Civil War Shoemaking

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#126 Post by jesselee » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:07 am

David

Spanish Oak makes sense. Thanks. I do enjoy your historical information. I am only a historian in my boot era from many years of examination, not from research. Keep up the good work.

JesseLee

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#127 Post by paul » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:19 pm

Thank you David.

I appreciate your study and the information you've compiled.

I'll spend some reading it later.

PK

djarnagin

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#128 Post by djarnagin » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:22 am

Jesse,

I found the answer in some Federal Quartermaster reports where the Spanish tanned comes from. It could also be called Spanish hides. Contact me and I will explain it to you off line. The best thing is to call me at work. 662-287-4977

Thanks
David
djarnagin@bellsouth.net

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#129 Post by jesselee » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:47 pm

David

I will call you tomorrow. I sure do enjoy your research. Loved the bit on the tanning processes of the musket slings and cartridge boxes. I had always wondered about that flaking finish and such.
JesseLee

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#130 Post by das » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:49 am

Being lazy here and thought I'd ask the Forum:

I need the prices (range of) for men's bespoke whole-cut civilian Wellingtons (welted) waxed-calf, grafted top, in the USA in 1859. The more variety the merrier. Obviously Philadelphia/New York prices are going to differ from rural, Midwest, and "wild" west, but the range would be helpful. Thanks.

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#131 Post by dearbone » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:56 pm

Al,

I have a Canadian boot maker price list from 1835, although the boots were made different than wellington and i also have a price list from 1874 of leather and findings and boot and shoe uppers company from New York. My educated guess for a pair of wellington boots in 1859 is $15 from a good maker.

Regards
Nasser

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#132 Post by jesselee » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:34 pm

Al

I think the fates made you ask this question to keep me up at night! I'll dig into my files and see what I can come up with. The book mentions prices in general, but no specific standard. Years ranging from before 1859 to 1898. It's an odd question and one I never memorized because of the current dollar value. But it will be interesting to compare the economics and value of the ;good old days' to now.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#133 Post by das » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:24 am

Thanks Nassar and Jesse. I look forward to whatever you can find. Please just list prices at they appeared in 1800s USD, and do not try to convert or adjust for inflation--like Sgt. Joe Friday used to say on 'Dragnet', "...just the facts ma'am" Image

djarnagin

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#134 Post by djarnagin » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:28 pm

I am looking for information on 1840’s dance slippers. I does anyone make these or willing to take them on? These are for a site in Natchez and the person they are for was a dance instructor.

Thanks
David Jarnagin
djarnagin@bellsouth.net

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#135 Post by das » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:36 am

Boot Finisher--

Nevermind the caption/comments, this is a very fine staged shot of a young American boot sole finisher staining soles. The "Bailey" (upright) jack is sans its base-plate and not bolted down, besides the work table is too light-weight--if you beat on the boot everything would bounce off the table. Nice fancy tack-work on toes as well as heels of boots in the pile next to him.

Maybe someone with more computer savvy can actually clip the photo and post it here permanently?

http://finedags.com/CAW-495.htm

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#136 Post by proxy_posting » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:36 am

10677.png

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#137 Post by proxy_posting » Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:49 am

For Jesse Lee Cantrell...

M1851 US army issue bootees

Made from original patterns and specs of 4 oz. Oak tanned leather, dressed and waxed on the flesh side. Stitched 8 to the inch with #7 Barbours linen cord, hand waxed. Soles pegged double at 8 to the inch. Toes and heels square iron nailed. Lasts copied from original Civil War lasts giving precise sole and profile contours of the period.
11476.jpg

11475.jpg

11474.jpg

11473.jpg

11472.jpg

11471.jpg

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#138 Post by kemosabi » Fri May 06, 2011 9:41 am

Help me understand this waxy flesh finish that JesseLee and Al were describing earlier in this thread:

With this method, the boots are designed to have the un-finished grain-side against the foot and the finished/stuffed flesh side out?

--------------------------------
Also;
what finish was used on the soles in the pictures above?

Gotta love those pegs... He He. Image

Thx,
-Nat

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#139 Post by kemosabi » Fri May 06, 2011 1:16 pm

I should have done my homework!
A bit more research produced the answer to question 1, but question 2 still stands.

Regards,
-Nat

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#140 Post by kemosabi » Tue May 24, 2011 12:01 pm

A few links to interesting boots from 1860's and '70s that I ran across while researching styles of this time period.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=230583790

http://www.mainememory.net/bin/Detail?ln=10358

Maybe there's no way to tell just based on pictures, but are boots like these often faked and passed off like the real thing?

The second link has an interesting story; (notice a hole in the toe of the left boot).

Cheers,
-Nat

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#141 Post by das » Wed May 25, 2011 3:52 am

Nat,

The two boots shown appear to be genuine antiques, but 1860s? With Civil War accoutrements, yes, absolutely, there're fakes and old repros often being passed-off as antique--mostly at gun shows, not reputable auction houses, so be careful.

Thing I see most frequently is, 1870s-90s boots being offered as "Civil War" for high dollar. A 1870-90 boot is important in its own right, but folks think they'll fetch more if it's "Civil War". On the other hand, a friend just nabbed an unworn pair of fine 1850s wellingtons off Etsey, listed as "1969 Hippie Boots" for $50, so good things still do happen.

The lucky part is, antique Civil War boots do not fetch high enough prices (yet) for unscrupulous modern bootmakers to be making fabulous fakes at a profit. That said, some old worn-out reenactor footwear occasionally does get offered to museums and collectors as the real deal, but there is no "industry" making fakes that I know of.

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#142 Post by kemosabi » Wed May 25, 2011 9:26 am

Ha!! (Hippie boots). Image
Thanks. I got a kick out of that one.
Most of the hippie-types I've ever known would prefer to go barefoot... or moccasins maybe.

--------------------------------------------
One of the pictures showed what looks like peg holes going across the sole, lateral to medial, at the fore-end of the shank. Most of the boots I've seen so far only have pegs at the sole perimeter. Did I see this correctly, and if so, was this a common practice?

Thx,
-Nat

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#143 Post by dw » Wed May 25, 2011 10:27 am

Nat,

re: peg holes...might be where a "clump" sole was attached.

Tight Stitches
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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#144 Post by kemosabi » Wed May 25, 2011 11:50 am

OHHH... I understand now. -Nat

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#145 Post by kemosabi » Wed May 25, 2011 12:06 pm

Does anyone have any pictures of boot lasts from the 1860's or '70s, similar to what the above boots would have been made on?

I'm curious to know what the shape differences are between these vintage designs and modern production lasts. Is it mostly just about compromising last shape to accommodate production machinery, or are there different ideas about what fits right between now and then?

I'm guessing it's the former, not the latter.

tomo

Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#146 Post by tomo » Wed May 25, 2011 1:55 pm

Nat,
I think the Boots Al referred to as 'hippie' boots were also known as 'Campus boots' because they were very popular with university students at the time. Image
T.

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#147 Post by das » Wed May 25, 2011 3:06 pm

Well, the "hippie boots" my friend scored on Etsy were so designated/dated because they were stuffed-out with a 1969 newspaper; but they were nice, 1850s pegged boots, with whipped-stitched side-linings, and the stitches showed through like the first boot you linked to above.

Tom,

"Campus" was a marketing concept-boot by John A/ Frye Shoe Co. that rolled-out c.1973, after their square box-toed (AKA "snoot"] harness boots had been co-opted, image-wise, by hippies, rockers, and bikers. Frye needed wider appeal, and to the cleaner-cut kids in college at the dawn of the "Disco" era. "Campus" boots, with their platform soles, bump toes, and 2" chunky heels fit the bill--they were "nice", they whispered Gloria Gaynor, rather than screamed Jim Morrison (like the harness boots) Image

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#148 Post by jesselee » Wed May 25, 2011 3:26 pm

Nat

The finish on the soles is a preparation of dye I make and a special wax I make in the shop.

In the first url of the boots. These are late 1870's-1880's cavalry style. They look grain side out to me, also another post Civil War giveaway. You can tell because the arch is fastened with 'brass screw nails'. They are NOT govt. issue, but bespoke. Also, another giveaway is the heel height and square nail placement. The heel and sole finish is like what I use on mine which you asked about and was used from the 1850's to the early 1890's.
The second pair looks Civil War and may be as stated. The graft says 'yes'.
People try and pass off reinactment boots and 'brogans' as real period items, but the differences are like running shoes vs riding boots to one in the know. Ebay has listings oc 'Civil War' boots re. riding boots and German boots. Best to know your stuff when buying antique boots.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#149 Post by jesselee » Wed May 25, 2011 3:38 pm

Nat,

As to lasts, you nailed it in your paragraph. Modern lasts are made for lasting machines, NOT the foot. Civil War lasts are the ultimate in superiority of any era of last. The profile, sole contours, arch support can't be beat.

1850's and 1860's lasts are basically the same. British CW period lasts rule. You can tell if they were used by the shape of an unworn pair of boots or shoes and are almost squarish at the sides.

I can fit anyone in a 7 to 12 range with just those 6 sizes without any grinding or build-up, boots or shoes. That is the superior aspect of the lasts.

9 3/4 out of 10 reeinactment boots and brogans today are made from modern kasts with the toes squared. Don't get me started on reinactment sutler row footwear!!!!

Oversized modern lasts can be cut down to CW shape, if you have the profile and contour patterns and measurements. measuring was different then, much superior to now. 1870's-1880's lasts are to an extent 'similar' to modern cowboy boot lasts, but with square toes and a pronounced 'hump' at the instep and slightly rounded heel.

You seem to be on fire about this stuff... Looking for an internship?

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Civil War Shoemaking

#150 Post by kemosabi » Wed May 25, 2011 3:58 pm

Good to hear from you Jesse. I was wondering if you would pop up soon.
I think I'll leave the antique boot buying to the experts. Besides, I barely have enough money to buy materials to build new ones, let alone buy expensive old ones! Still; It's neat to see these old critters and maybe learn a thing or two.
I didn't want to get excited about something that was obviously fake to the trained eye, so I appreciate everyone's input on this.

As far as the campus boots go; Since the time I was a kid, I had an aversion to square toe boots. Most of what I saw were these "campus" boots and I couldn't help but think they were the ugliest boots I've ever seen. (apologies to those who like 'em or maybe still have a closet full from the old days!). When I started learning bootmaking, the last thing I expected was to start liking square toes, but once I discovered the civil war styles (In my opinion some of the best looking), I was hooked.

Haven't made a round toe for awhile now.

-Nat

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