23 am

Al,

Do you have any idea what those weird measurments/notations might refer to? I'm curious. What in the world could be being measured at the "middle of the instep" that would only be 7 1/2"...on a size 15 foot? And what can "right of the center of the foot" mean? Ever run across this syntax before?

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#6 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Mon May 20, 2002 4:35 am

DW,

Sorry, I have no idea what the "middle of the instep" is, unless that's a *girth* taken in the middle of the instep, which would then be way too small for a foot that size. It's got to be locating the instep point on the foot at 7 1/2" from the heel[?] "Right the center of the foot" might mean that the instep point on that foot is exactly halfway the length, where the other one is 1/2" forward of halfway [on a 14" length????]. The one at the toes has got to be a girth taken around the toes, don't you think? Seems to me I've seen some older measuring systems that do this to avoid pinching the toes--wrapping the tape around the great toe and the small toe.

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#7 Post by ken_irvin » Sat Dec 14, 2002 2:53 pm

Hello all,

I am contemplating making another pair of low quarter straight last shoes and was asked by a friend if shoes for men were made with colored embellishments as boots of the mid ninteenth century seem to have been, example red bands around the tops, and partial linings. I know womens shoes of the period had colored accents, but has anyone any knowledge of surviving examples of mens low quarter shoes with colored linings and accents.

Also would anyone have any advice about having an original last of the period copied, I mean the owner does not want the original modified in any way so I need to have a copy made prior to mounting in a lathe. Has anyone maybe Al or Rusty, Butch Meyers, T. Mattimore, Mick and anyone else ever made a copy to preserve the original?

Also Butch had told me once about Army flax thread, any suggestions? I would like to locate some and Lieber Southern Leather in St. Louis does not carry it, and they state they have never heard of it. It is the individual strands of linen to make ones own thread.

Thanks if you can help, Ken

Tmattimore

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#8 Post by Tmattimore » Sat Dec 14, 2002 4:02 pm

I have never seen an american made shoe with such embellishments. Not to say there were not any. I have seen some quite colorfull slippers mostly neddle point or embroidered. My finder stocks what you want as 4oz flax try yours with that or try southern leather. What you might do with the last is to make a mould of it in plaster of paris and then use that to cast a duplicate in auto body filler. Then you could use that to modify and fit. An orthotic man in Santa Fe showed me that trick once by peeling the label off a can of very expensive lasting material and lo and behold it was bondo. Take the usual precautions of wrapping the last in saran wrap or other material. If you e-mail me I have a few st lasts you might on pledge of your first born etc. borrow for a breif time.
Tmattimore

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#9 Post by dw » Sat Dec 14, 2002 8:31 pm

Ken,

I'm not the real expert on Army flax, (Al Saguto would be your man) but what you want is linen yarn. What is commonly available, and is also the standard, is size #10, I believe, although I have a spool of much finer yarn. This is single strand twisted linen (flax) and is usually waxed and twisted into "cords" of 8-10 strands.

Blue Mountain still makes it, I believe, as does Barbours--although I think the Blue Mountain is twisted a little too hard. And there does seem to be some linen yarn out there that is made for purposes other than shoemaking...that's where the finer stuff I referred to above comes from if I'm not mistaken.

Almost any finder will probably carry it. If they say they've never heard of it, either they have misunderstood what you're looking for, or they are feeding you a line. Ask for #10 linen yarn.

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#10 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sun Dec 15, 2002 5:40 am

Ken,

Oh goodie, some shoe-history chat at long last.

I know of no 19th c. men's with colored accents [US], but the 19th c. is 100 years, and I'll have to qualify that by asking you to pick a decade--styles change, and so did taste for colors, etc. From the 1870s on there is an increase in colors for men, plus the introduction of "exotics" like alligator, kangaroo, etc. I'll assume, correct me if I'm wrong, that you're probably looking at the 1860s? Well there's black; then there's russett [un-dyed] for cheapo rough-work; but there's also some browns creeping in for grain calfskin--always less formal than black. On the insides I recall some red and even green inside top-bands and facings, even in combination with white twill cotton linings, but nothing that would show on the outside, sorry.

Copying antique lasts without damaging them is very tricky. The only really successful technique I've seen was developed by Carl Lichte, who made a hard resin casting of the antique, cleaned it up, then turned off of that. He never gave me any details, however, of what materials he used, or his exact process, but I have had several of my antiques repro'd by this process, and the results are 100%.

I have also done it this way: wax the last really well with microcrystalline wax ['Rennisance" brand], and take it to a good art-foundery and have them make a fine sand mold of it, and pour it in aluminum. Then send that off for the turning model. Be sure to cover the last-hook hole with masking tape, and any other major faults in the surface, so they don't reproduce in the sand-casting process. Also, be sure the founder dusts the last well with graphite or some other releasing agent so it pops right out of the sand. The graphite will wipe right off with a little rubbing with linseed oil, and lighter fluid will get all the masking tape off. You'll burn up some sanding belts dressing the aluminum model, but at least it's better than risking the antique wood last.

Maybe Frank can tell us more details, but "Army Flax" was a product of York Street Co. [UK]. I used to buy it, for Butch and me, out of N'ton every year or so when I'd go over. It was single strand to be plied-up into threads, but it was finer than no. 10, and bleached quite white. It wasn't very strong, and I gave it up in favor of no. 10 "Best Common" as soon as I lucked into a source for that. I don't think it's made anymore. It used to have a blue lable.

tmattimore

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#11 Post by tmattimore » Sun Dec 15, 2002 6:36 am

Ken if you are goung for a mid century shoe wouldn't a right/left be more apropriate? Even the army adopted them in 51. Now the older bespoke men probably still had quite a few st lasts left but the factory piece workers had probably had their lasts replaced with l/r's starting in the 1840's
T mattimore

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#12 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sun Dec 15, 2002 7:06 am

T & K,

Not to be butt-in-sky here guys, but why and when the army adopted things, or how they made things [straight or left and right for instance], has little bearing on civilan styles such as Ken, I assume, was asking about.

Left and rights are back in fashion as the "latest" thing from Europe by the 1790s, and straights begin to decline in volume by the first quarter 19th c. [US]. All through the 1800s, however, straight lasts persist for cheaper grades of shoes, especially childrens' and women's, and don't really go away until the 1920s.

You're right, the US Army rejected straights begining in 1851; but in 1851 I imagine if you bought mens civilian shoes at a store in Philadelphia, or some other US city, the better class would all have been left and rights--only the rough-n-ready mass-produced work shoes might be straights. Am I misreading you, but the civilian shoes, their lasts and makers are a whole 'nuther thing from the civilian ones Ken asked about?

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#13 Post by dw » Sun Dec 15, 2002 8:12 am

Al,

Hey! Glad to see you back! Guess your new "speedster" is all tuned up and purring like a kitten. I'm particularly glad to see some history posts here, too. I miss 'em.

One thing I've run across several times (Brinkerhof comes to mind) is that the military in all western nations did have a great influence on civilian styles...ie. Wellington's victories and the subsequent popularity of wellington boots for both men and women, in Europe and in the States. Of course this isn't exactly what you're addressing but maybe you could clarify that aspect, too.

And while we're at it, I've seen *boots* purporting to be circa mid 1800's that had red grafts on the top four inches of the front. And I know from things you've said before that yellow leather was quite the rage during the Hussar period. I almost got the feeling from reading your last post that the *only* options were black and russet??

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tmattimore

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#14 Post by tmattimore » Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:13 am

Actually the army back then were probably the last to go to lefts and rights. From everything I've been able to find the real resurgence came with Tom Blanchards pattern duplicating lathe. The earliest mass producer of lasts I have found is one Chandler Sprague of brocton MA in 1836 making lasts and shoe trees with a blanchard machine in 1836. As any shoe or bootmaker knows one of the hardest things to do is to make two opposites the same.
Blanche evans Hazard in her book mentions more then once a two hole lace up with black and yellow stripes on the sole manufactured for the carribean trade.
The Army shoe as specified (prior to the war) must have been a pretty high class shoe with sewn welt and heel lift.
D.A. butt in any time you want the last time I knew anything I was eighteen, the older I get the less I know
Tmattimore

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#15 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:52 am

DW,

Good to have some oldy-timey chatter to get into. The new computer seems okay this week, but after being knocked-out for 7 days to reinstall the hard-drive, it better do everything except make coffee .

Certainly there is a relationship between military, military-inspired, and contemporary civilian dress, especially during periods of uncertainty and war. Just look at all the kids clomping around in camo and aggressive military boots at the moment.

That said, boot styles like the "Wellington", "Suvaroff", "Blucher", even the "Napoleon", were war-time fashions, military-inspired, or already popular styles that were just re-named. The "Blucher" used to be the lowly "high-low", "shoe-boot", or simply country bumpkin's "buskin". Naming stuff after military heroes and conflicts is still going on sort of--we have the "Schwartzkoff desert boot", or the "Nam Jungle Boot". Deciding which came first, historically, the military version or the civilian style is not always easy. Certainly the whole-front, side-seamed, wellington boot had been around for centuries in Eastern Europe, before it "went west" as the Hussar/Hessian boot in the late 18th c. So too with the four-piece, side-seamed boot.

Boots with colorful piecings at the top front, yes, but Ken was specifically asking about men's low shoes I thought, and I haven't seen any of those but black or russet, and occasionally brown until 1870s-1980s, except, of course, the slippers Tom mentioned.

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#16 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Mon Dec 16, 2002 7:09 am

Tom,

Add to your files on ancient lastiana, though Blanchard's lathe was patented [as a shoe last lathe] in c.1819/20, initial production of it was bank-rolled by the army, after it was converted to turn gun-stocks for Springfield armory. When it became popular for turning lasts, as intended, is a bit fuzzy. The 1830s??? The first evidence I have found of it having the pantograph, grading adjustment to scale up/down from a model of one size, is not until the 1850s [Canada I think]. Before that it was strictly 1:1 duplicating, so a lastmaker would need a model of every size to turn duplicates. I'm not sure about the reversing gear, to make a left from a right model. Maybe Pablo has discovered some info there in his quest to research old lastmakers? Pablo, you out there?

Hazard is a "classic", but must be used with caution, especially for the earlier stuff. Striped soles, brown, black, yellow, and fancy bottom finishes, like "fiddle waists", etc., are not uncommon in the 19th c., but that's the soles, not the uppers.

Which specs are you referring to for the army shoe [bootee?] prior to 1861? QM specs? The 1864 QM manual, the only one I know, still specs-out their first choice as hand-sewn welted, stitched aloft, with a blind rand and sewn heel. The only exceptions for war-time demand/compromise permitted were, in descending order: pegged, nailed, and lastly machine [MacKay sewn], with double rows.

Pablo

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#17 Post by Pablo » Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:26 pm

D.A.
The Blanchard patent( X3131 1819 ) did mention the idea of grading but did not provide the mechanism or how to accomplish that. However, in 1836, Collins Stevens did. Grading should thus be
credited to Stevens from Boston although he did not take credit for it. In fact, he regarded that capability as inherent in the Blanchard.
A reverse lathe succeeded in breaking the Blanchard patent monopoly in 1849 - Webber and Hartshorn from Maine.
Grading on a lathe , especially the original Blanchard, is a sticky wicket. The early's must have avoided the disaster of creating an entire run of lasts from one model by starting the technique employed til our day of using three or four original models to make all the other derivatives. For instance, an 8D will be used to generate 7's and 9's etc.
Pablo

tmattimore

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#18 Post by tmattimore » Mon Dec 16, 2002 8:40 pm

D.A. I tend to call the sewn army shoe the specified shoe as every one I have seen or heard of pre war was sewn. The first specs I know of are the mid war ones and they showed the Q.M.'s preference for them. The peg shoes were mostly an expedient to meet the huge demand. The pair excavated at the glorietta battlefield were in excellent condition and show the quality of work that went into them. There is a shoe excavated from cantamount burgwin circa 1850(near Taos N.M.)which despite its poor condition shows identical construction. Unfortunatly the shoes from the privy at fort union are hard to date. When Capt Peterkin passed he left a part of his collection to the N.P.S. and quite a few of the sewn ones have ended up here in Fort Laramie WY. and they are quite generous about letting researchers examine them.
While Hazards book has its problems(she downplays capitalism as a reason for the growth of factories) It is packed full of great footnotes and I would love to know what happened to the notes or original interviews she conducted with surviving boot and shoe makers of the period. The Lucy Brown interview is a great treasure would that one of us could have asked those old timers the questions.
Tmattimore

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#19 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Tue Dec 17, 2002 5:52 am

Tom,

I follow you, and am in 100% agreement: hand-sewn-welted was the "numbah one" choice, then the QM relaxed the spec. to allow pegged, nailed, MacKay'd as war-time expedients. Where have you found pre-war US Army shoe specs? A buddy here was babbling something about the respective numbers of each construction produced during war-time, but he never told me his documentation. Do you know off hand what he was citing? He alleged that pegged actually out-numbered the others. Thoughts?

There is a "pre-war"[?], or odd mil-spec shoe, lower quarters, two lace holes, with outside counters, made straights, double row pegged, excavated at Ft. MacAllister, GA, Governor's Palace Well, Williamsburg, VA [during our occupation], plus one [un-excavated] from the Wallcott Collection [now Colonial Williamsburg]--all the same shoe/spec., one is stamped "RCH" on the heel [Richmond arsenal? Or wishful thinking?]. Thoughts were [me, Peterkin, Butch, Babits, etc.] these were all old Mex-War period USA issue. The only written specs I know of are that 1864 US QM Manual. You got others earlier 1860s or 50s?

When Peterkin was writing that article--the one in CMH Journal is the one you're referencing, right?--I recall [without looking] that Dean Nelson had collected an 1860s nailed or pegged bootee with a depot/inspector's mark, and either a nailed or pegged bootee turned up in another private collection too. However, sadly, Pete never got to really finish that article before he died, so it's focus is building up to 1861, and unfortunately not a lot of meat past that. If interested, all of Pete's notes, files, and research for that article are in the Peterkin Papers, archived [not catalogued yet] here at Colonial Williamsburg, if you ever want to study them.

I knew Pete's unworn, "mint", USA bootee really well, the one with the torn-out lace holes. I'd drool over it everytime I was in his study, and he'd even haul it out to shows. That was the only depot/inspector-marked one he owned to my knowledge, so I'm not sure about the "part of the collection", and "quite a few...". He had some nice old wellington boots, but none were depot/inspector-marked, nor incontrovertibly "military", issue, or even Civil War dated. We never could figure why Bill Brown sent that one bootee off to WY after he acquired it for NPS, rather than Gettysburg or some Civil War site out east *sigh* Glad it's getting some attention at least.

Not wanting to pan Hazard--people do the best they can [usually] at the time they were writing--but she tended to confuse her image of rural, "quaint", provincial New England shoemaking in the 17th-early 19th c., as normative for shoemaking as it existed elsewhere in colonial New England [never mind the rest of America], so she missed making important connections, and then tries to pidgeon-hole the rest into her regional, rural, developmental model when it might not really fit. All historians have their bias, and her's just seemed to be NE-centrist was all. Don't get me wrong, it's a "must" book to own for any shoe-history person, but it must be used carefully in light of current research. I'll bet her notes are still moldering away at the Harvard School of Economics. Have you inquired?

tmattimore

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#20 Post by tmattimore » Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:13 pm

I have not found any specs pre war just going by existing samples. As to pegged shoes I am trying to get an interlibrary loan of the reports to congress from the Sec of War which post war show shoes purchased etc. From diary accounts and company level issue forms for most of the war it seems that pegs ran about 50/50. What goes unnoticed is that in the north state raised regiments were often uniformed at state expense. It seems that MA and Penn units were probably well shod but the other states had to go on the open market and purchase shoes as available. This probably resulted in a mix of all sorts of footwear early war and pegs would have been the eaiset to obtain. I don't know if you have ever seen the Maj. Cunningham letter to the C.S. QM. but it shows C.S. attempts to manufacture during the war Let me know and I can post it. Down in you neck of the woods The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond has some great shoes of various types.
Some of the reasons I like the Lucy Brown interview is it shows civilian footwear being produced during the war years (high end winter boots) and sufficent manpower in the shops showing shoemakers making enough money to buy substitutes for the draft and women who traditionaly did the closing and binding moving into the factories with ease.
I think Peterkins two hole lace up was a pre 1820"s shoe. The last conversation I had with him was about the so called dragoon bootee and he said at the time that he thought the army went to bluchers as soon as they went to trousers in the 20's
Tmattimore

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#21 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:17 am

Pablo,

Sorry to be delayed in getting back to this, but the Holidays have been nutty around here. What I was thinking of here before, is a single left-foot, scoop-block man's last, marked "William Iredale, Canada Last Co.", dated 1867, "made on the first duplicating/grading lathe, called the "Dutchman'." This object is in Rob Serling's private collection [formerly Sterling Last Corp.] in LI, NYC, along with lots of archival material and photos of the Last Mfgs.' Association going back into the 1890s. This was where I found the patent stuff on the "first" hinged lasts [Krentler-Arnold], their origins, etc. Lots of membership lists naming all the last mfgs. too. The last contact I had with Rob, he was trading under 'Quality Metal Stamping', and the whole Sterling Last Collection was tucked away in the basement up there in LI. Good luck.

Anyway, this is where I believe I got the impression that the "first" last lathe that graded up/down was 1860s. Maybe this was merely the "first" in Canada? Maybe it's a false claim? Who knows. There are enough old illustrations of Blanchard-type last lathes, one might examine them closely to see when the Gillman-type pantograph grading attachment first shows up. Just a thought anyhoo.

pablo

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#22 Post by pablo » Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:52 am

DA,
Neither the scoop block nor the grading lathe are historic firsts for the Iredales.Maybe , the Serlings just wanted to give the impression that it rep'd the first grader without searching the record??? Incidentally, Bob Iredale recently retired from Jones&Vining(grand son of 1st lastmaker).The scoop block last, as you well know, is evident in illustrations from Europe prior to 1800 and as for the last makers association, the owners not the actual workmen comprised that august assembleage.According to a lastmaker who was a member (his family membership: Kenerson began with McNichol & Taylor at Lynn MA in 1905 approx)cited that the lastmakers association was mostly for maintaining lobby presence in Wash DC and communicating for price purposes. He,Bruce Kenerson, has provided notes from that association .
US patents plainly describe which were graders and Iredale was not the first.
As for the hinge last, Geo. Smith in 1889 ( US pat. 395668) can lay claim to the original.
Pablo

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#23 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Wed Jan 01, 2003 1:44 pm

Pablo,

You're really on top of this recent last-history. Good going. All I know about the Iredale last at Sterling, was the faded old hand-written label attached, and that said "first graded...1867", etc. Are there other early vintage Iredale lasts surviving? If not maybe Bob Iredale might like to try and pry that one out of Rob's collection? So much of that stuff really needs to be in a museum.

I'm curious about your evidence for the 2-piece "scoop-block" ["block" lasts for short] prior to 1800 in Europe? Except for some sectional Roman ones, divided vertically, all I ever recall seeing are one-piece "comb" lasts, Medieval right through 1700s, used with instep-leathers to adjust girths, and facilitate slipping them out. Rees mentions 2-piece block-lasts, "first", in England in 1813, and the French show them from 1824. Whatcha got on these?

The Kenerson connection looks like very valuable stuff. You're going to publish it, right? The lastmakers' association archives at Sterling was items mostly concerning price-fixing, collusion, "party-planning", and then their final break-up for anti-trust in 1913; but there was a lot of other correspondence back and forth I didn't read in detail. You might try to get a look at it if possible. There were also some great old photos of workmen in aprons standing outside of "X" last works, with a mangy old dog, so there are some working-man related items in there too worth pursuing.

Okay, so Iredale wasn't the first grader lathe in 1867, which one was then?

Is George Smith's hinge patent of 1889 the same device we know? From our earlier correspondence [11/2000 to be precise] you'd only pushed hinge-last patents back as far as 1898, with Mr. A. Tyler & S. Mawhinney, Worcester, MA, Mawhinney Last Co. I'm all ears Image

pablo

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#24 Post by pablo » Thu Jan 02, 2003 9:35 am

DA,
Grading ref is prior post - Collins Stevens in an affidavit ( 1856) refers to a " fan board and lever" adjustable device to accomplish the grading. In 1863, J.W. Town (US Pat. 39847) invented a graduating last machine for making size 9 from size 8 etc.
Take a close look at the Encyclopedia by Diderot and D'Alembert,c.1760. fig. 28,#2 depicts a length cut two-piece last that is pin secured.
The Smith patent is a divided last- hinge set lower, actually at the last bottom, than the Tyler
patent and made the last so weakened that the Tyler was an obvious solution.
pablo

pablo

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#25 Post by pablo » Thu Jan 02, 2003 8:02 pm

DA,
The photo you referred to as "X" last co. employees, may be the same photo in my possession and if so , it is of the Western Last Co in St Louis in 1930. The man with the dog is Rees Summerton( but you probably knew that).
pablo

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