Through the Mists of Time...

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Tex Robin

Through the Mists of Time...

#1 Post by Tex Robin » Sun Oct 27, 2002 12:47 pm

DW,
I have cropped my photos several times but have not been very succcessful at making them go where I want them to. Here is another attempt of doing that.

This is a photo of a boot that was made in Sterling City, Tx in 1926. Bootmaker unknown, however they were made for a customer's Father named Sam Radde. Note: They have a pattern on the tops that is still used today. The "Peyote"

After croping the photo and sending it to my documents, I could not get it to post. I will do it the only way I know how and will beg your indulgence in cleaning up after me..TR
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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#2 Post by dw » Sun Oct 27, 2002 4:56 pm

Tex,

I took the liberty of moving this photo of yours into a brand new topic. And although I may or may not have already posted these (they'd be on the archive CD, if I did) I thought to celebrate this new topic, I'd post this series of photos which kind of continues and elucidates the recent discussion we had about half and full wellingtons.

The first photo is of a full wellington, dated roughly 1830. It was found in a Pennsylvania barn. It has a low heel, a clump sole, and a graft midway up the leg.

The second photo is of a full wellington made sometime during the Civil War. It is purported to be made to military specs, if not a US Army issue. I'm not an historian so I won't vouch for the provenance of any of these photos but I believe they are close and at least chronologically in sequence.
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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#3 Post by dw » Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:09 pm

Tex,

The third photo is of a full wellington dated roughly 1870...post Civil War in any case. It was a dress boot and originally had a red graft on the top.

The fourth boot is roughly 1880 and was represented to me as a early drover's boot. It is made of "waxed calf" or a waxed flesh cowhide. If you look closely you can see where the mid lining was whipped in (by hand) along the sides of the foot. None of these boot were lined completely. Most just had a lining of cloth at the top of the leg.

BTW, the boot in the second photo (the "military" boot) above, was also of "waxed calf" and a very good grade of waxed calf, too--purely veg tanned and about 8 ounce. That boot had no graft and is the only one in this collection that didn't. Grafting was very common because laying out the pattern for a full cut usually puts the top of a tall boot, at any rate, down in the flanky or belly leather.
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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#4 Post by dw » Sun Oct 27, 2002 5:19 pm

Tex,

The fifth photo is a sure enough cowboy boot from around the 1890's. It has a simple ornamental stitch on top and a 2" heel. The graft is much lower on this pair. And the toe is a wide round, kind of squarish. Curiously, it also has a piece of metal nailed to the side of the heel to prevent the boot from running off to the inside. It was a brown cowhide almost certainly pure veg.

The sixth boot was supposedly made for William S. Hart in about 1919. It is a dress wellington as you can see...and looks a lot like what we call a cowboy boot today. Yet, if you look over the photos as a whole...in sequence...you can clearly see the evolution. The Hart boot is the only one that is fully lined and the only one of the later boots with a straight sided heel--the others, even the boot in the fifth photo, had a "cuban" heel.
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Mick Nesseim

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#5 Post by Mick Nesseim » Sun Oct 27, 2002 9:34 pm

DW,
Great examples of the full wellington with and with out the graft. Are these your boots or what collection are they in? The 1860 model is possibly a private purchase boot. The military issue was shorter and the front didn't have much of a rise. Thanks for posting them.
Mick

carlcorbeau

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#6 Post by carlcorbeau » Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:30 am

I should add that the tops (uppers) on my Dads 1/2 wellingtons where very soft and not free standing

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#7 Post by dw » Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:23 am

Mick,

These come from a somewhat larger collection of Dave Viers. I was fortunate enough to know him when he was still making boots and he lent me the boots for a presentation I gave.

As for the 1860's boot, I know this is your specialty. I'm more than willing defer to your expertise in the matter especially since my memory isn't that exact on what Dave told me. I have notes on all of them but the notes are over at the shop and I didn't have access to them when I posted the pics. However, I have used this series of photos in a number of articles I've written and speeches I've made and I'm pretty sure of the "reputed" provenance of each. Again...Dave could have been wrong, I could be remembering what he told me wrong or I could have written it down right but mis-remembered it yesterday.

But you must have some similar items in your own collection...why don't you post a few of those? That way you won't be such a stranger...Image

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carlcorbeau

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#8 Post by carlcorbeau » Mon Oct 28, 2002 9:32 am

How tough is it to make this one piece front?

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#9 Post by dw » Mon Oct 28, 2002 12:34 pm

Carl,

[chuckle] Well, it depends on your standards of esthetics. Most people can get a pair together. But most people will opt for soft garmenty leather rather than something with integrity and temper. The originals were, remember, 8-10 ounce vegetable tanned leather. Most people will be able to get a pair together but encounter all kinds of problems with backward lean and the heel stiffener being too far away from the back of the last; or leaning too far forward and the foot of the boot sliding down the cone of the last, and the boots literally falling on and off the foot. Then there's sideseams slanting to the toe and excess leather over the cone and...etc....

Now, to get a glimpse into what you are going to encounter, you can do two things: first, go to "Open Forum" > "Techniques, Crans and Suppositions" > "The Art and the Mysterie: A Photo Essay" and look at the procedures I used to crimp up several pair.

Next take a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" paper and fold it lengthwise. This represents the front of the boot. Now to get the sprung "vamp," bend the folded paper into an "L" shape....!!!!

I think that the full wellington is the hardest boot to make correctly and a real test of a bootmakers understanding of patterns and lasting and leather...and...everything. Luchesse obviously thought the same, even though he used a soft leather his own personal boots were full wellingtons.

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carlcorbeau

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#10 Post by carlcorbeau » Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:24 pm

I got to stop hanging out with you guys,or I risk trying to make a boot.

now let me see
....more equipment....
....back to the flat,dumb part of the learning curve
....more time
....money

Hmmmm......maybe

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#11 Post by dw » Mon Oct 28, 2002 4:54 pm

Carl,

It'll dern sure put hair on your chest...might even make your whiskers grow long and curly Image

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tmattimore

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#12 Post by tmattimore » Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:58 pm

Carl ditto to DW's comments I will add a rememberence of when I was first learning to crimp with a 7 oz. veg tan. After 2 hrs of struggling the upper tore at one of the clamps clean up into the instep. Well I lost it and proceeded to pound upper and crimping board into something resembeling anchovy paste. Many years later I still marvel at the skill of the early boot makers. Blanche Evans Hazard in her book mentions a piece worker in Mass. in the 1840's who crimped some 18,000 pair of fronts a year an astounding feat before machines.
Tmattimore

carlcorbeau

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#13 Post by carlcorbeau » Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:12 am

I am only guessing, but would it be safe to say that footwear might be the most complex and demanding of human apparel?

After all, even a small foreign object in a shoe will cause great discomfort.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#14 Post by gaid » Fri Dec 13, 2002 4:02 pm

Here is a very nice Wellington boot
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It is made by Amesbury & Co, London a coupple of years ago.

They also have an interesting web page
http://www.amesbury.co.uk/bespoke/en/index.html

Joe Wilson

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#15 Post by Joe Wilson » Sun Jun 22, 2003 2:45 pm

C:\Documents and Settings\Joseph Wilson\My Documents
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ocuments and SettingsJoseph WilsonMy Documents2a5">2a5

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#16 Post by Joe Wilson » Mon Jun 23, 2003 7:10 pm

These patterns have an April 28,1868 by Sprengle of Ashland, OH . What exactly are they used for? DW said Wellington patterns but I'm not sure how each part is used. Thanks.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#17 Post by ken_irvin » Tue Jun 24, 2003 10:02 am

Joe,

Upper left, and lower right are for shoes, center piece is for the back half of a one piece boot, laid flat. Far right is for the front of the boot, before crimping. Far left is for after you hace taken the front off the crimping board, lay flat on the folded leather and trim down to the adjustable size needed. Hope that helps. I am not an accomplished boot maker, but I have some interest in the mechanical boot patterns. Do you want to get rid of them?

Ken Irvin

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#18 Post by dw » Tue Jun 24, 2003 11:00 am

Joe, Ken,

I don't think I saw the upper left in the set of photos that I got in private email. Now the lower right makes sense. I kind of thought (grasping for straws) that the lower right was a piece that either attached to the far right for adjustment purposes or had come off another set. I think you have everything right on the money, Ken.

BTW, and off topic (but not really) this discussion area is generally for test posts--so folks can work out the formatting and sizing before posting to the main discussion area. I have no objection to posts being made here or discussions taking place here, but be aware that these posts get deleted regularly...not archived--*deleted*.

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pablo

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#19 Post by pablo » Tue Jun 24, 2003 12:36 pm

Joe,
Sprengle may have reproduced( or modified) the Elias Shopbell patterns for cutting boots and shoes. Shopbell patents date from 1863 and both lived in Ashland OH. Later patterns by Shopbell(called improvements)reflect a bustling trade and competence reminiscent of a Knights armourer.Sprengle has not been located in the patent record.
Pablo

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#20 Post by dmcharg » Tue Jun 24, 2003 10:14 pm

Impressive! I've never seen anything like that. Getting in my comment before deletion Image

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#21 Post by ken_irvin » Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:07 pm

DW,

I know this topic should be moved, and you are the one to do it, I don't know how or where. I do remember that I had posted a reply to Nancy someone about this topic in 2001. (I checked when I wrote the reply). I have cut and pasted that reply. The thing about the lower right pattern, which is the vamp of the shoe/brogan is that the user would add the tongue himself, wether pieced or clicked from the same piece of leather. The benefit was the time saved with standard lasts, and a clicking pattern. You'll see that Shopbell was actually the guy who had two patents, as Pablo stated, and from my reply in 2001. I have photo copies of those patents and numerous other shoe and boot related patents. I also have a patent that looks identical to the crimping screws that Dick Anderson makes, from about the same time period. Just neat stuff. Here is the reprint.

* Joseph Rider “ Boot Patterns” 6-12-1845
Front and rear seam boots.

* S.C. Shive “Boot Pattern” 8-14-1847
Traditional Wellington boot blocker patterns, front and rear.

* W.W. Meriam “ Patterns for Cutting Out the Uppers of Boots and Shoe’s” 11-10-1857 Traditional Wellington boots, and looks like women’s shoe patterns. Front and rear blocking patterns for boots, front crimped trimming pattern for the shoes.

* Forrist & Wheeler “ Improvement in Boot Patterns “ 9-24-1861
Three separate pieces, front and rear blocker, front trimmer, for after the leather is crimped.

* Elias Shopbell Shopbell had two patents, both on the same day.

1) “Improvement in Patterns for Cutting Shoes and Gaiters”. 1-27-1863
Vamp and quarter, looks as though the brogans quarter would be rear seamed, not layed out flat as in Peterkins article on CW brogans. But a side view from patent drawings.

2) “ Improvement in Patterns for Cutting Boots”. 1-27-1863
Just the front for a traditional Wellington boot.

* Alvah D. Drew “ Improved Pattern for Cutting Boots.” 5-9-1865
This looks nothing like any of the other patterns previously mentioned. Very strange.

I have looked only during the years prior and through the American Civil War years, and these are the U.S. patents copied from the federal government microfilm files. I have yet to turn up patent info on a L. Jeff Sprengile, in this time frame. I have tried under shoe, boot patterns, templates, and numerous other ideas, but to no avail. These are the adjustable patterns that I have found prior to the war, but there is also a ton of other “shoe and boot findings” in the patent office records.

Well thats what I followed up with to Nancy's question in 2001. Again not an expert just that I have access and a little bit of time on my hands to look up stuff like this.

Ken

Joe Wilson

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#22 Post by Joe Wilson » Wed Jun 25, 2003 7:31 pm

Pablo
Went back and looked at the patterns more closely. The three big ones all are marked Sprengle and are dated. The pattern in upper left is just marked Sprengle, Ashland,OH The one in the lower rightis marked Shopbell.Ashland, OH Thanks for your help. Joe

pablo

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#23 Post by pablo » Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:08 pm

Mr. Saguto,
Have got to call you on this one.

1.10,000 years of "rich" history for shoemaking(but not for bootmaking?..is closer to 500 years).
2.That bootmaking( riding boots in England for instance) is the sole possession of the makers there and does not belong to Cow boy boot makers.
That seeems to be the inference.
3.Cow Boy boots are quirky novelty.

Prove it.

pablo

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#24 Post by marc » Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:21 pm

Pablo,
Just two bits. First is that the "rich" footwear history is almost nonexistant from about 10,000 BCE to about 3000 BCE, then just spotty for the next 4000 years. That does leave a thousand years of farily rich history Image

Second, Al may be referring to Bootmakers in its British sense, which doesn't always mean makers of boots in the American sense.

(that third one, though, he's on his own Image )

Marc

pablo

Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#25 Post by pablo » Wed Oct 29, 2003 4:13 pm

Mr. Carlson,
1. Welts .. a thousand years old?
2. Pegged shanks w/arch support ... 1000 years?
3. Heel over 1 1/2 and stacked .. 1000 years?
4. Sided boot .. 1000 years?
Just four bits. Care to respond?
pablo

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