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´╗┐Title: How to Make a Shoe
Author: Headley, John Parker
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How to Make a Shoe" ***

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produced from images generously made available by The
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      Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1882, by
                        Jno. P. Headley, Jr.,
   in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

  Shoemakers are known both far and wide,
  As men who always cut up _side_--
  Horse sometimes, also cow leather,
  To meet the changes in the weather.
  Sheep and goats are often slain;
  Both unite to make it plain
  That sheep is used for lining nice,
  When goat alone would not suffice;
  Just so with calf as well as kid.
    Some use these linen-lined,
  And think it quite the best, for those
    Who feel themselves refined.
  Refined or not, we think it true
    Our feet need some protection;
  To do whate'er they have to do,
    We make our own selection.
  Select at all times the best we can,
    Both of shoemakers as well as shoes,
  This is much the better plan,
    And learns us how to choose.


The Author of the book in hand, having passed through the various scenes
through which he would accompany his readers, was prompted to make this
offering to the craft and the public in order to relieve his mind of the
thoughts had upon the subject of making shoes, as well as to contribute
something of a literary character which, in the broad range of
possibilities, may become useful as a text-book, or family-book, for
those who may feel interested in making or wearing shoes, and perhaps
lead to something better. Realizing the imperfections and shortcomings
of the human family, to some extent at least, no claim beyond that which
you are disposed to put upon it is held, so that any communication will
be gladly received and noted. This opportunity is also taken to express
thanks for some valuable suggestions from the U. S. Bureau of Education,
and others, concerning the publication of this little volume, and in its
present shape you are invited to read and make the best use of it you



  The subject, seated on a chair,
    One knee the other to rest,
  Has his measure taken fair,
    The foot at ease is best.
  The Artist views the foot,
    And straightway takes the length,
  By measuring it from heel to toe,
    His _size_ brings content.
  From twelve to eighteen inches long--
    This _stick_ has many _sizes_;
  Three to the inch is now our song,
    Subject to compromises.
  Some feet have long toes behind--
    In the language of the _craft_;
  These are not so hard to find,
    And oft to us been waft.
  Our Artist here will best succeed,
    If a little head he can measure,
  For out of that comes very much
    To make the feet a treasure.


  Next, around the heel a strap we bring,
    To the centre of the curve,
  A leather or linen _strap_ is used,
    And don't affect the nerve.

  The marks on this an inch represents,
    Also fractions of inch preserved;
  When made complete it then presents
    An appearance well deserved.

  Around the heel, I've already said,
    But that is not quite so;
  For around in part and through instead
    Will make it more the go.

  Now let us here make up our minds,
    If this trade we would study,
  That the _craft_ is subject to many fines
    If the subject gets very _muddy_.


  With strap in hand the _instep_ measure--
    Be sure you get it right;
  For at this place some have a treasure,
    Which prompts them oft to fight.

  A little _lump_ we will it now call,
    Not knowing the exact name of it;
  Nor let our _strap_ the least bit fall,
    But measure just above it.

  When we've done this, and done quite well,
    Another move will follow,
  Which takes us nearly on the _ball_,
    And brings us from the _hollow_.


  From the _hollow_ now we've just come out,
    With strap in hand to take
  The measure neat, near on the _ball_,
    So that our _fits_ won't shake.

  If they should shake the remedy comes,
    A false sole we do make,
  To please our subjects at their homes
    The _soles_ we there do take.

  Onward now the way we press,
    And move along just so,
  Until we reach the part well known
    To be the toe, the toe.


  This is the place of which folks do talk,
    If there is any pressure,
  Because they cannot easy walk,
    The _shoey_ missed the measure.

  Just below the _ball_, across the toes,
    Is where we next are found;
  For there is nothing worn like _shoes_
    When used upon the ground.

  From here we feel like soaring higher,
    And soon get at the ankle,
  Which must be fit to suit the buyer,
    Thus avoiding any wrangle.


  The _ankle_ reached, we then with care
    Measure neat and true;
  If anything is noticed there,
    'Twill surely be the shoe.

  That notice is just what we want,
    From that we get our living;
  And if we make a miss on that,
    It might be past forgiving.

  From toe to ankle we have come,
    With an uncertain height,
  And with the measures we've put down
    Will now add that right.


  To have the height right is our aim;
    Some like shoes high, some low;
  But to have them fit is all the same,
    And this we try to show.

  Some in one way, some in another,
    These measures have been taken,
  Until we have them all together,
    We should not try to shapen.

  To work now by our measure marked
    Will be our constant aim;
  A pattern must be cut--
    To start with that is plain.

  But plainer still the shoe will be
    From the pattern we shall cut,
  Because we think you'll all agree
    What's opened should be shut.


  Before our eyes the _patterns_ come,
    The shapes are clearly seen,
  A _vamp_ and _quarter_, with a _tongue_,
    Worked just in between.

  A stiffening of _sole_ has found its way,
    And asks that it be shown,
  In order, at some future day,
    Its use might be made known.

  The parts, you see, stand thus alone,
    But have a close relation;
  Because these parts must all be shown
    To keep their proper station.

  One part not seen, in shape the same,
    Is _cut_ and called the _lining_,
  Upon which each _quarter_ must be placed--
    We'll not stop here defining--


  But show in this cut, if you please,
    The lining a little larger,
  With the _quarter_ pasted on it smooth,
    If not there'll come a charger.

  The _vamp_, also, has been changed,
    Only one-half appears,
  The cause of which can be explained
    In less time than number years.

  When we the lower corners take,
    And match them well in fact,
  The _centre_ we at once do make,
    Which guides the following act--


  The act of uniting _quarter_ and _vamp_,
    With _paste_ or _cement_ for sewing,
  Is done with care, as in this cut,
    The fitness of things is showing.

  The centre mark on the vamp we'll use,
    To get the quarters placed best,
  By putting the vamp upon the two,
    One-half inch above to rest.

  One _end_ is reached, but not the last;
    This _end_ from _flax_ or cotton
  Is made by some men very fast,
    If the _flax_ is not too rotten.


  The work which we have now passed through
    Could all be done by standing,
  Having a _board_ to cut upon,
    And _one_ the _paste_ commanding.

  But now we wish the scene to change,
    And begin the _ending_ act;
  Which comes first to him who would arrange
    The _threads_, indeed, intact.

  We roll the _thread_ upon our _knee_,
    To untwist and break with ease,
  And place the _cords_, one, two, and three,
    So that the points are formed, if you please.


  By having the _points_ one below the other,
    The _thread_ kept free from a knot,
  We will avoid whate'er there is to bother,
    While the past may be forgot.

  We will let that be just as it may,
    If wrong we'll try and mend it;
  For surely there will come a day
    When after _awl_ we'll send it.


  With the _thread_ arranged, as we've described,
    Twisting is quite in order;
  The figure now shows us a how
    To _twist_ it hard and harder.

  When one side is twisted hard enough,
    We simply take the other,
  And do the same thing over again,
    So that the threads are worked together.

  Before the ends are entirely free,
    One thing around us lingers,
  We take the thread, three or two in one,
    Around our left-hand fingers.


  A large round awl is just the thing,
    To do what we call _milling_;
  Two or three trips are sure to bring
    From fingers to foot the filling.

  Now our thread is very smooth,
    But we try to make it smoother,
  By using a piece of cloth to rub,
    When done, free all together.

  Something now is sought that _sticks_,
    Commonly known as _wax_;
  And often one gets in a fix
    When he finds it with the _tacks_.


  But _wax_, not _tacks_, is what we want,
    To make our _thread_ quite nice;
  We catch it in the middle,
    And to the end wax thrice.

  Each time _waxing_ briskly,
    Not stopping on the way,
  For if we do we'll miss it,
    And perhaps will have to stay.

  Our _wax_ should be in season,
    Soft wax in winter use--
  Hard _wax_ in summer--reason,
    Holding together our _shoes_.


  A fine point now we're about to make;
    This part should be _waxed_ better,
  So that the _bristle_ we may take,
    Shall stick like the stamp of a letter.

  We'll stop here about the thread,
    To take a little whistle,
  Until we find a pair to suit,
    Then begin to _bristle_.


  The _bristles_ with care have been selected,
    In keeping with the thread,
  In this case we feel protected,
    Because the _hog_ is dead.

  From Russia, we are told, the best bristles come,
    But cannot tell you why,
  The _hairs_ upon our _hogs_ at home
    Are not so good to buy.


  The union of thread and bristle, now,
    Will keep us to our text,
  For from this you'll no doubt see
    What is coming next.

  The _bristle_ is _split_ a little o'er half way,
    In the left hand has its place,
  Between the finger and thumb to play
    An important part in the race.

  One-half over the forefinger you see,
    Held in place by the next,
  The _thread_ and _bristle_ both agree
    To be thus placed is best.

  Do not _split_ but roll it on,
    Some have said and done,
  By _waxing_ the _bristle_ where the other is split,
    And continued from sun to sun.


  Now either way to start will do,
    As much depends on _twisting_,
  The _hairy_ part is left for you
    To make sort of _whisting_.

  Back to the scene from whence we came,
    With our _end_ in place to hasten,
  Make a _hole_ quite through the thread,
    The _point_ pass through and fasten.


  So much about the bristle said,
    No doubt you'll think it strange
  That needles are not used instead--
    Some have tried the change.

  They may be used with good effect,
    In sewing through and through;
  But when we use a _crooked awl_,
    The _bristle_ stands by true.


  One more remark about the _end_
    We thus have kept in view,
  To find the middle is the thing
    Now left for us to do.

  Not very hard, but easy quite;
    In the left hand even joints--
  The right hand holding the other end,
    This fills up all the points.


  Another change in things takes place,
    This time the clamps appear;
  Between the _knees_ they run their race,
    And hold the _upper_ dear.

  The _vamp_ and _quarters_ as they were pasted,
    Are seen now in their place;
  The vamp extending above the clamps,
    With the _quarters_ easy to trace.

  Begin to _sew_ at extreme end;
    Put left-hand _bristle_ first in;
  Across the _vamp_ our _sewing_ extend,
    Two _rows_ that may be seen.


  This nicely done, just change a little;
    The position is clearly seen
  When we have this _quarter_ stitched near the back,
    Say half inch in between,
  Pull through one thread and tie it tight,
    On the inside to be left;
  Begin to _sew_ the other quarter,
    Close at the _vamp_ is right.


  Sew to the _back_, and then begin
    Another row up the front;
  Sew to the _top_, 'twill be no sin,
    But the doing of what is wont.

  These rows, half an inch apart,
    Will serve the present state,
  Because now we have a splendid start,
    And getting on first rate.

  Then down the _front_ on the other side,
    To the _vamp_ be sure to go;
  Never allow your work to slide,
    But take it out just so.


  The _front_ is sewed, the back is not,
    But it will be very soon;
  This must never be forgot,
    As it takes up part the room.

  The _out-sides_ together at the back are seen,
    As we are about to sew
  A little _strip_, put in between,
    To make it stronger grow.

  Down to the bottom we'll sew the way,
    Until it is complete;
  Then _trim_ the _seam_, and rub it well
    With a _bone_ found on the _seat_.


  You will observe the _back_ is changed,
    The _linings_ are together;
  This can be quite well arranged
    By _whipping_ down this _leather_.

  Either whipping over and over, or through and through,
    Just as the case may be;
  Neither way is very new
    As we may clearly see.

  But we should do it, and _rub_ down _flat_,
    For now the time has come
  When we have had enough of that,
    And our _upper_ is near done.


  The _upper_ has now its right side out,
    "Right-side out with care;"
  A little stitching at the top of the back
    Will make it look quite fair.
  We stopped stitching, you remember well,
    Before we reached the back,
  When on the _quarters_ we did dwell,
    And left a vacant _track_.


  That track now is filled up well,
    Yet we do hold it fast,
  Knowing that a time will come
    To put it on the _last_.

  Before that time is reached, however,
    The _eyelets_, bear in mind,
  Should each be put in proper place,
    So that the _holes_ we find
  Will let the _strings_ pass easily through,
    When _punched_ and _set_ in straight;
  We have now the _upper_ for our _shoe_,
    Do try and make the _mate_.


  This _upper_ completed by the past,
    Has made it much a treasure,
  For we must also have a _last_,
    And fit it up to measure.

  Since we have kept our seat so long,
    A change may rest our back;
  So at the _bench_ we'll take our stand,
    Close by our friend, the _jack_.

  The Bailey jack is the name of this
    One, screwed down upon the _post_;
  For general use it will not miss,
    But serve our end the most.


  _Lasts_ are made of many woods,
    Of ash, of oak, and maple;
  Well seasoned is this stock of goods,
    Some kinds are very staple.
  Some are made with _iron plates_,
    To _clinch_ the screw or nail,
  But when we would a peg shoe make,
    To use these plates would fail.
  Made, also, for men and boys,
    Women and girls, for each
  Has on this _art_ a special claim,
    Their feet to train and teach.
  To dwell here longer would not do,
    The last we want's in the hand;
  We'll measure the same as we did the foot,
    And thus our _trade_ command.
  The length, you know, is measured first;
    Two _sizes_ added on
  Will make the toe so comfortable,
    We should like to sing a song.


  The heel we reach in perfect order,
    And leave the measure neat;
  Some shoes are made which look much broader
    When put upon the feet.


  The _instep_ now we see again,
    And measure as before,
  One-half inch off will answer us,
    No less, and not much more.
  For if we do we are apt to find
    The place where shoes do pinch;
  Across the _ball_ we're now inclined,
    Still measuring by the inch.


  This is at times a tender spot:
    Bunions develop there;
  And when they do 'tis not forgot,
    We may be e'er so fair.
  One-quarter _size_ we leave off here,
    As on our way we go,
  Travelling on, without a fear,
    Until we reach the toe.


  Another quarter we would say,
    At this point we may drop,
  For we are now quite far away
    From the ankle and the top.

  But further yet, we are bound to go,
    The _bottom_ must be reached,
  Where _soles_ are made and often _saved_,
    'Though the _saver_ be _impeached_.

  The _last_ we put upon a _side_
    Of white or red sole leather,
  And mark with knife, or pencil wide,
    The parts of _sole_ together.

  The parts are known, each one defined,
    _Inner_ and _outer sole_;
  A _middle_ one, when we are kind,
    _Lifts_ and _shank piece_ make the whole.


  The _inner_ sole on the _last_ is put,
    The _pegs_ just where you see
  Keep the sole where it belongs,
    In order to agree.

  The edge is bevelled from heel to heel;
    The mark across the breast
  Shows us when and where we may
    Take a little rest.


  The _upper_ straight upon the _last_,
    With the _seams_ appearing right,
  The stiffening smooth just at the back,
    Will draw upon our sight.

  This should be done when we begin
    To draw the upper over,
  So that the _last_ in all its parts
    Shall have a proper cover.


  Draw steady, until we have it close
    At the heel and at the toe;
  If these parts should be too loose
    It would nearly spoil the shoe.

  Draw steady, or you'll make a crack,
    Which will there remain;
  Perhaps may cause us to go back,
    And do it over again.


  The _upper_, in the way described,
    Drawn gently at the toe,
  We hold it down with our left thumb,
    While a _peg_ we try make go.

  On either side of the toe now work,
    And in the same way fasten
  The _upper_ down upon the _sole_;
    To the heel we now must hasten.


  Let the upper at the _seam_
    Have now a secure tack;
  The stiffening, all straight in between
    The _lining_ and the _back_.
  Be sure you get the lining smooth,
    The part inside the shoe;
  If it is not, you may sometime
    Have a thing to make you blue.


  Now put the shoe upon the _bench_,
    In the way shown in the cut;
  And with a _string_ and _button_
    Use care to close the front.

  We no doubt now do see the thing
    Taking on a shape,
  Which, in the end, will surely bring
    Us clear out of the scrape.


  The shoe is now placed on the _jack_;
    A _hole_, for the _pin_ in the _last_,
  Serves to keep the same intact,
    While the _toe piece_ holds it fast.

  Now at the _breast_, draw over outside,
    Close upon the _sole_;
  Take your time, for something's gained,
    While filling up the hole.

  The awl, you see, should not be large;
    In _lasting_ use small _pegs_;
  Just drive them through the _inner sole_,
    No danger of your legs.


  We will now note the difference:
    The inside _shank_ is longer;
  If we would last it very smooth,
    We must pull all the stronger.
  The thumbs at this are very clever,
    When their part is nicely played,
  Serving as a splendid lever,
    While working in the shade.


  We are now at the _inside ball_--
    Be careful not to scratch it;
  When in position we are found
    We are more apt to catch it.

  When this we've caught, and feel safe to leave
    For the other side,
  We'll find the heel where the toe has been,
    By this we must abide.


  Everything quite in its place,
    The future for us yet;
  Let's _last_ the _upper_ all around,
    'Till at the _toe_ we get.

  Still using _awl_ in _pincer_ hand,
    Alternating endly,
  For at this _post_ we've taken stand
    To grow up very friendly.


  The toe has _crimps_, some in the heel;
    The first is more important,
  Because the toe is always seen;
    If rough becomes discordant.

  These _crimps_ are made from left to right,
    And right to left we go;
  Then _scallop_ them, when to be _pegged_,
    Not so when it we sew.


  The _shank piece_ in, the bottom filled,
    With _crimps_ cut as was said,
  Already for the _middle sole_,
    Which forms an even bed,
  On which we lay the _outer sole_;
    The thing we look for next,
  Is moulded near the upper close,
    And comes quite near our text.


  The _middle sole_ will make us have
    A better understanding,
  And help protect our feet from frost,
    While we the trade commanding.

  A _strap_ is used around the _foot_,
    The _shoe_ upon the _knee_;
  To mould the _sole_, as we have said,
    These parts should all agree.


  When moulded good, edge full from last,
    Trim the sole prepared;
  Then make a line for pegs to go,
    For in this we have shared.

  We to our old friend _jack_ make haste,
    With our _awl_ and _hammer_ bright;
  Begin to _peg_ on the line we've marked--
    Six to the inch is right.


  Two rows around, just in between,
    Each other they are put;
  Use them long enough to go clear through,
    But save them from the foot.

  The awl-hand picks up the pegs,
    The hammer-hand now takes,
  Between forefinger and the thumb,
    And for the hole it makes.

  By repeating this we soon shall have
    Our work ready for a _lift_;
  But first, smooth pegs and trim _heel-seat_,
    Or we'll move along too swift.


  The first _lift_ on, we'll leave it full,
    Making the centre level;
  With our knife in hand, not very dull,
    We are prepared to bevel.

  In this way the heel is built,
    One _lift_ upon the other;
  Pegging each will add no guilt,
    But save our subject bother.

  Piece by piece, until we stop
    At the proper height;
  A solid piece used for the top
    Will make it finish right.


  Nails are driven, both _iron_ and _steel_,
    Around the top, in mind,
  And on the _outside_ some prefer
    A few more nails to find.

  Hammer solid both _heel_ and _sole_
    Level as it can be;
  Whittle the _heel_ down to a size
    Close to the nails you'll see.


  The heel-shave is a tool so good,
    To smooth the heel up nice;
  For when around it you have gone,
    Its work will here suffice.

  Cut down the _breast_, make it _square_,
    Sand-paper it, if you please;
  Then change position very fair,
    And done with perfect ease.


  Take out the _welt_ with a _knife_ to suit,
    Do not cut the upper;
  This same thing is done to the boot,
    And neither has to suffer.

  These tools are bought in stores,
    Known to the _craft_ as "finding;"
  Some are here from foreign shores,
    Which serve us a binding.


  A small _knife_ take, and _trim_ the edge
    From the heel, around the toe,
  Down to the heel on the other side--
    Our shoe begins to show.

  The _bottom buffed_, all but the top,
    Sand-paper all, now, we think;
  Just mark a place across the _shank_
    To be blackened well with the ink.


  The bottom in this shape has come,
    And looks as if we've parted;
  But that's not so, as we well know
    We are nearer than when we started.

  The ink when burnished with _hot kit_--
    A little _heel ball_ is the thing
  To use, so that it will be fit
    To put upon a king.


  Our jack and company seen again,
    The last time for the present;
  To part, perhaps, will give us pain;
    Perhaps be very pleasant.

  A burnisher for the heel, behold!
    Use briskly when we finish,
  For this tale is nearly told,
    Its parts seem to diminish.

  Many parts have made the whole,
    Some parts are much effected;
  But when the parts are whole in one,
    They do become respected.


  The end is reached, we trust all safe,
    After quite a travel;
  Though the road was rough from place to place,
    The thread did not unravel.

                           J. P. H., Jr.

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