By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Manual of Shoemaking and Leather and Rubber Products
Author: Dooley, William H. (William Henry)
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 "A Manual of Shoemaking and Leather and Rubber Products" ***

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)


[Illustration: An Old-Fashioned Shoemaker. _Frontispiece._]

                                A MANUAL
                           LEATHER AND RUBBER

                            WILLIAM H. DOOLEY


                       LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY

                           _Copyright, 1912_,
                     BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

                         _All rights reserved._

                       Published, September, 1912.


The author was asked in 1908 by the Lynn Commission on Industrial
Education to make an investigation of European shoe schools and to assist
the Commission in preparing a course of study for the proposed shoe
school in the city of Lynn. A close investigation showed that there were
several textbooks on shoemaking published in Europe, but that no general
textbook on shoemaking had been issued in this country adapted to meet
the needs of industrial, trade, and commercial schools or those who have
just entered the rubber, shoe, and leather trades. This book is written
to meet this need. Others may find it of interest.

The author is under obligations to the following persons and firms for
information and assistance in preparing the book, and for permission
to reproduce photographs and information from their publications: Mr.
J. H. Finn, Mr. Frank L. West, Head of Shoemaking Department, Tuskegee,
Ala., Mr. Louis Fleming, Mr. F. Garrison, President of _Shoe and Leather
Gazette_, Mr. Arthur L. Evans, _The Shoeman_, Mr. Charles F. Cahill,
United Shoe Machinery Company, Hood Rubber Company, Bliss Shoe Company,
American Hide and Leather Company, Regal Shoe Company, the publishers of
_Hide and Leather_, _American Shoemaking_, _Shoe Repairing_, _Boot and
Shoe Recorder_, _The Weekly Bulletin_, and the New York Leather Belting

In addition, the author desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to the
great body of foreign literature on the different subjects from which
information has been obtained.



    PREFACE                                                v


       I. FUNDAMENTAL SHOE TERMS                           1

      II. HIDES AND THEIR TREATMENT                        4

     III. PROCESSES OF TANNING                            21

      IV. THE ANATOMY OF THE FOOT                         77

       V. HOW SHOE STYLES ARE MADE                        93

      VI. DEPARTMENTS OF A SHOE FACTORY                  103

     VII. MCKAY AND TURNED SHOES                         144


      IX. LEATHER AND SHOEMAKING TERMS                   177

       X. LEATHER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURE                   218


     XII. HISTORY OF FOOTWEAR                            250

          INDEX                                          281


    An Old-fashioned Shoemaker                 _Frontispiece_

                                                 FACING PAGE

    Names of the Different Parts of Foot Wear              2

    Green-salted Calfskin                                 12

    Tanning Process                                       24

    Tanning Process, showing Rotating Drums               28

    Sole Leather Offal                                    34

    Bones and Joints of the Human Foot                    78

    The Different Parts of the Foot and Ankle             78

    A Last in Three Stages of Manufacture                 98

    A Modern Shoe Factory                                104

    A Skin Divided before Cutting                        112

    Cutting Leather                                      116

    Goodyear Stitching                                   116

    Stock Fitting Room                                   120

    Lasting                                              124

    Welting                                              124

    Rough Rounding                                       128

    Edge Trimming                                        128

    Leveling                                             132

    Heeling                                              132

    Sole Scouring                                        136

    Heel Shaping                                         136

    Ironing                                              140

    Packing                                              140

    Cross Sections of Welt Shoe and McKay Sewed Shoe     144

    Stitching                                            148

    Tacking                                              148

    Cross Section of Standard Screwed Shoe               160

    Side of Leather divided as to Quality                168

    Cross Section of McKay Sewed Shoe                    200

    Cross Section of Goodyear Welt Shoe                  200

    Crude Rubber                                         228

    Washing and Drying                                   232

    Calender Room                                        234

    Cutting Room                                         236

    Putting together the Parts of a Rubber Shoe          240

    Heel-making Department                               242

    Parts of a Rubber Boot                               248

    Insole for Hand-sewed Shoe                           264

    Hand-sewed Shoe                                      264

    Stitching Room of a German Shoe Factory              276




Before explaining the manufacture of shoes, it is necessary to fix
definitely in our minds the names of their different parts. Examine your
shoes and note the parts that are here described.

The bottom of the shoe is called the sole. The part above the sole is
called the upper. The top of the shoe is that part measured by the lacing
which covers the ankle and the instep. The vamp is that section which
covers the sides of the foot and the toes. The shank is that part of
the sole of the shoe between the heel and the ball. This name is often
applied to a piece of metal or other substance in that part of the sole,
intended to give support to the arch of the foot. The throat of the vamp
is that part which curves around the lower edge of the top, where the
lacing starts.

Backstay is a term used to denote a strip of leather covering and
strengthening the back seam of the shoe. Quarter is a term used mostly in
low shoes to denote the rear part of the upper when a full vamp is not
used. Button fly is the portion of the upper containing the buttonholes
of a button shoe. Tip is the toe piece of a shoe, stitched to the vamp
and outside of it. The lace stay is a term used to denote a strip of
leather reënforcing the eyelet holes. Tongue denotes a narrow strip of
leather used on all lace shoes to protect the instep from the lacing and

[Illustration: Names of the Different Parts of Foot Wear. _Page 2._]

Foxing is the name applied to leather of the upper that extends from the
sole to the laces in front, and to about the height of the counter in the
back, being the length of the upper. It may be in one or more pieces, and
is often cut down to the shank in circular form. If in two pieces, that
part covering the counter is called a heel fox. Overlay is a term applied
to leather attached to the upper part of the vamp of a slipper. The
breast of the heel is the inner part of the heel, that is, the section
nearest the shank.



If we examine our shoes, we will find that the different parts are
composed of material called leather. The bottom of the shoe is of hard
leather, while the part above the sole is of a softer, more pliable
leather. This leather is nothing more than the hides of different animals
treated in such a way as to remove the fat and the hair.

After the hides have been taken from the dead body of the animal, they
are quite heavily salted to preserve them from spoiling. In this salted
condition they are shipped to the tanneries.

The process or series of processes by which the hides and skins of
animals are converted into leather is called tanning. The process may be
divided into three groups of subprocesses as follows:--

Beamhouse process, which removes the hair from the hides and prepares
them for the actual process of the tanning or conversion into leather;
tanning, which converts the raw hide into leather; and finishing, which
involves a number of operations, the objects of which are to give the
leather the color that may be desired and also to make it of uniform
thickness, and impart to it the softness and the finish that is required
for a particular purpose.

Hides are divided roughly in the tannery, according to the size, into
three general classes:--

(1) Hides, skins from fully grown animals, as cows, oxen, horses,
buffaloes, walrus, etc. These are thick, heavy leather, used for shoe
soles, large machinery belting, trunks, etc., where stiffness, strength,
and wearing qualities are desired. The untanned hides weigh from
twenty-five to sixty pounds.

(2) Kips, skins of the undersized animals of the above group, weighing
between fifteen and twenty-five pounds.

(3) Skins from small animals, such as calves, sheep, goats, dogs, etc.
This last group gives a light, but strong and pliable leather, which may
be used for a great many purposes, such as men’s shoes and the heavier
grades of women’s shoes.

The hides, kips, and skins are divided into various grades, according to
their weight, size, condition, and quality.

The quality of the hides not only depends upon the kind of animal, but
also upon its fodder and mode of living. The hides of wild cattle yield a
more compact and stronger leather than those of our domesticated beasts.
Among these latter the stall-fed have better hides than the meadow-fed,
or grazing cattle. The thickness of the hide varies considerably on
different animals and on the parts of the body, the thickest part of the
bull being near the head and the middle of the back, while at the belly
the hide is thinnest. These differences are less conspicuous in sheep,
goats, and calves. As regards sheep, it would appear that their skin is
generally thinnest where their wool is longest.

In the raw, untanned state, and with the hair still on, the hides are
termed “green” or “fresh.” Fresh, or green hides are supplied to the
tanners by the packers or the butchers, or are imported, either dry or

Hides are obtained either from the regular packing houses or from farmers
who kill their own stock, and do not skin the animal as scientifically as
the regular packing houses, in which case they are called country hides.
There are different grades of hides and leather, and these different
grades are divided in the commercial world into the five following


    Native Steers
    Native Cows, heavy
    Native Cows, light
    Branded Cows
    Colorado Steers
    Texas Steers, heavy
    Texas Steers, light
    Texas Steers, ex-light
    Native Bulls
    Branded Bulls


    Ohio Buffs
    Ohio Ex.


(Raised on plain. Rough side suitable for soles.)

    Buenos Ayres


(Green salted)

    Chicago City



Hides obtained from steers raised on Western farms are known as native
steer hides.

Native cowhide (heavy) is hide weighing from fifty-five to sixty-five
pounds, obtained from cows.

Native cowhide (light) is cowhide weighing under fifty-five pounds.

Branded cowhide is hide obtained from cows that are branded on the face
of the hide.

Butts is a term applied to the part of the hide remaining after cutting
off the head, shoulders, and strip of the belly.

Colorado steer hide is from Colorado steers, which are very light.

Texas steer hide comes in three grades, heavy, light, and extra light.
The heavy grade is very heavy because the animal is allowed to graze on
the plains. That is the reason why it is heavier than the Colorado steer
hide, which is raised on the farm.

Bull hide is divided into two classes, the regular hide and the branded
grade. The branded grade usually is one cent a pound less than the

Country hides are of three grades, Ohio Buffs, Ohio Ex., and Southern.
The Ohio Buffs weigh from forty to sixty pounds. The Ohio Ex. weighs from
twenty to forty pounds. Southern hides have spots without hair and other
blemishes on them, due to the sting of insects. This makes the Southern
hide inferior to the Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Chicago hides that have
no such blemishes. Ohio Butt hides are the best, because in Ohio they
kill a great many young calves, while in Chicago young cows (that have
calved) are killed, causing the hide to be flanky.

The season of the year in which cattle are slaughtered has considerable
influence upon both the weight and condition of the hide. During the
winter months, by reason of the hair being longer and thicker, the hide
is heavier, ranging from seventy-five to eighty pounds, and gradually
decreasing in weight as the season becomes warmer and the coat is shed,
until in June and July it weighs from seventy down to fifty-five pounds,
the hair then being thin and short. The best hides of the year are
October hides, and short-haired hides are better for leather purposes
than long-haired ones.

A thick hide which is to be used for upper leather is cut into sides
before the tanning process is completed. This is performed by passing
it between rollers where it comes in contact with a sharp knife-edge,
which splits it into two or more sheets. Great care must be exercised in
cutting the leather in order to have good “splits” (sheets of leather). A
split from a heavy hide is not as good as a whole of a lighter leather.

Butts and backs are selected from the stoutest and heaviest oxhides. The
butt is formed by cutting off the head, the shoulder, and the strip of
the belly. The butt or back of oxhide forms the stoutest and heaviest
leather, such as is used for soles of boots, harness, etc.

[Illustration: Green-Salted Calfskin. _Page 12._]

Hides and skins are received at the tannery in one of three conditions,
viz. green-salted, dry, or dry-salted. Very few hides are received by
tanners in fresh or unsalted condition, salt being necessary to preserve
them from decay. Green-salted hides are those that have been salted in
fresh condition, tied up in bundles, and shipped to the tanner. Dry
hides are those that were taken from the carcass and dried without being
salted; these are usually stiff and hard. Dry-salted hides are hides that
were heavily salted while they were fresh, and then dried. The hides
and skins that are received from the slaughterhouses of this country
are almost invariably green-salted; those from foreign countries are
green-salted, dry, and dry-salted.

It does not matter in what condition the hides are received or the kind
of leather into which they are to be tanned; they all require soaking in
water before any attempt is made to remove the hair or to tan them. The
object of the soaking process, as it is called, is to thoroughly soften
the hides and to remove from them all salt, dirt, blood, etc. Ordinary
hides are usually soaked from twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Dry hides
require much longer. The water should be changed once or twice during the
process, since dirty water may injure the hides. Soft water is better
than hard for this process. Where the water is hard, it is customary for
the tanner to add a quantity of borax to it to increase its cleansing
power and to hasten the softening of the hides.

When dry hides have become soft enough to bend without cracking, they are
put into a machine and beaten and rolled, then soaked again until they
are soft and pliable. It is very important that all the salt and dirt are
removed during the process of soaking, as they injure the quality of the
leather if they are not removed before the hides are unhaired. When the
soaking process is completed, the lumps of fat and flesh that may have
been left on by the butcher are removed by hand or by a machine, and the
hides are then in condition to be passed along into the next process. The
parts that cannot be made into leather, such as tails, teats, etc., are
trimmed off before the hides are soaked. Large hides are cut into two
pieces or halves, called “sides,” after they have been soaked.

For the purpose of taking the hair from the hides and skins, lime,
sulphide of sodium, and red arsenic are used. Lime is sometimes used
alone, but usually one of the other two chemicals is mixed with it. The
lime is dissolved in hot water, a quantity of either sulphide of sodium
or red arsenic is added to it, and the solution is then mixed with water
in a vat, the hides being immersed in this liquor until the hair can be
easily removed. The action of the unhairing liquor is to swell the hides,
then to dissolve the perishable animal portion and loosen the hair so
that it can be rubbed or pulled off.

There are several different processes of unhairing the hides. Each tanner
uses the process that will help to give the leather the qualities that it
should have, such as softness and pliability for shoe and glove leather,
or firmness and solidity for sole and belting leather. This is one of the
most important in the series of tannery processes, and if the hides are
not unhaired properly and not prepared for tanning as they should be, the
leather will not be right when it is tanned and finished.

There is also a process of unhairing, called “sweating,” which softens
the hide and loosens the hair so that it can be scraped off. In this
process the hides begin to decay before the hair is loose; it is
therefore a dangerous process to use and must be carefully watched or the
hides will be entirely spoiled. Sweating is never used for the finer,
softer kinds of leather. It is applied chiefly to dry hides for sole,
lace, and belt leather. It is an old-fashioned process and is not used as
much nowadays as some years ago.

The pelts of sheep are salted at the slaughterhouses and then shipped to
the tannery. Here they are thrown into water and left to soak twenty-four
hours to loosen the dirt and dissolve the salt. The pelts are next
passed through machines that clean the wool, and any particles of flesh
remaining on the inner or flesh side are removed. The pelts are then in
condition to have the wool removed. As long as a sheepskin has the wool
upon it, it is called a pelt; as soon as the wool has been taken off, it
is called a skin or a “slat.”

Each pelt is spread out smoothly on a table with the wool down and the
inner or flesh side up. A mixture of lime and sulphide of sodium is
next applied uniformly over the skin with a brush. The pelt is then
folded up and placed in a pile with others. The solution that was
applied penetrates the skin and loosens the wool, which, at the end
of twenty-four hours, more or less, can be easily pulled off with the
hands or rubbed off with a dull instrument or stick. The workman must be
careful not to get any of the solution on to the wool, as it dissolves it
and makes it worthless. Since the wool is valuable, the solution must be
applied to the flesh side very carefully so that it does no injury. The
wool that is removed from the skins is called “pulled wool.”

The slat is now ready to be limed, washed, pickled, and tanned. Heavy
skins are often split into two sheets after they have been limed. The
part from the wool side is called a skiver, and that from the flesh side
is called a flesher.

After the skins have been limed, they are bated and washed, which makes
them soft, clean, and white; they are then put into a solution of salt,
sulphuric acid, and water, called “pickle,” and after a few hours they
are taken out, drained, and tanned.

Large quantities of sheepskins are sold to tanners in the pickled
condition by those who make a business of preparing such skins and
selling the wool. Pickled skins can be kept an indefinite length of time
without spoiling; they can also be dried and worked out into a cheap
white leather without any further tanning whatever. Most of such skins,
however, are sold to tanners, who tan them into leather. Sheepskins
contain considerable grease, which must be removed before the leather can
be sold.

For some processes of tanning, calfskins, goatskins, and cattle hides are
also pickled the same as sheepskins; for other processes they are not
pickled, but are thoroughly bated or delimed, washed, and cleansed. Heavy
hides are sometimes split out of the lime; more frequently, however, they
are not split until after they have been tanned.

To capitulate, the preparatory processes may be briefly described as

Soaking, which dissolves the salt, removes the dirt and makes the hides
soft and comparatively clean.

Liming and unhairing, which swell the hides and dissolve the perishable
animal portion, loosen the hair, and put the hides into proper condition
for tanning. Hides tanned without liming, even if the hair is removed by
some chemical, do not make pliable leather, but are stiff and hard.

Bating, which removes the lime from the hides.

Pickling, which helps in the tanning later, and keeps the hides and
skins from spoiling if they are not tanned at once.

The lumps of fat and flesh that may be on the hides are removed by
machinery or by placing the hide over a beam and scraping it with a
knife. The hair, when it is loosened by the lime, is removed by a machine
or by hand.



The various processes of tanning may be roughly divided into two
classes, vegetable chemical and mineral chemical. The first class is
often spoken of in tanneries simply as the “vegetable” while the second
is called “chemical” process. In the vegetable processes the tanning
is accomplished by tannin, which is found in various barks and woods
of trees and leaves of plants. In the so-called chemical processes the
tanning is done with mineral salts and acids which produce an entirely
different kind of leather from that procured by vegetable tanning.

There is also a method of tanning, or, more properly speaking, tawing, in
which alum and salt are used. This process makes white leather that is
used for many purposes; it is also colored and used in the manufacture
of fine gloves. Leather is also made by tanning skins with oil. Chamois
skins are made in this way.

The materials that are used to tan hides and skins act upon the hide
fibers in such a way that the hides are rendered proof against decay
and become pliable and strong. There are many vegetable tans; they are
used for sole leather, upper leather, and colored leather for numerous
purposes. The bark of hemlock trees is one of the principal tans. The
woods and barks of oak, chestnut, and quebracho trees are often used.
Palmetto roots yield a good tan. Large quantities of leather are treated
with gambier and various other tanning materials that come from foreign
countries. Sumac leaves, which are imported from Sicily, contain tannin
that makes soft leather suitable for hat sweatbands, suspender trimmings,
etc. Sumac is also obtained from the State of Virginia, but the foreign
leaves contain more tannin and make better leather than the American.

To a large extent the so-called chemical processes have supplanted the
vegetable processes, that is, old tan bark and sumac processes; but in
some tanneries both methods are used on different kinds of skins.

In the old bark process the tan bark is ground coarse and is then treated
in leaches with hot water until the tanning quality is drawn out. The
liquor so obtained is used at various strengths as needed.

In the newer method the tan liquor is displaced by a solution of
potassium bichromate, which produces its results with much less
expenditure of time.

When the hides or skins are ready for the tanning process, they are put
into a revolving drum, known as a “pinwheel,” or into a pit in which
are revolving paddles, with a dilute solution of potassium dichromate
or sodium dichromate, acidified with hydrochloric or sulphuric acid.
If the pinwheel is employed, it is revolved for seven hours or longer;
after which time the liquor is drawn off and replaced by an acidified
solution of sodium thiosulphate or bisulphite, and then the revolution
is continued several hours longer. If the pit is used, the skins are
removed to another drum containing the second solution, and kept at rest
or overturned for a like period.

In removing the skins from the pinwheel or vat, and in handling them
after treatment with lime for the loosening of the hair, the hands and
arms of the workmen are seriously injured, becoming raw if not protected
by rubber gloves; even with gloves it is difficult to prevent injury, and
in some establishments the workmen are relieved by the substitution of a
single-bath process, in which the liquor is less harmful to the skin.

[Illustration: Tanning Process

Showing the vats, the unhairing and liming processes. _Page 24._]

The hides are then removed from the pits, washed and brushed, followed
by slow drying in the air. When partly dried, they are placed in a pile
and covered until heating is induced. They are then dampened and rolled
with brass rollers to give the leather solidity. Sole leather is oiled
but little. Weight is increased by adding glucose and salt.

Various rapid processes of tanning have been devised in which the hides
are suspended in strong liquors or are tanned in large revolving drums.
It is claimed that this hastens the process, but the product has been
criticized as lacking substance or being brittle.

Chrome tannage has been chiefly developed in this country during the
last twenty years and is now in general use. It consists in throwing an
insoluble chromium hydroxide or oxide on the fibers of a skin which has
been impregnated with a soluble chromium salt--potassium bichromate.
Other salts like basic chromium chloride, chromium chromate, and chromic
alum are also used. The hydrochloric or sulphuric acid acts by setting
free chromic acid.

After several hours, the skin shows a uniform yellow when cut through its
thickest part. It is then drained and the skin worked in a solution of
sodium bisulphite and mineral acid (to free sulphur dioxide). The chromic
acid is absorbed by the fiber and later reduced by sulphur dioxide.

In the making of chrome black leather each tanner has his own method.
Contrary to the general belief, there are many different methods of
chrome tannage. No two tanneries employ just the same process.

Tanners of chrome leather seek to produce leather suitable for the
particular demands made upon it by the peculiarities or characteristics
of the varying seasons. Summer shoes require a cool, light leather;
at other times a heavier tannage is essential, with some call for a
practically waterproof product.

All leathers, whether vegetable-or chrome-tanned, must be “fat liquored.”
That is to say, a certain amount of fatty material must be put into the
skin in order that it may be mellow, workable, and serviceable. This is
very essential in producing calf leather. Fat liquors usually contain oil
and soap, which have been boiled in water and made into a thin liquor.
The leather is put into a drum with the hot fat liquor; the drum is set
in motion, and as it revolves the leather tumbles about in the drum and
absorbs the oil and soap from the water. It is the fat liquor that makes
the leather soft and strong.

Leather used in shoes is divided into two classes: sole leather and upper

Sole leather is a heavy, solid, stiff leather and may be bent without
cracking. It is the foundation of the shoe, and therefore should be of
the best material. The hides of bulls and oxen yield the best leather for
this purpose.

The hide that is tanned for sole leather is soaked for several days in a
weak solution (which is gradually made stronger) of oak or hemlock tan
made from the bark. Oak-tanned hide is preferred and may be known by its
light color. A chemical change takes place in the fiber of the hide. This
is a high-grade tannage, and is distinguished principally by its fine
fibers and close, compact texture.

Oak sole leather, by reason of its tough character, and its close,
fibrous texture, resists water and will wear well down before cracking.
It is by many considered better than other leather for flexible-sole
shoes, requiring waterproof qualities.

Sole leather is divided into three classes according to the tanning--oak,
hemlock, and union.

[Illustration: Tanning Process

Showing the rotating drums. _See page 24._]

Oak tanning is as follows: the hides are hung in pits containing weak
or nearly spent liquors from a previous tanning, and agitated so as to
take up tannin evenly. Strong liquor would harden the surface so as to
prevent thorough penetration into the interior of the hides. After ten
or twelve days, the hides are taken out and laid away in fresh tan and
stronger liquor. This process is repeated as often as necessary for eight
to ten months. At the end of this time the hide has absorbed all of the
tannin which it will take up.

Hemlock tanning is similar to the oak tanning in process. The hemlock
tan is a red shade. Hemlock produces a very hard and inflexible leather.
It is modified by use of bleaching materials which are applied to the
leather after being tanned. It is sold in sides without being trimmed,
while the oak is sold in backs, with belly and head trimmed off.

Hemlock leather is used extensively and almost principally for men’s
and boys’ stiff-soled, heavy shoes, where no flexibility is required
or expected. Its principal desirable quality is its resistance to
trituration, or being ground to a powder, and its use in men’s and boys’
pegged, nailed, or standard screw shoes is not in any way objectionable
to the wearer. In fact, for this class of shoes, it is probably the best
leather that can be used. But when hemlock is used in men’s and boys’
Goodyear welt shoes, where a flexible bottom is expected and required,
it generally does not give good results. It cannot satisfactorily resist
the constant flexing to which it is subjected, and after the sole is worn
half through, the constant bending causes it to crack crosswise. On this
account it becomes like a sieve, and has no power of resistance in water,
and therefore it is not at all suited to flexible-bottomed shoes.

In “union-tanned” hides, both oak and hemlock are used and the result is
a compromise in both color and quality. This tan was first used about
fifty years ago. Twenty-five years ago the union leather tanners began to
experiment with bleaching materials to avoid the use of oak bark, which
was becoming scarce and high priced, and eventually developed a system of
tanning union leather with hemlock or kindred tanning agents, excluding
oak. The red color and the hard texture were modified by bleaching the
leather to the desired color and texture. This produces leather which
has not the fine, close tannage of genuine oak leather and at the same
time lacks the compact, hard character of hemlock leather. Union leather
produced in this manner is a sort of mongrel or hybrid leather, being
neither oak nor hemlock. On account of its economy in cutting qualities,
however, it is largely used in the manufacture of medium-priced shoes
where a certain degree of flexibility is required in the sole. This is
particularly true of women’s shoes.

Union leather is sold largely in backs and trimmed the same as oak,
though not so closely.

Sole leather is also made nowadays by tanning the hides by the chrome or
chemical process. This leather is very durable and pliable and is used
on athletic and sporting shoes. It has a light green color and is much
lighter in weight than the oak or hemlock leather.

Many kinds of hide are used for sole leather. This country does not
produce nearly enough hides for the demand, and great quantities are
imported from abroad, although most of the imported hides come from South
America. Imported hides are divided into two general classes, dry hides
and green-salted hides.

Dry hides are of two kinds, the dry “flint,” which are dried carefully
after being taken from the animal and cured without salt. These generally
make good leather, although if sunburnt, the leather is not strong.
“Dry-salted hides” are salted and cured to a dry state. Dry hides of both
kinds are used for hemlock leather only, although all hemlock leather is
not made from dry hides.

Green-salted hides are used in making oak-tanned leather as well as
hemlock, and those used by United States tanners come largely from
domestic points; but there is a variable amount imported each year from
abroad, principally from Europe and South America. Green-salted hides are
of two general classes, those branded and those free of brands.

Cow and steer hides of the branded type are used by tanners of oak and
union leather. Those not branded are used more largely for belting and
upholstering leathers, a small part finding their way into hemlock

Sole leather remnants, strictly speaking, include such a wide variety
of items that it is difficult to cover them all. Few people, however,
realize the big range of usefulness of this class of stock. While not
exactly a by-product, remnants are often classed as such. Under the
class of sole leather remnants are included sole leather offal, such
as heads, bellies, shoulders, shanks, shins, men’s heeling, men’s half
heeling, men’s and women’s three-and four-piece heeling, etc. Stock that
cannot be used in the shoe business goes into the chemical and fertilizer
trade, among other outlets. By a special acid process of burning this
stock, ammonia is derived from it, which goes into fertilizer; and
another by-product is sulphuric acid for the chemical trade. The amount
of ammonia obtained is small, being about seven per cent of ammonia to a
ton of sole leather scrap. This is mixed with fertilizer and sold mostly
in the Southern States, and to a small extent in the West, there being a
law in many of the Western States against the use of fertilizer made from
leather products, on account of its low grade.

[Illustration: Sole Leather Offal

Showing bellies, shoulders, etc. _Page 35._]

In the disposition of offal, heads are used for taps, top lifts, and
under lifts. Shoulders are used for outsoles and inner soles, while
bellies are used for medium to heavy taps and counters. Lightweight
bellies and shanks are utilized for making box toes and counters.

Shanks are also used for taps and under lifts. This stock is solid and
substantial and well suited for these purposes. The bellies, being
flexible, are the best part of the hide obtainable for inner soles.

In cutting out soles, the manufacturer accumulates a considerable
quantity of solid or center pieces, which are used for small top lifts,
also for “Cuban” tops, thereby using up the bulk of the small heavy scrap
that ordinarily would be sold for pieced heeling. There is also a demand
for similar stock from the hardware trade, where it is used for making
mallet and tool handles, also for wagon and carriage washers. Large
quantities of men’s and women’s heeling and half heeling go to England,
where it is cut up by heel manufacturers into lifts and sectional lifts
for the English trade; there being a shortage of this class of offal

The shoe manufacturer, after cutting his soles and taps, is obliged to
skive them to get the particular iron he needs. This leaves what is known
as a “flesh sole shape,” also a “tap shape.” These skivings are pasted
together by another class of trade and again used for inner soling and
taps in the cheaper grades of shoes. Smaller skivings, or waste, after
sorting out the sole and tap shapes, are sold to the leather board trade.
This eventually comes back to the shoe trade in the shape of leather
board and is cut into heel lifts. The waste after cutting heel lifts is
again resold to the leather board trade and makes another round trip to
the shoe manufacturer. This illustration, as well as many others in the
leather remnant business, demonstrates the scientific principle that
nothing is ever entirely lost. In regard to pieced heel lifts, these are
made in either two, three, or four sections. This refers to what are
known as sectional heel lifts. Scrap leather is also used for shanking
for the European trade.

Soles and taps, known as rejects, that is, those thrown out by the
high-grade trade, are sold to manufacturers of cheaper lines. A shoe
manufacturer cutting his own soles and buying sole leather in sides,
after sorting out the soles suited to his own requirements, will sell
what he cannot use to remnant dealers, who in turn re-sell them to
shoe manufacturers requiring that particular class of stock. The scrap
leather, or remnant dealer, thus forms a useful link in the chain of
distribution, furnishing a market where shoe and leather manufacturers
may dispose of their surplus products to best advantage, and providing a
source of supply for buyers who wish any particular article to suit their
individual needs.

Upper or dressed leather is made from kips or large calfskins. It is
tanned and finished like all other forms of leather by variations of the
foregoing process. Thick hides are often split thin by machinery, and the
parts retained and finished separately. The parts of the leather from the
hair side are most valuable and are called “grain” leather; the inner
parts or “flesh splits” are made into a variety of different kinds of
leather by waxing, oiling, and polishing.

It is finished by scouring with brushes and then rubbed with a piece of
glass, which removes creases and wrinkles and stretches the leather. Then
it is stuffed with a mixture of oil, soap, and tallow, which is worked
into it by rolling. Various finishes are given to leather, such as seal
grain, buff, glove grain, oil grain, satin calf, russet, plain shoe, etc.

Upper leathers are blacked by rubbing with a mixture of lampblack and oil
or tallow, or with a solution of copperas and logwood.

No tanning process, no matter how good or thorough, can make firm,
serviceable, wear-resisting leather out of all portions of any hide,
because nature made some parts of every hide porous, spongy, and lacking
in fibrous strength.

Calfskins used by tanners are of several classes. American calfskins,
taken off in the United States and Canada, are usually sold green pelted.
Farmers raise only a small fraction of the calves born. Each cow must
produce a calf in order to insure a maximum flow of milk. Most of the
farmers keep cows to produce milk, hence they sell the young calves for
veal and use their skins for high-grade calf leather.

In European countries farmers fatten their calves before selling them in
order to get a higher price for the veal. The skin is not so valuable for
leather as the skin from younger calves, and it is used for lower-value

Calfskin is not split. A heavier weight skin might be. It is shaved to a
uniform thickness.

Calf leather is divided into the following classes, depending upon the
finish of the leather:--

Boarded calf (made in both chrome and bark tannage).

Wax calf, finished on the flesh side with a waxy, hard surface.

Box calf is a proprietary name. It is boarded--rubbed with a board to
raise the grain. It is known by minute, squarelike lines.

Mat calf is a dull-finished calfskin, used more in topping.

Suede calf is finished on flesh side. Most makes of suede calf are
chromed, although there are some vegetable.

Storm calf is a heavy skin, finished for winter wear. Considerable oil is
used in finishing.

French calf is finished on flesh side.

Dry hides are obtained from Buenos Ayres, where the cattle are raised on
the plains. This city exports a large quantity of hides, dry, salted,
and cured by smoking. The hides of cows generally yield inferior grain
leather; but South American cowhides may be worked for light sole leather.

Calves’ hides are thinner, but when well tanned, curried, and dressed,
they yield a very soft and supple leather for boots and shoes. They are
finished with wax and oil on the flesh side, and can also be finished on
the hair (grain of skin).

Calves’ skin (green salted).

Paris City calfskins. These are obtained in three grades--light, medium,
and heavy.

Light grades run from four to five, or seven to eight pounds; medium
grades run from seven to nine pounds; heavy grades run from nine to
twelve pounds.

Patent leather may be made from colt, calf, or kid skin. Coltskin is the
skin of young horses, or split skins of mature horses.

Patent colt and kid are used for the most part in the medium fine grades,
and patent side (cowhide) is used in the medium and cheaper grades.
Chrome tanned are used entirely in the manufacture of patent leather.

Patent leather, as it appears in shoes, may be described either as
varnished leather, coltskin, or kid, and sometimes the French use
calfskin. The process is largely a secret one, although there is no
longer any patent on the principle of the same. It is made by shaving
the skins on the flesh side or hair side to a uniform thickness. Then
it is de-greased to put the skin in condition to receive the finish and
protect the same from peeling off. Successive coats of liquid black
varnish are applied, the first coats being dried and rubbed down, so as
to work the liquid thoroughly into the fibers of the leather. The last
coat is applied with a brush, and baked to from one hundred and twenty to
one hundred and forty degrees Fahrenheit for thirty-six hours and then
allowed to dry in direct sunlight for from six to ten hours, which seems
to be essential to remove the sticky feeling. Various ingredients are
used in making the different varnishes, the first coating consisting of
naphtha, wood alcohol, amyl acetate, etc. The black varnishes consist of
linseed oil and various other mixtures, heated in iron kettles. The final
coating is a naphtha preparation resembling japanning material. The hide
is stretched on a frame during the varnishing operations.

It is almost impossible to tell the difference in quality of shiny
leather by appearance, although in general the leather on which the
grain shows through the varnish will prove more serviceable than that
on which the finish is so thick as to hide the grain. Great care must
be exercised in resewing patent leather shoes that have been exposed
during the cold weather, as the cold has a tendency to freeze the finish.
Patent leather, like all varnished coatings, is liable to crack. No one
can guarantee it not to do so. The kid patent leather is more elastic
and porous than other kinds. The serious objection to the use of patent
leather for a shoe is its air-tightness. This makes it both unhygienic
and uncomfortable. The kid patent leather is the only patent leather that
has not this objection.

Kid is a term applied to shoe leather made from the skins of mature
goats. The skin of the young goat or kid is made into the thin, flexible
leather used for kid gloves, which is too delicate for general use in
shoes. The goats from which come the supply of leather used in this
country for women’s and children’s fine shoes are not the common,
domesticated kind known in this country, but are wild goats or allied
species partially domesticated, and are found in the hill regions of
India, the mountains of Europe, portions of South America, etc.

There are about sixty-eight recognized kinds of goatskins that are
imported from all over the world. The Brazilian, Buenos Ayres, Andean,
Mexican, French, Russian, Indian, and Chinese are a few of the many kinds
that are known as such. Each particular species of goat hide possesses
its own peculiarities of texture. The thickness and grain differ
according to the environment in which the animal has been raised. It is
peculiar that those raised in cold climates do not have as thick skins
as those raised in warmer climates, for the long, thick hair apparently
takes the strength.

We may wonder where all the skins come from that are made up into glazed
kid, mat kid, and suede, at the rate of several thousand dozen every
day. The great proportion of the skins are _goatskins_. These are almost
all imported from abroad, where the animals are slaughtered and disposed
of much the same as we dispose of beef and veal here. Sheepskins and
carbarettas, the hides of animals that are a cross between sheep and
goats, are also used.

The finer grades of kid and goatskins which are tanned in large
quantities in New England, come from the Far East.

In China there are two great ports from which skins are shipped, Tientsin
and Shanghai. Back in the interior, starting from a point about twelve
hundred miles from the sea, collectors make their rounds twice a year.

The breeder of goats kills his flock just before the collector is due,
skins the animals on the hillside, preserves the meat for food, and with
the kidskins, which have been partly dried, wrapped in a bundle carried
upon the back, or upon a pack animal, the breeder makes his way to the
station. It may be that there are a half hundred breeders awaiting the
coming of the collector and he pays them the market price for the skins.

Whenever the collector has a sufficient supply to make it profitable
to ship, he bales the skins and then sends them over the thousand mile
journey along the river to the seaport. From Tientsin or Shanghai they
are taken by tramp steamers, which reach Eastern ports by way of the Suez
Canal, and on the trip the steamers make several ports, so that it is
from six to ten weeks before the skins reach America.

Another method of importing is to have the raw material shipped across
the Pacific and then transferred to a railroad, but the difference in
cost to the manufacturer is so great that it is unprofitable.

The China goatskins are rated as among the finest in the world and when
tanned they make the highest-grade shoe.

Then there are mocha skins, which come from Tripoli, Arabia, and Northern
Africa. In those places the method of collection is practically the same
as in China.

The two best-known grades are the Hodieda and the Benghazi. They derive
their designations from the exporting cities. Hodieda is located in the
southwestern part of Arabia on the Red Sea, while Benghazi is in Barca,
one of the provinces of Tripoli.

Other goatskins are produced in India and Russia, and millions of skins
are exported annually from Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta. These skins are
not brought direct to America, but are transshipped at Marseilles or

The jobbers in Europe or India occupy rather a unique position, for
according to their practice it is almost impossible for them to suffer
financial losses in dealing with an American tanner. The latter, when he
wishes to arrange for his year’s supply of raw material, negotiates with
an agent in Boston, with whom he signs a contract for so many skins. Then
it is necessary for the tanner to either purchase with money equal to
the face value or secure by loans letters of credit from Boston banking
houses which have European connections.

Before the skins are exported, the jobber has his money from the European
banking concerns and the bills of lading are forwarded to the Boston
bankers, who turn them over to the tanners, and, when the occasion
requires, obtain from the tanners what is known as a deed of trust.

All goatskins are tanned by the same chrome tanning process, whether
the finish is to be glazed or mat. The proportions of chemicals vary
according to the texture of the skin, and according to the grain.

The process of tanning is quicker than the tanning of heavier hides, and
all varieties of tannage are used, the chrome methods having come into
very general use. There are many kinds of finish given, such as glazed,
dull, mat, patent, etc. One quality that distinguishes goat leather,
the “kid” of shoemaking, is the fact that the fibers of the skin are
interlaced and interlocked in all directions. The finished skins as they
come from the tannery, by whatever process they may be put through, are
sorted for size and quality, a number of grades being made. Instead
of ripping straight through, like a piece of cloth, or splitting apart
in layers, as sheepskin will do when made into leather, the kid holds
together firmly in all directions.

Glazed kid is colored after it is tanned by submerging it in the color,
a very important process. The glossy surface is obtained by “striking”
or burnishing on the grain side. It is made in black and colors,
particularly tan, and is known by about as many names as there are
manufacturers of it.

Glazed kid is used in the uppers of shoes, making a fine, soft shoe that
is particularly comfortable in warm weather, and is said to prevent cold
feet in winter, owing to unrestricted circulation.

Mat kid is a soft, dull black kid, the softness being the result of
treatment with beeswax or olive oil. It is finished on the grain side the
same as glazed kid, and is used principally for shoe toppings. It is very
similar in appearance to mat calf and is often used in preference to it,
as it is of much lighter weight, and about as strong.

Suede kid is not tanned, but is subjected to a feeding process in an
egg solution, called “tawing,” to make it soft and pliable. The skin is
stretched and the color is applied by “brushing” (with a brush). The
color does not permeate the skin, but is merely on the surface. Suedes
are made from carbarettas and split sheepskins. Suedes are used very
extensively in making slippers, and come in a great variety of colors.

A castor kid is a Persian lambskin finished the same as a suede, and is
used in making very soft, fine-appearing leather--like glove leather. The
skin is of such a very light weight that it has to be “backed up” before
being made into shoes.

Fancy leathers are used extensively for toppings of shoes having patent
leather vamps. Facings are selected from fancy leathers to make the
inside of a shoe attractive and to increase its wearing quality.
Leathers of dull or glazed finish are used in typical shoe colors.

Miscellaneous kinds of kids are as follows:--

    _A._ Kangaroo
    _B._ Buckskin
    _C._ Sheepskin
    _D._ Chamois
    _E._ Cordovan
    _F._ Splits
      _a._ Seal Grain
      _b._ Buff
      _c._ Oil Grain
      _d._ Satin Calf
    _G._ Enamel
    _H._ Sides

Kangaroo is the skin of the animal of that name.

Buckskin is the skin of certain deer.

Sheepskin is the skin of the familiar domestic sheep.

Chamois is the skin of the animal of that name and by courtesy the
specially treated skins of certain domestic animals.

It is a simple matter to recognize a kid-skin among the various kinds of
upper leather, because of its very light weight and pliability.

During the winter, leather, in drying, is apt to become frozen,
especially where no well-equipped drying loft is provided. Such leather
becomes weak and limp if thawed out too rapidly. In freezing, the
water in the hides which have been hung up to dry is forced out and
stretches apart the hide fiber. The wetter the hides, therefore, the
more demoralized they will be by the frost. The treatment of rushing the
frozen leather into a warm room is inadvisable; the best method is to
allow the hides to hang as they were and to tightly close all openings
to the outside air. In case this is impossible, it is best to place the
leather in a heap, in a room where the temperature will not fall below
the freezing point, and to cover it with a cloth. In case the leather
rolls up, it should be moistened before the roll becomes greater than
is customary; it will thus become firmer throughout. Some upper leather
and especially sheepskins for lining purposes are aided by freezing,
since the leather becomes white and plump and also is of a bright color,
though the durability is somewhat lessened.

The popularity of white leather for shoes is increasing wonderfully.
There is good reason for this. The modern white shoes have a stylish and
fashionable appearance which has won the hearts of women of all ages and
conditions, and when they want a thing, there is always alertness in
supplying it. The new love for white shoes is interesting to trace. Years
ago white leather for shoes was made principally from deerskins. But
this leather, while attractive when new, would stretch soon after being
worn, and take on a yellowish tinge. Besides, the price of such shoes
was very high, and it is not surprising that they became supplanted by
the cheaper, but attractive and useful, white canvas shoes, which became
quick sellers during the season.

It is greatly to the credit of our tanners that they have been able to
perfect and put on the market a white leather for shoes which answers
all requirements satisfactorily. This leather is made from cowhides; the
white color will not fade nor turn yellow, and best of all, the leather
can be easily cleaned and made to look good as new. Another advantage is
that such leathers can be used in shoes that sell at popular prices.

There are many common, commercial grades of upper leather.

Willow calf is a fine, soft, chrome tannage of calfskin. It is sold in
three colors, light tan, ox blood, and olive-brown. The distinguishing
features of this leather are its durability and the fact that it always
keeps soft and pliable. It is adapted to the highest quality of men’s and
women’s shoes.

Box calf is a storm-calf leather of highest quality. It is a waterproof,
chrome tannage in a medium tan color, with a dull finish. This is the
best leather obtainable for rough, outdoor wear, walking shoes, hunting
boots, etc. It is also adapted to men’s and women’s very fine footwear.
There is a growing demand for this kind of shoe. In the uppers of the
best storm shoes you will always find box calf.

Royal kid is a black chrome calfskin, dull finished with a smooth,
natural grain of fine texture, soft and pliable. It is used for vamps
and whole shoes of the highest grades for men and women, and is a very
popular material for the fall and winter shoe. The desirable qualities
of fine calf leather are making the demand for it grow faster than the
supply of raw material increases.

Tan royal is a tan color, chrome calf leather, smooth finish, fine grain,
excellent cutting qualities, uniform, of medium rich tan shades. Tan calf
leather is very attractive and the tan shoe is now a staple product.

Cadet kid is a bright black, smooth-finished, chrome calfskin for men’s
and women’s fine shoes. This tannage and finish give a remarkable
cutting value. The stability of this stock is entirely unique and makes
the finished shoe stand up, keeping its much desired shape through the
different tests of manufacturing. It is said to be the best calfskin, by
the best judges, the shoe manufacturers.

Bronko patent is distinguished for its fine, coltskin-effect grain. It
has a rich and lustrous black patent finish. The results obtained from
bronko patent in its workings through the shoe factory and its wearing
qualities afterward have never been equaled. Bronko is one of the finest
results of the development of chrome patent leather.

Cadet kid side is a chrome side leather that closely imitates the
calfskin, called cadet kid. It has a bright, lustrous finish, and a
remarkably fine grain. It is surprisingly like fine calf leather in

Cadet calf sides are similar to cadet kid sides with the exception of a
boarded finish. This is another black chrome, side leather which comes
very near to a calfskin.

Mat royal chrome side is a special finish, closely resembling calf, used
for the tops of men’s and women’s medium fine shoes.

Black hawk patent is a well-tanned, well-finished patent leather for
medium-priced women’s shoes and for tipping.

Colored box chrome side, boarded, is a substitute for willow calf.

Black box chrome side, boarded, is a substitute for box calf in medium
fine shoes.

Kangaroo kid side is a back-tanned, dull, smooth, black leather nearly
like calf, used in the tops of men’s shoes, and men’s and women’s whole

Waterproof black is a high quality leather of great durability for men’s
and boys’ heavy shoes. Waterproof brown is similar to waterproof black,
except in color, and is a leather made for hard service.

Amhide black is a soft, dry, high-grade tannage for lightweight,
comfortable, sporting, work, and hard-wear shoes.

Amhide russet is like black amhide in everything but color.

Hercules storm chrome is a leather distinguished for its fine grain and
good appearance of medium heavy weight.

Boris is a heavy-weight, soft, waterproof leather for men’s medium
quality shoes. It is finished in three colors and black.

Zulu is a medium-priced leather, which makes a very fine wearing heavy
shoe. It is made in two colors and black.

Bison is a colored or black-finished leather, of a high grade, very
comfortable and durable.

Ottawa is of two colors and black finished, and is suitable for high
quality, heavy, rough shoes.

Sheboygan calf is a heavily stuffed, soft, waterproof leather. It is of
two colors and black.

Dongola calf is a black leather used for durable, medium-priced, heavy,
outdoor shoes.

Belt knife splits are sold in several tannages and finishes of the most
improved manufacture. These splits are sorted in all weights. Uniform
selection is maintained, and the quality in every way is of the highest

Oxford calf union splits is one of the highest grades of grain-finished,
union splits. It has an extremely soft and fine appearance.

Cambridge calf union splits have a most careful and high-grade finish,
but somewhat firmer than Oxford calf.

Flesh splits are sold in two tannages. These are the highest-grade flesh
splits that it is possible to make, and they are a long distance ahead of
the ordinary flesh splits, their improved finish making them a modern and
largely used substitute for satin.

Ottawa black and russet splits include a variety of printed splits, used
for shoes in combination with grain leather and for whole shoes. They
are selected in many weights.

Flexible splits for Goodyear, gem, McKay inner soles, is leather that
offers the greatest advantages to large and small buyers. It is the
product of six different tanneries, assorted in all the usual weights.
Great care is taken in the manufacture of these splits to adapt them
perfectly to the shoe manufacturer’s needs.

Flexible bends are used by manufacturers of Goodyear welt shoes requiring
a straight Goodyear or gem inner sole. They find these bends of great
advantage on account of the small amount of waste, the strength and
desirability of stock. They are made in six tannages.

Chrome flexible splits for inner soles furnish a very strong and durable
leather for inner soles, taps, and outer soles.

Ooze gusset splits, colored, give a very low-priced leather suitable
for gussets, bellows tongues for high-cut boots, also for the
quarter-linings of Oxfords.

Ooze vamp splits, black and colored, are strong, durable, low-priced
leathers suitable for cheap work shoes where waterproof qualities are not

Chrome-tanned embossed splits, colored, are made in a great variety of
patterns for cheap shoes and other work where leather is required. They
are durable and low priced.


A native steer about four years old, killed in the month of October,
affords the best example of a good hide for belting manufacture, that is,
for the transmission of power from pulley to pulley. At this age and at
this season the steer is in prime condition.

On account of the great and enormous strain put upon belting, and the
necessity for its running true upon the pulley, it should be of the
highest grade possible, combining great strength to prevent stretching,
and evenness of grain to insure long wear; therefore only hides of
selected steers are serviceable, and these in turn are rejected when they
contain any blemishes or cuts or other imperfections. After a hide is
accepted for belting purposes, it is subjected to a generous trimming,
the head, neck, legs, and belly being cut away, leaving only a small and
compact section embracing from two to two and a quarter feet on each side
of the backbone and extending about six feet along the same from the tail
forward. This is the portion of the hide where the fibers are closely and
firmly knit together, and where the vitality is the greatest, due to the
close proximity of the network of nerves radiating from each side of the
spine to all parts of the hide.

The hides of the bull and cow of every breed are inferior for belting
purposes to that of the steer. The hide of the bull is coarse and hard,
with the neck very heavy and full of wrinkles, causing a variation in
the thickness and run of the grain of the leather. The hide of the cow
is thin, does not run uniform in thickness, being heavier on the hips
than at the shoulder, and is lacking in the firmness necessary in good
belting. The sharp angles of the hip bones of a cow also tend to form
pockets in the hide.

After the hide has been trimmed, it is subject to the process of
“currying.” All membranes or particles of flesh adhering to the hide
are removed by a machine which shaves the membrane, etc., off, with
lightning rapidity. The leather is then washed and scoured by machine,
which removes all dirt still adhering to the hide. After the leather
is thoroughly cleaned and while in a damp state, it is placed upon the
table, and greases, composed of pure animal oil, are worked into the
leather on both the grain and the flesh side with brushes. This is
carried on in the cold state. It is then put into a large revolving
wheel containing water heated to a high degree, which causes the leather
to swell and pores to open. The leather is then taken out and put into
another wheel containing heavy mineral oil and heated several degrees
greater than the water, and tumbled about in the wheel until the heavy
oil fills the distended pores and fibers. After this, the leather is
allowed to dry.

The hides are allowed to remain for several months in the tan liquor
until the green hide is changed into leather.

After the hide has been changed into leather, it is stretched. To
properly stretch the leather for belting purposes, it must first be cut
so as to remove that part which shows the markings of the backbone of the

Leather is stretched by placing it in clamps, every part of the piece
getting the same pull. (The leather is put into the clamps while damp,
as damp leather will give the greatest amount of stretching.)

When the stretching process is completed and the leather has thoroughly
dried in stretching clamps, it is released. These pieces of leather
are quite dry, very firm, and not very pliable. The leather is now
moistened in order that it shall be more pliable as it passes through the
finishing processes. After the water has soaked into the leather (called
sammied), it becomes very soft. It is then subjected to a roller under
heavy pressure to take all the unevenness out of the hide. It is next
thoroughly dried, causing the fibers to shrink; then again moistened and
put through a polishing machine, which acts on the same principle as the
rolling jack.

The sides and centers are now put through a cutting machine, which
reduces the leather to strips of different sizes.

Belts are put together by cementing the parts. Belt cement is a most
powerful adhesive. It actually governs the strength of the belt, as the
belt is as strong as the weakest part of the joint.


Rawhide is used for a great many purposes. After the side of leather has
been trimmed of the portions that cannot be used, it is sold to the lace
maker. He measures the same in a machine.

The trimmings from the side of the hide may be used for a mallet head
or other tools made of leather. The most common products of the strong
section of rawhide strings are shoe strings, belting laces, and parts of
harnesses. It is also made into leather shoe strings that are used in the
logging camps.

When the hide is selected for the rawhide purposes, it is first passed to
a de-hairing machine, where all the hair is removed. It is then fleshed;
that is, all loose membrane and any flesh that may have adhered to the
hide are removed from the flesh side. The rawhide is then placed in a
special bath for the purpose of opening the pores, before the oils and
greases are added to it. After this bath, it is dried thoroughly in a hot
box and then put into wheels which mill the greases into the hide.

The hide, which is made hard by this drying process, is put through
breakers, where it is thoroughly worked into soft and pliable form.

The hide is next passed to the setting-out machine, which finishes all
forms of leather--by condensing and strengthening the fibers. Special
oils are applied to both the grain and flesh side of the hide. It is
finished by hand and cut into laces. This hand finishing is usually done
in order to reject all parts that are not perfect.

Haired leather is tanned by acid--a quicker method. The hide is split
into sides and tanned with the belly stock on them, which is used for
car straps, cowbell straps, trunk straps, and riding bridles.


There are a great many by-products in a leather belting factory, all of
which are used. The finest strips are used for whip lashes, small pieces
are used for the French heel, and the extremely small pieces are used in
leather mats.

The by-product from the belting bull, which is about fifty per cent, is
used for shoe leather and leather straps. There is considerable leather
taken from the belting bull for certain harness work. The belly is thick
and porous though not tough, and is used for halters, cow bridles, and
other parts of harness where the strain is not great.


Round belt is made from the best belting, but while the strain on round
belting is not severe, the leather must be soft and pliable. It is
selected from regular stock of native steer hide.


Leather that has been tanned is made up of a great many little bundles of
fibers. The coarser and stronger fibers are on the inside, and the very
fine and smoothly laid fibers are on the outside. These fibers are so
intertwined and so elastic that when the leather bends these bundles play
on one another. On account of the smoothness of the surface it may be
polished, and beautiful finishes and effects obtained on the leather.

The elasticity of leather (which is due to the elasticity of its fibers)
allows it to stretch to a great extent. The tendency to return to its
original position is very strong at the beginning, but grows weaker if
the strain is continued at any one point. Of course, in stretching the
leather, there is always a corresponding drawing in another part of the
shoe, which gives it a worn and baggy appearance.

When shoes are removed from the feet, they are oftentimes damp, due
to perspiration. The stretched or strained fibers are apt to shrink
and return to their original position. In order to avoid this, it is
necessary to place shoe-trees in them.

When the linings of shoes are exposed to friction and excretion of
perspiration from the feet of some people, they deteriorate. This is due
to the fact that the acids of perspiration (acetic, formic and butyric
acids) have become so concentrated that they act on the fibers of the
leather. These acids exert a burning effect, causing the fibers to lose
their elasticity so that they no longer play on one another, but become
fastened to each other. The result is that they become hard, and any
attempt to bend the leather tears them apart; and once the union of
fibers is destroyed it cannot be repaired.

In order to keep the fibers in such a condition (soft and flexible), they
should be lubricated often (twice a week) with a liquid followed by a wax
paste, usually called shoe dressing. When a brush or a piece of cloth is
rubbed over the surface of leather containing the shoe lubricants (shoe
polish), it produces a smooth surface called a “shine.”

Compounds which shine without friction produced by brush or cloth should
not be used, as they are simply varnishes and one coat on top of the
other destroys the leather.


In olden times our fathers and mothers used handmade shoes, and wore
them till they had passed their period of usefulness. At that time the
consumption did not equal the production of leather. Knowledge of
conditions in the great western countries to-day will show that many of
the big cattle-raising sections, once famed for their cattle, have been
taken up by homesteaders and are now producing grain instead of cattle.
But since the appearance of the machine-made shoe, different styles of
shoes are placed on the market at different seasons, to correspond to
the change of style of clothing, and shoes are often discarded before
they are worn out. We have not been able thus far to utilize cast-off
leather as the shoddy mill uses wool and silk, etc. The result is that
the consumption of leather is above the production, therefore substitutes
must be used.

In shoe materials there is at present an astonishing diversity and
variety. Every known leather is used from kid to cowhide, and textile
fabrics have developed rapidly, especially in the making of women’s and
children’s shoes. The satins, velvets, serges, and other fabrics that
are used in the manufacture of shoes must be firm and well woven, and
are usually supplied with a backing of firm, canvas-like fabric, to give

As to wearing quality the old saying, “There is nothing like leather,”
still holds good; but people do not buy shoes for their wearing qualities
alone in these days. Style and intrinsic beauty are considered, and have
a cash value just as in any other article of apparel.

Each fabric is made of two sets of threadlike yarn woven at right angles
to each other. They are called the warp and filling (weft). The warp is
composed of yarn running the longest way of the fabric, and filling runs
the short way of the fabric. Since the warp is the body of the cloth, it
is its strongest part and all fabric in shoes should be placed warpwise
across the foot of the wearer, so as to be able to resist the great

Various attempts have been made for legislation to prohibit the treating
of leather by chemicals or the use of substances to increase its weight.
Complaints have been made by a number of shoe manufacturers that the
excessive use of glucose (a form of sugar) in sole leather has resulted
in injuring the leather and fabrics composing the uppers of shoes.

Representatives of large leather firms claim that the methods of tanning
sole leather have radically changed during the last few years, and that
the small quantity of glucose and epsom salts that is used to-day in
finishing sole leather is absolutely necessary to its value, and is in
no sense an adulterant or weighting material. Shoe manufacturers, on the
other hand, claim that in some cases larger amounts of glucose, salt,
etc., have been added to the soft leather from the belly of the animal,
in order to give it the desired stiffness. On account of the high price
of leather, various attempts have been made to find a substitute for
it. Most of these substitutes consist of strong cloth treated with some
drying oil like linseed, the oil having previously been mixed with other
solid substances.

A prize of five thousand francs has been awarded to a Belgian inventor,
Louis Gevaert, for his unusually superior artificial leather. The process
consists in the more or less intimate impregnation of stout cloth with
tannic albuminoid substances. Shoes made of this are said to possess not
only the resistance and elasticity of natural leather, but its durability
of wear. Moreover, they are much cheaper, costing, including manufacture,
only four francs (about eighty cents) and being sold at about six francs
per pair.



Very few people, even among those engaged in the shoe industry, know much
of the anatomy of the foot. Yet it is evident that they ought to know
something about it in order to furnish the foot with a proper covering.

The first thing that strikes a person on looking at the human foot is its
large proportion of bone. On pressing its top surface and that of its
inner side, the amount of flesh will be found to be very small, indeed.
The same is true of the inner and outer ankle. The extreme back of the
ankle has scarcely any flesh covering. The most fleshy portions of the
foot are its outer side, the base of the heel and the ball of the big

The reason for this disposition of flesh is to protect or cover those
parts of the foot that support the body by coming in contact with the
ground. They act as pads and lessen the concussion. The abundance of
flesh on the outer side of the foot is to protect or act as a shield
against danger. The inside of the foot is not exposed as much as the

The foot is divided into three parts, the toes, the waist and instep,
and the heel and ankle. The largest bone of the foot is the heel bone
(called calcaneum). It is the bone that projects backward from the
principal joint and forms the main portion of the heel. When a person is
flat-footed, this bone is thrust farther backward than nature intended to
have it. The connection between it and the tarsal bones is lost.

[Illustration: The Bones and Joints of the Human Foot.]

[Illustration: The Different Parts of the Foot and Ankle. _See page 86._]

The top bone of the foot is the astragalus, and it forms the main joint
upon which the process of walking depends. This bone has a smooth,
circular, upper surface that connects it with the main bone of the lower
leg. It is absolutely necessary that this bone should be in perfect
harmony (relation) with the others in order to insure comfort and health.
If the arches of the foot are forced out of position, up or down or
sidewise, this joint is not permitted to do its work normally.

Rheumatism is a frequent evil of an injured joint. Hence the necessity of
absolutely normal action, unhampered by ill-fitting shoes.

The principal arch of the instep is called the cuneiform or tarsal bone.
Persons are troubled with defective insteps to quite an extent. Misshapen
joints at this point due to shoes that do not fit and consequently
disarrange and throw out of position the delicate, natural structure,
work great havoc with the comfort of the foot. Nine joints cluster at
this point.

The bones of the toes are called the metatarsal bones and phalanges.
There can be no doubt that nature intended mankind to walk in his
bare feet, and in that event the phalanges of the foot would occupy a
much more important part than is now the case as a result of modern
civilization. There are nineteen bones in the foot, and the disturbance
of one or more of these will serve to upset the entire foot by throwing
out of relationship the general unit of work devolving upon the whole
number of joints and bones. Each joint has its accompaniment of muscles,
and each lack of alignment of bones and joints provokes discord and lack
of harmony in the muscular action.

Muscles are attached to bones, and by their contraction or extension the
bones are moved. Very few movements are effected by means of a single
muscle. The muscles of the foot in nearly all cases are in combination,
and are so complex in their action that the best surgeons find it
difficult to describe them satisfactorily.

The chief characteristics of the foot are its spring and elasticity.
While the foot has wonderful powers of resistance and adaptability, it
is the shoemaker’s duty not to strain the same, but to provide for each

The most sensitive part or the one part that is most susceptible of
injury is the big toe. This is due to the fact that the tendency of
the foot in walking is to travel toward the toe of the boot, and in a
word to press into rather than shun danger. The shoemaker provides for
this, first, by allowing sufficient length of sole to extend beyond the
termination of the toe, and second, by the fit of the upper and the
preparation of the sole. In this way, if the toe of the shoe strikes
against a hard substance, the big toe of the foot will remain untouched.

Seventy-five per cent of the people have more or less trouble with their
feet. Some of these troubles are caused by the manufacturer putting on
the market shoes whose lines look handsome and attractive to the eye,
but are lacking in any other good features. Shoes that fit properly
should have plenty of room from the large toe joint to the end of the
toes, and also should have plenty of tread, especially at this point.

A mere glance at our bare foot will show conclusively that pointed-toe
boots are false in the theory of design. The toes of a foot when off
duty touch each other gently. When they are called on to assist us in
walking or in supporting our body, they spread out--although not to any
great extent. This, then, being the action, no sensible maker of boots
and shoes would attempt to restrain them. Box or puff-toe shoes allow the
greatest freedom.

The pointed-toe shoes, which join the vamp to the upper immediately over
the big toe joint, exceedingly high heels, and thick waist shoes are not
for the best interests of the foot.

The evils of ill-fitting shoes are corns, bunions, and calluses.

Corns are mainly due to pressure and friction. When the layers of skin
become hardened, they form a corn, which is merely a growth of dead
skin that has become hard in the center. This hardened spot acts like a
foreign body to the inflamed parts.

A hard corn is formed more by friction than pressure. It is produced by
the constant rubbing of a tight or small shoe against the projecting
parts of some prominent bony part, as the last joints on the third,
fourth, and little toe. When this action continues, it produces
inflammation. Rest--as relieving the feet of the friction--decreases
this inflammation, leaving a layer of hardened flesh. Renewed action
reproduces the same effects, leaving behind a second layer of hardened
flesh. This continued action and reaction brings on a callus, rising
above the surface of the skin. This increases from its base. An ordinary
hard corn may be removed by scraping up the callous skin around its
border, and prying out carefully with a knife. Soft corns are chiefly
the result of pressure or friction. These corns are soft and spongy
elevations on the parts of the skin subjected to pressure. Soft corns are
mostly found on the inner side of the smaller toes. Those on the surface
of joints by mechanical action will become hard.

The blood corn is excessively painful. It is the result of an ordinary
corn forcibly displacing the blood vessels surrounding it, and causing
them to rest upon its surface.

The bunion is an inflammatory swelling generally to be found on the big
toe joint. The chief cause of bunions is known to be the wearing of boots
or shoes of insufficient length. The foot, meeting with resistance in
front and behind, is robbed of its natural actions, the result being
that the big toe is forced upward, and subjected to continuous friction
and pressure. The wearing of narrow-toe boots that prevent the outward
expansion of the toe is another cause.

The comparisons of quantities are often called ratios. The ratios of the
different parts of the foot to the height are different in the infant
from that of the adult period. Between these two periods the ratios are
constantly changing.

There are two series of shoe sizes on the market; the smallest size of
shoe for infants (size No. 1) is, or was originally, four inches long;
each added full size indicates an increase in length of one third of an
inch (sizes 1 to 5). Children’s sizes run in two series, 5 to 8, and 8
to 11; then they branch out into youths’ and misses’; both running 11½,
12, 12½, 13, 13½ and back again to 1, 1½, 2, etc., in a series of sizes
that run up into men’s and women’s. Boys’ shoes run from 2½ to 5½; men’s
from 6 to 11 in regular runs. Larger sizes usually are made upon special
orders. Some few manufacturers go to 12. Women’s sizes run from 2½ to 9.
Some manufacturers do not go above size 8. The rate of sizes is sometimes
varied from by manufacturers of special lines of shoes. A man’s No. 8
shoe would be nearly eleven inches long. These measurements originated in
England and are not now absolute.

A system of French sizes is used which consists of a cipher system of
markings to indicate the sizes as well as widths so that the real size
may not be known to the customer.

All feet are not alike in structure and shape. In infancy the foot is
broad at the toes, which press forward in the direction of their length.
The heel is small in comparison to the width of the toes, and also short
in length, due to the undeveloped bones. But during growth, the thickness
above the heel bones disappears, and the heel itself becomes thicker and
assumes the beauty of perfection at maturity. This development is due
to the growth of bones which must be well exercised and properly cared
for during this period. The various parts of the feet and legs do not
mature at the same rate--those at the upper part of the body increase at
a greater rate than the lower parts. Thighs develop first, next the upper
part of the legs, and lastly the feet.

The adult foot, when properly formed, is straight from heel to toe on the
inner side, and is wider across the joints than one inch or so farther
back. The manner of walking has a considerable bearing on the character
and development of the foot.

There are many sorts of feet, which are due to a number of causes, such
as habits, climate, occupation, locality, etc. As a general rule we may
divide the feet into four classes: Bony feet--those with very little
flesh upon them; hard feet--those that have plenty of flesh, but which
are almost as hard as a stone; fat feet--plump, with plenty of flesh, but
having little shape; spongy feet--those that seem to have no bones in
them, usually found in the female sex.

The characteristics of a foot are common with the body to which it is
connected. Some people have a strong, bony frame, with strong, firm
muscles, prominent bones and muscles, and a flesh that is hard. The
feet of this type of person are usually long, bony, and arched, with
a well-developed big toe joint. The heel measurements are large in
proportion. A soft foot is prevalent among the Scotch. The feet of a
person who is delicately shaped, with a small frame and thin, small,
tapering muscles, are usually thin and finely formed, giving evidence of
quickness. This kind of a foot in a man has a tendency to develop a flat

A person with a form inclined to plumpness, full of exercise and
activity, and a good circulation, has a well-developed foot. The heel
is round and fairly prominent, although there are no special bony
prominences. On the other hand a person with a body of general roundness,
but with tissues and muscles flabby, and a languid blood circulation, has
feet that are short, soft, and flabby.

We will allow that these four different kinds of feet all measure a 4
size and D in width. One would naturally think that the same size shoe
would fit them all, but this is not so. This size shoe will only fit one
and that is the bony foot. The hard feet require a C½ width; the fat feet
require a C width, and the sponge feet require a B width.

The same last may, and often will possess a slight variation in some
manner or other. The fitter of feet must know the stock, each pair, and
be on intimate terms with the peculiarities of each last and the inside
lines of each pair of shoes before attempting to try them upon the feet
of the customer.

Different makes of footwear are apt to be manufactured over a slightly
varying system of measurements. One line of shoes made over a small
measure may be longer or shorter or narrower or wider than some other
line. The heel measurements require careful study for each line
introduced. The peculiarities of each line must be tested by tape and
measure, and the foot fitter must have a strong knowledge along these

We should measure the foot by the stick if necessary, and make a note
of the size and width that will be likely to prove a fit. The height of
the arch must be considered, and the shape of arch curve, the shape of
the instep, and the general contour of the foot. A normal foot will show
about a half-inch arch. The average foot will carry from an inch to an
inch and a quarter heel, without putting a strain on any of the joints of
the foot. Some feet vary from this by a wide margin. A foot is a trifle
longer in walking than in repose. Allowance should be made, in using the
measuring stick, over what the foot actually draws on the stick. In men’s
shoes the allowance, should be from two to two and one half sizes.

When a one-legged man buys a shoe, the dealer sends to the factory a shoe
to match the one left remaining. In these days of the use of machinery
in every process of their manufacture, shoes are made with the utmost
exactness and precision, and it is easily possible to mate that remaining
shoe with the greatest nicety in size, style, material, and finish.

Few people have feet exactly alike; commonly the left foot is larger than
the right, so that one shoe may fit a little more snugly than the other.
Commonly, however, people buy shoes in regularly matched pairs, the
difference in their feet, if it is noticeable to them at all, not being
enough to make any other course desirable.

But there are people who buy shoes of different sizes or widths, in
which case the dealer breaks two pairs for them, giving them, to fit
their feet, one shoe from each. In such cases the dealer matches up the
two remaining shoes, one from each of two pairs just as he would where he
had broken one pair to sell one shoe to a one-legged man.

But a man does not have to be one-legged nor to have feet of uneven
sizes or shapes to make him ask the dealer to break a pair of shoes for
him. A man with two perfectly good feet came into the store where he was
accustomed to buy and wanted one shoe. While traveling in a sleeping car,
his shoes had been mixed up with others and he had received back one of
his own and one of some other man’s; a fact which he had not discovered
until he was too far away from train and station to set things right. So
he came in to buy one shoe to match his own.



If you examine the shoes worn by people in a large city, you will notice
different styles. Shoe styles that were called grotesque a few seasons
ago are comparatively usual to-day, for the new designs in women’s
footwear, which manufacturers are now making, are the most varied that
ever have been put on the market. Pink and green and blue are among the
new colors in materials for footwear.

Some of the styles for the coming seasons are more lavish than have
hitherto been seen in the women’s shoe trade of America. Coronation
purple velvet boots look like an extravagant color for footwear, but they
are now selling. Samples of pink, green, and blue shoes, both boots and
pumps, are being made up, and they will soon be offered to buyers.

The style of the shoe is dominated by fashion. All styles are related,
that is, every part of our dress is influenced by the prevailing fashion,
ideas of color, fabric, or garment outline. To illustrate: when short
skirts are stylish, women wear mannish shoes to harmonize with them; on
the other hand, with long skirts they must have a shoe that is neat and
small, hence, the short vamp. When women wear white in the summer, cool
canvas shoes spring into favor; when gray and blue dress materials are to
be used, a variety of tan shoes are worn to harmonize, etc.

After the style has been decided upon, it is necessary to work out an
exact reproduction. An expert model maker, called a last maker, produces
a last, a wooden model of the shoe. In order to do this, it is necessary
to lay out certain plans or specifications for the details of the
manufacturer of the shoe.

There are certain parts of all feet that have fixed measurements. To
illustrate: the length of the shank, that part of the sole of the foot
between the heel and ball, in every person’s foot is always the same. The
part of the foot back of the ball or large toe joint conforms to certain
fixed measurements. These definite measurements form a basis by which the
last maker originates new styles by shortening, lengthening, widening, or
narrowing the space in front of the toes, but always retaining the true
and fixed measurements of the back part of the last.

When the last maker desires to produce a new style, he takes an old last
and tacking pieces of leather on some parts of it (front of the toes), he
builds it up and cuts off other parts. This patched-up last is taken to a
special machine (lathe), where a number of duplicates are turned from a
block of wood.

The “pattern maker” is the man in the factory who makes patterns,
consisting of heavy pieces of cardboard bound with brass, in the shapes
of the various pieces of leather required to make up the upper part of
the shoe.

The pattern maker has found by experience that the top part of the shoe
also conforms to certain fixed measurements, and by working in sympathy
with the last maker he need only to change the front part of the vamp to
bring out the latter’s ideas. With these measurements as a foundation, he
puts forth from time to time different style uppers, as buttons, lace,
blucher, fixings, scrolls, straps, ties, pumps, etc. This is the way new
style tops originate.

After the manufacturer has approved of sample patterns, the pattern
maker receives an order for a certain quantity of patterns to be made
over a certain last which is submitted to him. Working on the fixed top
measurements and the last submitted as a basis, the pattern maker draws
plans for a model pattern. The standard size of a model pattern is size
7 in men’s shoes and size 4 in women’s. He is also given an order for a
certain number of widths; for instance, B, C, D, and E, and he draws out
on paper a complete set for each width in the size 7. These four sets of
model patterns are reproduced and cut out in sheet iron by hand. But from
these sheets any number of iron models, and any size regular cardboard
pattern can be reproduced by a machine.

Wood to be made into lasts comes to the shoe manufacturers in a rough,
unchiseled form. The lasts are made of maple wood; hollow forms used by
traveling salesmen and window trimmers are made of bass wood.

The making of the model of the last is the most exacting operation in the
factory. It is produced by a machine most important. The principle of
this machine has been brought about by the pantograph; that is, it will
turn from a rough block of wood an exact copy of the model last; or it
will enlarge or reduce a duplicate of any other size or width, so, from a
single model last, such as the manufacturer has decided on, any number of
lasts can be made, and of any size or width. The machine itself consists
of two lathes. On one is placed the model and on the other the block of
wood. The model is held against a wheel by a spring. By adjusting this
wheel, any desired width last can be obtained, and by adjusting a bar in
front of the machine any length last can be produced from the block of

[Illustration: Rough Unchiseled Block of Maple.

A Last after leaving Turning Lathe.

A Finished Last.]

The lathe, when in motion, revolves both the last and the model, the
model being pressed against the wheel, which is really a guide for the
revolving knife that digs into the block of wood, and regulates the depth
that the knife is allowed to cut. In this manner the model is reproduced
from the block which is also regulated as to size and width by the wheel
and by the bar. This machine is so accurate that a tack driven into the
model to locate the center of the last is reproduced by a sort of a
wooden pimple in the block of wood when finished. The model sole pattern
is now tried on the half-finished last to insure accuracy.

Notice in the figures of lasts that the turning lathe has left stubs of
wood on the toes and heels. These must be finished to a “templet.” The
templet is a measure or guide used to indicate the shape any piece of
work is to assume when finished. From the heel and toe of the model, a
piece of iron is shaped on an exact arc of that model, and is used on
the heeler machine as a guide to form an exact copy of the heels and
toes of the model. This machine works very rapidly, and by the aid of
an irregular shaped, revolving knife it quickly transforms the toes and
heels to the desired shape. The bottoms are again tried out on a sole
pattern and the last number, the size and the width are stamped on.

We now have the last as a solid piece of maple wood and turned to the
desired shape, size and width. Were it possible to insert and extract
the last in this form from the half-finished shoe, no other steps
would be necessary in last manufacture, but inasmuch as the leather is
stretched very tightly over this last a little later, it necessitates the
introduction of some method that will facilitate a quick removal of the
last from the shoe. This is accomplished by cutting it in two parts and
making a hinged heel. The fact that the slightest measurement changes
the size of the shoe, necessitates great care in the introduction of
the hinge as a part of the last, and in order to insure accuracy and
uniformity in all the lasts, they are marked with templets and gigs. The
hinge must be placed inside of the last.

The finished last is so constructed that it can be readily inserted or
withdrawn from the shoe, and the strong hinge provides the last, when
inserted, with the same rigid qualities as though it were one piece. The
center of the last is indicated, as before stated, by a reproduction in
the side of the last of the tack that was placed in the model. This is
the mark that locates the position of all the holes, and it is done by a
“gig” in the following manner:--

A gig is a piece of steel having cylinders that guide the bit of the
boring machine in an exact perpendicular line. This gig, being placed
on the last in the position marked by the turning machine, forms the
accurate location of the bolt holes that hold the hinge.

After the hinge is placed in the last, it goes to the ironers to have
the bottom put on it, if it is a McKay last, and a heel plate if it is a
welt. The bottom is again tried and the plate filled up to the same. The
last is then ready to go to the scouring room. In this room the last goes
through three operations, first of which is ruffing. This consists of
scouring with a coarse grade of quartz. This operation must be carried on
so that the sole lines and insteps are not brought into contact with the

The second operation, medium grinding, is done with a fine grade of
quartz, and in this operation, also, the worker keeps away from the toe.
The third operation is done with a much finer-grade quartz, the operator
going over the entire last. The last is now ready for polishing, and
after that, for a heavy coat of shellac. It is polished and waxed on a
leather wheel. Then it goes into the shipping room ready for shipment to
the manufacturer.



The principal methods of manufacturing shoes are the following:--

Goodyear welt; McKay; turned; standard screw; pegged; nailed.

The simplest and the clearest way of showing how the various kinds of
shoes are made is to explain the manufacture of a Goodyear welt and
afterwards bring out the points in which this method of shoemaking
differs from the others.

Shoes are manufactured in up-to-date factories, employing hundreds of
operatives. The modern shoe factory of to-day is divided into six general
departments: the sole leather department, upper leather department,
stitching department, making department, finishing department, and the
treeing, packing, and shipping departments.

In some sections of the country, several of these departments are often
designated by other names. The stitching department is often called the
fitting department; the making department, the bottoming department;
and the sole leather department, the stock-fitting department. The
departments are popularly termed rooms for brevity.

A shoe factory is designed so as to have a width of about fifty feet
for each room, while the length is according to the number of shoes to
be produced. A width of about fifty feet gives plenty of daylight and
ample room in the center of each department, which is very essential in

[Illustration: A Modern Shoe Factory.]

Shoe factories are usually about two hundred feet long, while many are
nearly four hundred feet. A few exceed four hundred feet, running as long
as eight hundred feet. Some are built in the shape of hollow squares,
while others have wings added, which give almost as much floor space as
the original building.

The average factory has usually four floors. The first floor, or
basement, is occupied by the sole leather department. The next floor
above includes the treeing, finishing, packing, and shipping departments,
and also the office. The third floor is devoted entirely to the making or
bottoming department. The top floor is divided so that the cutting and
stitching departments have each half a floor.

There are several exceedingly large factories in this country that find
it advantageous to divide the factory into more departments, as, for
example, the cutting room is divided so that the linings and trimmings
are cut in a separate department. The skiving may also be done in a
separate room. The making room will be divided so that the lasting is set
off as a separate department on account of the many workmen and machines
employed. In the same way there will be a division of work so that the
packing and shipping will be set apart from the treeing. Then, again, in
the sole leather room, the making of heels as well as the fitting of the
bottom stock may become independent departments.

The system of making women’s shoes is practically the same as that of
men’s except that in a great many factories the method of preparing the
bottom stock is somewhat different. Most manufacturers of women’s shoes
do not cut sole leather, but buy outsoles, insoles, counters, and heels,
all cut or prepared. These soles are in blocked form and large enough so
that they can be cut or rounded by the manufacturers to fit their lasts.
The counters, when bought, are all ready to put in the uppers, while the
heels are ready to put on the shoes. Whenever a manufacturer of women’s
shoes cuts his sole leather, he has the same system as that in the men’s

In women’s factories where sole leather is not cut, they do not have a
complete sole leather department. Instead, they have what is called a
stock-fitting department. There are independent cut sole houses, etc., in
the trade, which supply the soles to manufacturers. The same system of
buying supplies also applies to many other parts of the shoe, as in the
top lift, half sole, welt, rand, etc. In the upper leather department,
manufacturers of both men’s and women’s shoes often buy trimmings and
other parts of the upper all prepared.

A large proportion of the men’s shoe manufacturers are now buying heels
all built, while fully nine tenths buy counters all molded. The soles and
other parts that are needed for a shoe are put up in different qualities
and grades, and a manufacturer can buy any grade of sole he wants, so
that it is considered an advantage to buy some parts, instead of cutting
them. In a side of sole leather there are twenty-five or more different
qualities and grades of soles, and very few manufacturers, especially in
the women’s trade, can use all of these. The greater variety of shoes a
manufacturer turns out, the more advantageous it is for him to cut his
own sole leather, and prepare all parts in his own factory.

In this country the number of factories in the shoe trade appears to be
growing less and the average factory larger each year. It is estimated
that there are at present something like fifteen hundred factories in
all. These range from the smallest product up to the largest. The average
factory may be said to produce about twelve hundred pairs of shoes per
day. Many turn out five thousand pairs daily, while a few manufacturers
turn out ten thousand or more pairs. Several manufacturers and firms have
half a dozen or more factories and have a total output of between twenty
thousand and thirty thousand pairs of shoes a day. There is no such
thing as a trust or monopoly of any kind in this trade, and there never
has been up to the present time.

In all factories and all classes of work, the “case” has always been
of such a number of pairs that it can be divided by twelve in every
instance. A case can be twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six, forty-eight,
sixty, or seventy-two pairs, and in children’s work it is often sixty and
seventy-two pairs. All cases of these numbers are regular cases, whereas
any other number would be out of the ordinary. Of course, a case of shoes
may contain any number of pairs, but the numbers given above have always
been used in regular work.

Cases of shoes may differ, but every pair of shoes in any one case must
be made exactly alike. All shoes are made in cases, except in the matter
of custom work or single-pair orders or samples. In making men’s heavy
shoes, or working shoes, the regular case was formerly sixty pairs or
thirty-six pairs, but the tendency has been of late to have a standard
case of twenty-four pairs. In the men’s fine trade the regular case is
twenty-four pairs, while in the women’s it is thirty-six pairs. Long
boots for men have always been made in twelve-pair cases.

Goods are sold by the samples, sent out with the traveling salesman. As
fast as he receives an order, he sends it to the main office. Here the
orders are subdivided and sent to the factories making the goods. For
example, an order for seventy-five dozen men’s shoes of a certain style
received by the main office from the traveling salesman would be sent
to the factory in the form of a typewritten order, covering the general
description and sizes written out in the proper form, for each case is
made according to the specifications on the tags that are made out in the
office. These tags specify the sole, heel, upper, kind and quality, how
stitched, the last to be used, how bottomed finished, treed, and packed.
Everything is marked plainly on the tags so that a buyer can have any
shoe made just as he wants it.

This order would be sent from the factory office to the cutting room,
where a clerk would make out twenty-five long tickets.

Twenty-five are made because the shoes go through the factory in lots
of twenty-four pairs, each lot being called a job and when finished
making a case of shoes. The long ticket is made in duplicate form, and is
perforated so it may be tied to a lot of shoes. Both parts of the tickets
are made out to contain the various operations with the specifications
as to detail. The lower part is sent to the stock or sole leather room,
while the top part remains with the uppers which are cut in the cutting
room. While each part of the ticket is sent by a different route through
the factory, they finally meet in the form of finished shoes.

In addition to the long ticket already described, two other tickets are
made out, the top ticket and the trimming ticket. The top ticket is sent
to the leather bins of the factory, where the sorter knows by experience
exactly the amount of leather required to cut the order, being careful to
see that it is all of uniform quality and free from blemishes. He rolls
the leather in a bundle, attaches the ticket and sends it to the cutter.

In the cutting room there are three classes of cutters; cutter of
trimmings, who cuts lace stays, top facings, back stays, tongues, etc.;
outside cutter, who cuts quarters, vamps, tops, tips, etc.; and the
lining cutter, who cuts cloth linings.

[Illustration: A Nine and One-Half Foot Skin divided to best advantage
before Cutting.]

Skins of leather are received in the shoe factory in different shapes.
Some are perfect, others have blemishes or imperfect spots. The skins
that are to be used for upper stock are carefully graded by two or three
men, as to quality of leather and weight. This is necessary in order to
be sure that a lot of shoes made for a certain dealer will be uniform. On
account of the leather coming in different shapes, some skins perfect,
others having imperfect spots, the cutter must place his patterns in such
a way that certain parts of the shoe will use up all the perfect parts,
and others, less important, will be composed of the weaker parts of the
skin. This explains why you sometimes find the inside top part of a shoe
made of flanky leather, while the vamp is made of a better grade.

There is a pattern for each and every size shoe, and each piece of
leather is cut out separately on a block of wood. Nothing is wasted.
In order to make each cutter as efficient as possible, the cutters are
divided, so as to have a different cutter for each grade of leather. In
this way they become better judges of leather.

The lining cutters use patterns and knives on drilling. The facing is cut
out with a knife and pattern. The side stays and the tongue are cut out
by dies.

After the leather has been cut into the desired shape, uppers, vamps, toe
pieces, back stays, lace stays, etc., cutting at times ten pieces, and
for some styles of shoes as many as fourteen pieces, the cutters take
care to keep the parts for the same shoe together, matching and marking
them so that eventually all will meet again in the shoe.

Machines are used now on almost every operation, and annually several new
machines make their appearance. The cutting of uppers up to four or five
years ago was performed by an operator cutting the leather by running the
knife along the side of the pattern. Now they are using a cutting machine
and dies to cut uppers in nearly all factories. This cutting machine is
called the “clicking machine,” and it is considered quite a labor saver
in a department where it was the universal opinion that machines never
could be used.

It is impossible to give a list of all the operations performed and have
it complete. But a good general idea of the system can be given and the
name and meaning of the main operations in the several departments.
It should be kept in mind that the methods in rooms differ, and that
hardly any two factories put a shoe through in exactly the same manner.
The general system and plan is the same everywhere and the machines are
the same in all factories, but the details and minor operations are so
numerous that there is plenty of scope for them to vary.

The function of the clicking machine is to cut the upper leather into the
desired shapes required. It consists of an iron frame, with a cutting
board on the top of it. Above this is a large beam which can be swung to
the right or left of any portion of the board. The skin to be cut, which
may be of any kind, is placed on the board and a die of the design or
shape of the leather desired is placed on it. The handle of the swinging
beam is taken by the operator and moved over the die; then by pressure
of the handle the beam is brought downward, pressing the die through the
leather. As soon as this is done, the beam automatically returns to its
full height.

These dies are made in different designs and sizes to meet the different
sizes and designs in the upper of the shoe. One die for each design and
size. They mark the vamps for the location of the toe cap and blucher
foxings as well as the size by means of nicks in the edge of the piece
cut. The dies are about three-quarters of an inch in height and so light
that they do not mar the most delicate leather.

[Illustration: Cutting the Leather by Means of Pattern and Knife. _Page

[Illustration: Goodyear Stitching.

A machine that sews around the edge of the welt and joins it to the sole
exactly at the heel. _Page 119._]

After the outside cutter has cut the skin into pieces to make up the
shoe, these are tied up in separate bundles, that is, the twenty-four
of tips in one bundle, twenty-four pairs of vamps in another. These are
turned over to girls who stencil the sizes on the edge and match them,
that is, see that each upper is exactly like the mate.

After the different parts have been cut by the operator of the clicking
machine or by hand, the edges of the upper leather, which shows in the
finished shoe, must be thinned down (skived) by a “skiving machine” to a
beveled edge. This is done in order that the edges of the leather that
are to show in the completed shoe may be folded to give a more finished
appearance. The machines are operated by girls; each one an expert on one
particular piece.

The order number and size of shoe are stamped on the top lining of each
shoe. After all linings have been prepared, according to the data given
on the instruction card attached to parts of the shoe, the parts are
sent to the stitching department, where the stitchers on a multitude
of machines stitch all the different parts together very rapidly and

The toe caps are then given a series of ornamental perforations along
the edge. This is done by either “power tip press,” or a “perforating
machine.” The first consists of a series of dies placed in a machine by
which the leather is perforated according to the designs desired. Each
series of dies represents a different design.

The perforating machine resembles a sewing machine, but instead of a
series of dies, the one in this machine is made of single or combination
dies which make one or more holes on each downward movement. The machine
feeds automatically and does the work very accurately. The cutting
tool is kept from becoming dull by pressing against a band of paper.
Ornamentation on other parts of the shoes, such as the edges of vamps,
etc., is made by this machine.

Before going to the stitching room, every bundle is examined by sorters.
The sorters are divided and subdivided; that is, one man always sorts
tips, another vamps, etc. They examine each piece for imperfection, and
if any is found, the piece is thrown out and a new one put in. The last
operation is the assembling of pieces. Here each job of twenty-four pairs
is brought together and securely tied and numbered.

This stitching department is one in which female labor is generally
employed, although in late years more men are being used to operate
machines, especially on vamping or other heavy parts. In some parts of
the country it is called the fitting room. The work of the department
consists of stitching the different parts of the upper together, so
that it is ready to put on the last. The terms used mean in most cases
stitching the part named to the rest of the upper. There are very many
operations in the department, several of which are named below, together
with their meaning.

The bundles of pieces which have come from the cutting room are placed
on the table, where they are subdivided into three parts, the linings,
the tops, the vamps and the tips.

The linings for the tops of the shoes are pasted together (with the back
strap and top bands), care being taken to join them at the marks made for
that purpose. After being dried, they go into the hands of the machine
operators, where they are joined together by a stitching machine, and
the edges, etc., trimmed. The sewing machines used are very similar to
an ordinary home sewing machine, with the exception that they are much
larger and stronger.

[Illustration: Stock Fitting Room.

Where all bottom stock is prepared after being cut. _See page 120._]

The lining is finished. The next step is to join the lining to the piece
of leather making up the outside of the same shape, called the top. The
top receives the eyelets by a machine placed in proper position. The top
and lining can be put together by sewing them face to face. The top is
inspected and all threads clipped off.

After the shoe uppers have been properly stitched together, the eyelets
are placed on by a “duplex eyeletting machine,” which eyelets both sides
of the shoe at one time. The top of the eyelets are solid black knobs, so
as not to wear brassy, while the bottom (which clinches inside the shoe)
called the barrel, is of nickel. This finishes the shoe upper.

The vamp, tongues, and tip are then put together. The edges of the
vamps, quarters, tips, etc., are covered with a cement made of rubber
and naphtha, which is kept in small bowls on the benches in front of
employees. Several grades of cements are used. The cemented parts
are allowed to dry, and the edges are then turned over by “pressing
machines,” which gives a finished appearance. The shoe is put together
by stitching the vamp to the quarters. This work is done by both men and
women, and is work which demands much care.

In stitching men’s uppers, the system varies in various factories as much
as it does on women’s. Here are some of the operations, which will give
an idea how men’s uppers go through.

Extension or toe piece sewed to vamp.

Leather box stitched on.

Tip stitched to vamp.

Vamp seamed up back.

Top folded around edge.

Top seamed up.

Eyelet row stitched up and down.

Lining seamed up.

Side facing put on lining.

Top facing put on lining.

Lining and outside pasted together.

Under trimming.




The upper is complete when it leaves the stitching room and is all ready
to be put on the last. While the upper is being prepared, the soles,
insoles, counters, and heels are made in other departments.

When the foreman of this department has received the tags with the data
necessary for the preparation of outsoles, insoles, counters, toe boxes,
and heels, they are sent to the stock room, where these parts are kept.

The soles are roughly cut out by means of dies, pressing down through the
leather, in “dieing out machines.” Before the soles are cut, the leather
is dipped in water and sufficiently dampened. After they are cut out,
they are made to conform to the exact shape by rounding them in a machine
called the “rounding machine.” The roughly died out piece of leather is
held between clamps, one of which is the exact pattern of the sole. The
machine works a little knife that darts around this pattern, cutting the
sole exactly to conform. The outsole is now passed to a heavy rolling
machine, where it is pressed by tons of pressure between heavy rolls.
This takes the place of the hammering which the old-time shoemaker gave
his leather to bring the fibers very closely together, so as to increase
its wear.

Counters and toe boxes (stiffening which is placed between the heel and
toe cap and the vamp of shoe) are prepared in the same room with the
heels. After they are made, they are sent to the making or bottoming
room, where the shoe upper is awaiting them. As the counter is an
important feature in the life of a shoe, much depends upon the quality of
leather that goes into it.

The sole is next fed to a “splitting machine,” which reduces it to an
absolutely even thickness. The insole is made of lighter leather than the
outsole, but has the same thickness and is cut out in the same way one at
a time. The sizes are stamped on them and they are sorted.

[Illustration: Lasting. _Page 127._]

[Illustration: Welting.]

If you examine a Goodyear welt shoe, you will notice no stitches in
sight, the seam being fastened to an under portion of the insole. The
durability of the shoe relies, to a great extent, on the quality and
strength of the insole.

The smooth-appearing insole of a welt shoe must be either pasted in
or fastened underneath in some manner. This fastening is accomplished
by passing the insole through a very small machine called a Goodyear
channeler, which makes two incisions at one operation. It cuts a little
slit along the edge of the insole, extending about one-half inch toward
its center.

The upper part of insole made by the slit on the edge is turned up on
a lip turning machine so that it extends out at right angles from the
insole. In other words, the channel is opened up and laid back, forming
a ridge around the outer edge of the sole. This forms a lip or shoulder,
against which the welt is sewed. In this way the thread used in sewing
cannot be seen in the finished shoe. The cut made on the surface serves
as guide for the operator of the welt sewing machine when the shoe
reaches him.

The inner and outer soles as well as the uppers are now brought into the
lasting or gang room. The first part of lasting is called “assembling,”
which means that many parts are brought together, such as upper, counter,
insole, box toe, and last. The counter is placed in the upper, between
lining and vamp, while the box toe is shellacked and put in the toe of
the upper (provided it has not been stitched in the stitching room). The
operator first tacks the inner sole on to a wooden last.

There are very many different styles of lasts, and in cutting uppers a
different pattern must be used for each style. Then the upper is placed
in position on the last, and it is ready to be pulled and stretched to
the wood and take its required shape. This is accomplished by placing the
shoes on the “pulling over machine,” where the shoe uppers are correctly
placed on the last by the pincers of a machine holding the leather at
different points securely against the wood of the last. By the movements
of levers the shoe uppers are adjusted correctly. Then the pincers draw
the leather securely around the last and at the same time two tacks on
each side and at the toe are driven in part way, to hold the uppers

It is now placed on the “hand method lasting machine,” where the leather
is drawn tightly around the last. Before this operation, it is dipped in
water to preserve its shape when formed and that it may be more easily
formed by the machine. At each pull of the pincers a small tack, driven
automatically part way in, holds the edge of the upper exactly in place,
so that every part of the upper has been stretched in all directions
equally. A special machine by means of a series of “wipers” is used to
last the toe and heel. After the leather has been brought smoothly
around the toe, it is held there by a little tape fastened on each side
of the toe, which is held securely in place by the surplus leather,
crimpled in at this point. The surplus leather crimpled in at the heel is
forced smoothly down against the insole and held there by tacks driven
by an ingenious hand tool. In all these lasting operations the tacks are
only driven in part way, so they may afterwards be withdrawn and leave
the inside perfectly smooth, except at the heel of the shoe, where they
are driven into the iron heel of the last and clinched.

[Illustration: Rough Rounding. _See page 131._]

[Illustration: Edge Trimming. _See page 130._]

After these operations, the surplus leather at the toe and sides of the
shoe is removed by the “upper trimming machine,” which cuts it away by
means of a little knife and leaves it very smooth and even. A small
hammer operating in connection with the knife pounds the leather on the
same parts. A pounding machine hammers the leather and counter around
the heel so that the stiff position conforms exactly to the last.

After the “lasted” shoe has been trimmed and pounded down to the shape
of the last, it is turned over to the tack setter, who pulls out all the
tacks except a few, called draft tacks. The insole is then wet to make it
pliable, and is turned over to a very experienced operator, called the
“inseamer,” who is to sew the welt on.

The shoe is now ready to receive a narrow strip of prepared leather,
that is sewed after it is wet to make it pliable, along the edge of the
shoe, beginning where the heel is placed and ending at the same spot on
the opposite edge. This is called the welt, and is sewed from the inside
lip of the insole, so that the curved needle passes through the lip, the
upper, and the welt, uniting all three securely and allowing the welt to
protrude beyond the edge of the shoe. The thread is very stout linen, and
is passed through a pan of hot wax before being looped into chain stitch
that holds the shoe together.

The nature of the stitch is a chain--two rows of threads on the outside
that loop with the single thread in the inside lip of the insole. When
the welt is finally sewed on, and the shoe put down on the bench, it
looks like an ordinary shoe resting on a wide flange of leather. This
flange is the welt, and to it the heavy outer sole is to be sewed fast.
Should a single stitch break in this operation, it is passed to a
cobbler, who repairs it by hand.

Before the outer sole is put on, the edges of the uppers must be trimmed
along the seam that holds the welt. A slip of steel called steel shank
is laid along the insole where the hollow of the foot is, and a piece of
leather board laid over this to give the necessary stiffness and prevent
the shoe from doubling up. As the welt has left a hollow space along the
ball of the foot, it is necessary to fill this up, either with a piece
of leather, tanned felt, or other filler. Felt is not waterproof, and
leather squeaks, hence a mixture of ground cork and rubber cement is
used. This is heated and spread on the sole, and run over a hot roller
until the bottom of the shoe is perfectly smooth and even. The shoes are
placed on a rack and are ready for the outsole.

Sole fastening is performed by a number of operations, in which a score
or more of separate machines are used. The sole layers smear a rubber
cement over this welt with a “cementing machine,” after the outsole has
been soaked in water to make it pliable, and then place it on the shoe
and tack a single nail in the heel. The “sole laying machine,” through
great pressure, cements the sole on and fits it to every curve of the
last. Then the sole is trimmed by a “rough rounding machine,” which trims
the soles to the shape of the last. This machine also channels the outer
sole at the same time, which is necessary for the next operation. The
“channel opening machine” now turns up the lips of the channel and the
sole is ready to be stitched to the welt.

The outsole is now sewed by a waxed thread to the welt, by an “outsole
lock stitch machine,” which is similar to a welt sewing machine. The
stitch is finer and extends from the slit (channel) to the upper side of
the welt, where it shows after the shoe has been finished.

It unites the sole and welt with a tightly drawn lock stitch of
remarkable strength. It sews through an inch of leather as easily as a
woman would sew through a piece of cloth. The stitches are made through
the welt and outer sole, the seam running in the channel of the outsole.

[Illustration: Leveling. _See page 135._]

[Illustration: Heeling. _See page 136._]

The inside of the slit in which this stitch has just been made is now
coated with cement by means of a brush. The channel lip is forced back to
its original position after the cement has dried, by a rapidly revolving
wheel of a “channel laying machine.” In this way the stitches are hidden.

Welt shoes are stitched on in three different ways: “channeled,” which,
when finished, leaves an invisible stitch on the bottom of the sole;
“regular stitched aloft,” showing the stitches on both sides; and “fudge
stitched,” in which the seam is sunk down in a groove, being almost
invisible from the welt side.

Every stitch must be of such a nature that it is independent of the one
next to it, so that should one stitch break, the others will not work
loose. This is accomplished by running the threads through a pan of hot
wax just before entering the leather, which causes the waxed thread to
solidify, becoming, as it were, a part of the leather.

Notice should be taken of the difference between the way the outsole
is stitched and the inner sole is stitched to the upper. In place of
three threads in the chain stitch “that holds the welt to the upper
and insole” there are but two here--an upper and a lower one. The upper
thread extends only part way down, where it loops, twists, and locks into
the lower thread. This is the reason why you can wear a welt sole clear
through without its pulling loose.

Shoes that are stitched aloft go through the same operations as the
channel-stitched shoes, with the exception that the rounding machine
contrivance of cutting is eliminated.

Shoes that are to be fudge stitched are sent through the same machine
as the regular stitched aloft, but an additional little knife point on
the arm of the Goodyear stitcher digs a channel in the welt so that the
stitches on that side are sunk into the leather.

The outsole is nailed at the heel after the stitching on the “loose
nailing machine,” which drives the nails through the outsole and insole
and clinches against the steel plate of the last. The machine drives
separate nails fed from the hopper of any desired size or length, at the
rate of three hundred and fifty per minute.

The edge of the outsole around the heel is now trimmed to conform exactly
to the shape of the heel on the “heel seat pounding machine.”

The stitches of the regular stitched shoes are separated by a series of
indentations, giving the shoe that corrugated effect which adds so much
to the appearance of the shoe. In the fudge-stitched work the stitches
are entirely covered up by the indentations.

Then a leveling machine, called the “automatic sole leveling machine,”
with a pressure of about two and a half tons to each of the concave
rollers, comes into play. The rolls move automatically back and forth and
from side to side, doing the work that the shoemaker used to do on his
lap with a hammer and stone, but doing it better and more quickly. It
practically levels off the bottom of the soles.

An automatic guage regulates exactly the distance from the edge of the
last, and by the use of this machine the operator is enabled to make a
sole conform to that of all others of a similar design and size.

Heels are formed by cementing different lifts of leather. A machine
called a “heel cutter” shapes out the lifts. The heel is then placed
under pressure, giving it exact form and greatly increasing its wear.

[Illustration: Sole Scouring. _See page 138._]

[Illustration: Heel Shaping. _See page 138._]

In speaking of the ends and sides of a heel, the part that rests on the
ground is spoken of as the top, and the first piece is called the top
lift. The part that is fastened to the shoe is spoken of as the bottom,
while the side nearest the toes is called the breast. The wedge is a
flat, heel-shaped piece or lift of leather that is skived to a thin edge
at the breast. Being thicker at the back, it tips the heel forward.
Wedges are made from thin strips of waste leather, or from sheets of
leather board, and are cut out with a hollow die. The gouges are cut in
the sole leather room from scraps, and are a regular heel lift, having a
horseshoe-shaped piece of leather with an opening at the breast.

The sole leather, insoles, counters, and heels, in the stock fitting
department are “got out” by being cut into shape by a machine die.

The heel is now trimmed of all rough and surplus portions of leathers to
the exact size of top lift. A blower attached to the machine removes all
scraps, etc.

The breast of the heel, which faces the forepart of the shoe, is trimmed
evenly across and with the desired slant by means of a peculiar-shaped
knife which extends over the sole at shank. The edges of the heel are
now scoured by revolving rolls with molded sandpaper to make perfectly
smooth. Blowers attached to the machine remove all dust.

There are several types of machines for fastening the heel to the shoe,
all very rapid in operation. One of the latest is that which feeds the
nails, and which is operated by a man and boy, who together turn off a
great quantity of work.

The nails are left protruding slightly above the heel so as to retain the
top lift, which is now placed in position by the same operator on the
same machine. It is pressed down over the heads of the nails securing it
in position. The small brass or steel nails which protect and ornament
the heel are now driven in by the “universal slugging machine.” This
machine cuts the slugs from a coil of wire and drives them in with great

We have practically now a roughly formed shoe ready for the finishing

Here the heel slugs are ground down, heel and sole buffed by sandpaper
rolls on a scouring machine, wet down, stained, or blacked, as case may
be, finished on bristle brushes, placed to dry, polished by a polishing
machine, bottom stamped with the trademark, and passed to an operator
whose duty it is to see that no tacks are left inside the shoes.
Generally girls are hired to do this, as their hands are smaller and it
is very important that no tacks are left, which might cause a great deal
of trouble. If any are found, they are cut out with nippers or otherwise

A lining is also generally put inside the shoe, covering the whole of the
insole in a McKay shoe, and the heel only in a Goodyear shoe. Shoes must
also be inspected here before they are packed, to see if they are perfect
in every way and that each shoe is a perfect mate in the pair.

The shoes are now sent to the last department, called treeing, dressing,
and packing department.

This department has to do with the finishing of the uppers. The bottoms
and edges are all finished when shoes get to this department, and nothing
remains but to finish the uppers and pack the shoes in single-pair
cartons and then in wooden boxes or cases.

The different uppers are all finished by a different process, some being
ironed with a hot iron, which is done to take out the wrinkles and smooth
the uppers. Ironing was first introduced on kid shoes, but in recent
years the hot iron has been put on nearly all kinds of stock. A shoe must
be on a form or tree when ironed, the form or tree being the same shape
as the last. The whole idea in ironing is the same as that followed by
the tailor, who uses a hot iron to press and smooth out clothes. The
operations in detail are as follows:--

[Illustration: Ironing.]

[Illustration: Packing.]

Each shoe is treed, after having been drawn over a foot form similar to
that on which the shoe was lasted, and any stain or dirt which may have
been carelessly put on in former operations is cleaned off; the shoe is
sponged with a gum prepared for either black or tan goods, rubbed down
dull, and then rubbed to a polish. In many patent leather shoes the
treeing is to clean off the surface, as we said before, and then to iron
it with a hot iron, which takes out all stains, and leaves the leather
shiny and black.

The shoes finally go to hand operators, who rag the edges and heels,
leaving them ready to be laced and put into the boxes. After lacing, the
shoes are passed to inspectors, whose duty it is to see that they are
perfect, to throw out all which are not, make a record of them, and pass
the perfect shoes to the packers, who see that the sizes are right, that
each pair is mated, and placed in paper cartons, ready to be packed in
wooden cases for shipment. The packing of cartons into wooden cases is
done by men who nail on the lid when each case is full, mark where goods
are to be sent, make a record of same and load the cases into freight

There are other uppers that are treed, such as wax calf, for instance,
and split uppers, which are used in heavy shoes. The main idea of treeing
a shoe is to give it a smooth and finished appearance and a good “feel.”
In the regular treeing operation they use liquid preparations, often
called composition, and these are worked into the upper, filling it to
some extent. French chalk is used a great deal in some uppers, and oil or
some form of grease or gum is also used, all of which make the upper as
it was when first put on the cutting board of the shoe factory. All work
done in this room is intended to give leather its original luster, which
has been lost to a certain extent in going through the different rooms
and in being handled so much.

There are still other uppers that may not be treed or ironed but merely
cleaned and polished to give luster. Some of these may be dressed. To
dress a shoe means to put on a liquid dressing. In some cases two coats
of dressing are put on and in other cases one coat. A shoe can have a
dull dressing or a bright dressing, according to how the buyer prefers to
have his shoes look.



The McKay process is used very extensively in the manufacture of cheap
shoes. Its introduction was a great improvement over the nailing and
pegging of the soles to the uppers. It allows the two to be stitched
together by means of a straight needle running through the entire
thickness of upper, sole, and insole.

In following the McKay process through the factory, we find it very
similar to the Goodyear welt process, which has been explained, the main
difference being in the methods of fastening the sole to the uppers.

[Illustration: Cross Sections of Welt Shoe and McKay Sewed Shoe.]

The lasts and patterns are obtained in the same manner as described in
the previous chapter. The order is made out in the factory office, and
the ticket is given to the sorter, who selects the required number of
skins, which he rolls in a bundle and turns over to the cutter. The
cutters form the various pieces of leather and linings, which are tied
up in bundles and sent to the stitching room. Here they pass through the
various sewing machines, finally coming out in the form of a complete
upper ready to be attached to the bottoms.

The soles, insoles, counters, and heels for McKay shoes are all formed in
the same room, as described in the Goodyear process.

There is a difference in making ready the outsoles and insoles. It will
be recalled that the outsole for the Goodyear welt shoe was simply a
block of leather cut to fit the shoe and was not channeled. The outsole
for the McKay shoe is run through a channeling machine, which cuts a
slit around the edge of the sole, folds the leather back, and digs a
little trench along the inside of the slit. It will also be remembered
that the insole of the Goodyear welt shoe was channeled with two slits,
one of which was turned back to form the breast for sewing on the welt
strip. The insole of a McKay shoe is not channeled in any way, but is
left plain, like the outsole of the Goodyear welt. The uppers, the soles,
insoles, counters, and heels all having been made ready, the pieces are
taken to the lasting room.

The first process is called “assembling.” The operator takes up one of
the uppers, inserts the last, sticks in a counter between the lining and
the outside, puts in a “box” (a stout piece of canvas to give stability
to the toe) at the toe, beneath the tip, puts in the insole, and then may
pull the shoe tight on the last or give it to the operator on the pulling
over machine to have it done. The pulling over machine is now used in
nearly all factories, having displaced hand pulling the same as the
lasting machines have displaced hand lasting. The assembling, pulling,
and lasting on the machine are all parts of the regular operation of
lasting. The hand laster had to do all three parts in former times,
but now there are machines to do nearly everything, and at the present
time the operation of lasting is divided into assembling, pulling over,
and lasting on the machine. But even these machines do not do it all,
as there is surplus upper to be cut away, toes to be pounded down, and
filling to be put in the bottom, all of which are done on a McKay shoe
before the sole can be laid. There are machines to do these parts, too.

A trimmer (this is done by hand) now takes the shoe, trims off all the
surplus leather, tacks in the shank (a little piece of steel to give
rigidity to the shank of the sole), fills all up smoothly and then passes
it to the sole layer, who puts on the outer sole and tacks it in place.

The last is now pulled out of the shoe and it is ready for the McKay
sewing machine.

This machine sews right through the inner and outer sole, and at the same
time catches the edges of the upper leather and the lining in between
the two and draws them all snugly and firmly together. The stitches are
made right along in the channel of the outer sole, which is deep enough
to admit the row of stitches without raising a ridge on the outside of
the sole, after the channel is closed up and leveled. The channel is
next filled with cement and passed on to the leveler, which turns down
the loosened flap of leather, presses it all out smooth, and covers the
seam up so completely that no trace of the sewing is to be seen. This
little folded-over flap of leather serves the double purpose of hiding
the stitches in the sole, and at the same time protecting them from wear
against the ground.

[Illustration: Stitching.]

[Illustration: Tacking.]

The shoe is then ready to be heeled, and from here to the shipping door
the McKay generally goes through the same process as a welt. After
heeling, the McKay shoes are relasted or have followers put in to keep
them in shape while going through. The sock lining may be put in here,
too, before relasting, or it may not be put in till the shoes get to
another room. The McKay lasting last must be pulled from the shoe to have
the bottoms and heels put on and this also applies to a pegged or nailed
shoe. But in the case of a welt shoe or a turn shoe, both stay on the
original last until the bottoms and heels have been fastened on. The turn
shoe being lasted inside out, must come off the last to be turned right
side out, and it goes right on the last as soon as it can be turned. The
different methods of fastening the bottoms constitute the main difference
between Goodyear and turn shoes on the one hand, and McKay, pegged, and
nailed on the other. The bottom stock must be prepared differently in
order to fit the methods. Thus it is seen that only two departments are
affected, namely, the sole leather and the making departments. In the
cutting, stitching, finishing, treeing, and packing, all operations are
practically the same on every shoe, no matter how it is bottomed. The
patterns, however, by which shoes are cut may be different.

In the finishing room all of the finishing of the bottoms and heel edges
is done. The heels are sandpapered or scoured, and are then blacked and
polished under hot-iron pressure. Considerable wax is used on the edge
and is melted by the hot iron. Heel edges may also be finished on a wheel
or roll. There are several different ways, but the object of each method
is to give a hard, black, and highly polished surface to the edge.

In finishing the bottom the top lift is scoured or buffed, and all of
the sole and the breast of the heel also. Each is a different process,
a different operator attending to each part. The object of scouring or
buffing with sandpaper is to get a smooth foundation for the finish,
which is put on next, and which may be all the same color in all parts
of the bottom or may have one color in the shank and another in the
forepart. The stains and blackings are used on bottoms, and these are
brought to a high, hard gloss by means of rolls and brushes. Hot irons
are often used on black shanks and bottoms to give added hardness and
luster to the finish.

The turned or turn shoe is a woman’s fine shoe that is made wrong side
out, then turned right side out. The sole is fastened to the last, and
the upper is twisted over, the wrong side out. Then the two are sewed
together, the thread catching through a channel or shoulder cut in the
edge of the sole. The seam does not come through to the bottom of the
sole, nor to any part inside where it would chafe the foot.

The preparation of the upper for a turn shoe is identical with that of
a welt or McKay, with the exception that the back is cut a little longer
and a little larger, in order to last it over the sole. The important
difference in the make-up of a turn shoe as compared with that of a McKay
or welt is that it has no insole, the upper being sewed directly to a
portion of the sole itself.

As the cutting of the uppers and the stitching operations of a turn shoe
are the same as the Goodyear and McKay, and have been explained, we will
take up the forming of the sole, which is entirely different from either
of the other two methods.

A turn shoe is put together wrong side out, and it is necessary, during
the course of making, to turn it by rolling the sole up like a roll of
carpet. It is evident, then, that nothing but good quality, pliable
leather can be used satisfactorily, and great care is taken to include
nothing but the best.

The soles are cut out on the beam machines, also previously described.
They are then channeled on the side that is next to the foot. This
channeling is similar to that done on the welt insole. Two incisions are
made, the inside one being the same as in the welt insoles. The outside
one, however, is different, as the flange is cut off square instead of
being rolled up. This leaves a channel which begins at the edge and
surface of the sole and extends in semicircular form to the abrupt wall
of the cut in the sole, which forms the breast against which the upper is
to be sewed.

After the soles are channeled, they are soaked until they become soft
enough to roll up easily. They are then placed on racks and kept in a
damp room until needed.

A turn shoe is hand lasted wrong side out. First the uppers are turned
with the lining outside, then the last is inserted and also the toe

The sole is set straight on the last and is tacked firmly to it. The
operator, by aid of hand pullers, draws the upper over the sole and tacks
it securely from a point where the breast of the heel will rest to where
the large toe will extend, and then along the same distance on the other
side. The toe part is next lasted by machinery, a wire being fastened at
one side and run around the edge holding the pulled-up parts of the upper
which has been stretched tightly over the last.

The shoe is next passed over to the Goodyear inseamer operator, who
sews the upper to the sole, the needle passing down through the inside
channel, through the sole leather, out through the square-cut channel
and then through the upper, uniting the upper to the sole with the chain
stitch. In fact, the bottom of a turn shoe at this time looks exactly
like the bottom of a welt, with the exception that the turn shoe is still
turned wrong side out. The nature of the stitch is the same--a waxed,
threaded chain, with two rows of thread on the outside that loop with
the single thread in the inside lip of the insole. The shoe is sewed only
from the back of the shank to the toe, the heel part still being loose.

The seam is now trimmed with an inseam trimmer, a machine with a
revolving, jagged-edged knife that saws off the surplus portions of the
upper, leaving it smooth and even with the sole. The tacks are all pulled
out with a sort of a nail puller, which works rapidly and automatically.

The lasts are then taken out and the shoe is turned right side out.
This turning process is not a difficult one, but it is perhaps the most
interesting operation that the layman will see in the entire factory. The
operation is accomplished by means of a rigid iron bar set slantwise in a
table. The upper is turned right side out by hand and the sole is rolled
right side out by means of pressure on this bar.

After this turning process, which twists and rolls the shoe out of
shape, it has no semblance of its final form. The back part of the sole
and upper are still loose, the upper being fastened from the shank to the

The turn shoe must be “second” lasted, and the inserting of the last is
no easy matter. A contrivance called a push jack assists the operator
greatly. He uses a flat, narrow rod to smooth out the lining, and after
squeezing, pushing, and smoothing, the last is finally made to fit in the
shoe. The counter is placed in at this time, the shank piece is set in
place, and the shoe and last are placed on a jack for nailing. The back
part upper is now stretched tightly over the heel part of the last by
means of lasting pullers, and is tacked down, the nails going through the
shank piece and clinching against the anvil heel seat of the last. This
operation completes the lasting, the shoe now having a form exactly like
the last over which it is made.

Workmen now level the bottoms and form the shank by a hand method,
preparatory to the machine leveling process. The shoe is still wet and
is left to dry on the last twenty-four hours. Then it is run through the
machine called the “leveler,” which, with its enormous pressure, forms
the sole to that of the last. The shoes are now left four days on the
lasts, to dry thoroughly, so that they may retain their shape permanently.

The putting on of the heel, and the various finishing processes are
practically the same as that of the welt, with the exception that a turn
sole must have a sock lining.

Some factories use a grain leather sock lining, which is pasted in,
covering up the channels of the sole which hold the stitches and forming
a smooth surface for the foot to rest upon.

The difference between a McKay and a turn shoe may be told by the fact
that the stitching on the inside of the sole is much closer to the edge
in a turn. Another thing, in a turn shoe, the seam connecting the upper
and the outsole can be seen.

Nothing is likely to excel the turn shoe for lightness and flexibility,
since the method of making, whereby the sole is stitched directly to the
upper, interposes no thick or cumbersome material. Sole leather of good
quality is used. In fact, the sole would have to be not only strong,
but thin and light, or the shoe could not be turned in the process of
manufacture without straining it and getting it out of shape.


History states that prior to 1845, which marked the date of the
introduction of shoe machinery, most of the shoes were sewed by hand,
the lighter ones turned and the heavier ones welted. In fact, the early
factories that began to spring up in New England about the beginning of
the century, were merely cutting rooms and places for storing the lasts
and stock.

Here the uppers, soles, and linings were cut by hand and then given out
to people in the vicinity, mostly farmers and fishermen, to be stitched
together and paid for at so much a dozen. Such was the beginning of
the shoe industry in New England. Hundreds of families added to their
resources in this way, the women doing the lighter work and the men the

In fishing communities, where men were away most of the time in their
boats, their wives and daughters, who stayed at home, undertook the
lighter grades of shoemaking--the turn process. This was the case in
the “North Shore” towns like Lynn, Haverhill, and Marblehead, and these
to-day, keeping to the old traditions, are the great centers for the
finer turn-grades of shoemaking, whereas the “South Shore” towns, like
Brockton, Whitman, Abington, Rockland, and the Weymouths, with the men
at home all the year, came to make a specialty of shoes for men, and
absorbed the heavier part of the growing industry.

With the introduction of the Goodyear turn machine, however, the handwork
was gradually done away with, although more handwork is done in the turn
process than in either the McKay or welt process.


Many good qualities of heavy shoes are made by the standard screw method,
which differs from the McKay method by having the outsole and insole
fastened together with a double-threaded wire, which is screwed through
and cut off by the machine the instant it reaches the inside of the shoe.

[Illustration: Cross Section of Standard Screwed Shoe.]

A pegged shoe is made in much the same way as the standard screw, except
that wooden pegs are used instead of wire to fasten the sole together.

The nailed method of shoemaking consists in nailing the soles together
around the edge. It is used principally for heavy, cheap shoes.



The old-fashioned shoemaker formerly made shoes by hand as follows:--A
last, which is a wooden model of a foot, was used, and pieces of leather
were pasted here and there on it so as to build up a model conforming to
the measurements of the foot. Then paper patterns of the upper leather
were made from the last, and from these the upper leathers were cut out
of tanned calfskins and sewed together.

The leather for the soles was cut out of tanned ox or steer hide, the
pieces being the insole, the outsole, and the lifts of the heel. The
inner soles were made of softer leather. Sometimes split sole leathers
were used for uppers. The shoemaker then softened the leather by steeping
it in water, until it was pliable and at the same time firm, and would
cut like cheese.

The insoles were attached to the bottom of a pair of wooden lasts, and
the wet leather fastened on with lasting tacks so as to mold it to the
last. When it was dry, the shoemaker with pincers drew the leather out
until it had taken the exact form of the bottom of the last. Then he
rounded the soles by paring down the edges close to the last, and formed
around these edges a small channel or feather cut or slit about an eighth
of an inch in the leather.

Next he pierced the insoles all around with a bent awl, which “bit” into,
but not through, the leather, and came out at the channel or feather
edge. The boots were then lasted by placing the uppers on the lasts,
drawing the edges by means of pincers tightly round the edge of the
insoles. Then they were fastened in portions with lasting tacks. Lasting
was considered a very important operation, for unless the upper was
drawn smoothly and equally over the last, leaving neither a crease nor
wrinkle, the form would be a failure. A band of flexible leather about
an inch wide, with one edge pared, was then placed in position around
the sides of the shoes, up to the heel or seat, and the maker proceeded
to “inseam,” by passing his awl through the holes, already made in the
insole, catching with it the edge of the upper and the thin edge of the
welt, and sewing all three together in one flat seam, with a waxed thread.

The threads which shoemakers use are called “ends,” and are made of two
or more strands of small flaxen threads. The shoemaker makes his own
waxed thread as follows:--

He holds the main part of the thread from the spool, in his left hand,
holding it firmly--where he wants to break it--between the first finger
and thumb, so that it will not turn beyond that point. Then with
the left hand, he lays the end of the flax on the knee and rolls it
from him. This will cause the small fibers that compose the thread to
separate--thus enabling him to break it easily. When the fibers separate,
he gives the thread a light, quick turn, which causes it to break. As the
thread breaks he pulls it apart gradually, so that the fibers will taper.
Then he places the threads together, one just behind the other, so that
the end will have a very fine point. He rolls the end and allows it to
turn between the fingers of the left hand. After it has been rolled and
twisted, it is waxed by drawing the thread through a piece of wax.

The fine ends are waxed to a point. A bristle is fastened on in the
following manner: the head of the bristle is held in the left hand, and
the portion to which the thread is to be fastened is waxed; then the
thread and bristle are twisted together. A hole is made in the thread and
the bristle pulled through and fastened. After the threads are fastened,
the heads of the bristle are cut off, and the ends sandpapered.

The wax thread or “end,” as it is called, should never be made longer
than is necessary to sew a shoe. Experience shows that if a portion of an
end left after sewing one shoe is used on the second shoe, it is never as
strong as a new end. The thread grows weaker and weaker as it is used.
When the thread is well waxed, it is cemented to the shoe.

After the shoe is sewed, the shoemaker pares off inequalities and levels
the bottoms, by filling up the depressed part in the center with pieces
of tarred felt. The shoes are now ready for the outsoles. The fibers
of the leather to be used for the soles are thoroughly condensed by
hammering on the lapstone. Then they are fastened through the insole with
steel tacks, their sides are pared, and a narrow channel is cut round
their edges. Through this channel they are stitched to the welt, about
twelve stitches of strong, waxed thread being made to the inch. The soles
are next hammered into shape; the heel lifts are put on and attached with
wooden pegs. Then they are sewed through the stitches of the insoles; and
the top pieces, similar to the outsoles, are put on and nailed down to
the lifts.

The finishing operations of the shoe include smoothing the edges of the
heel, paring, rasping, scraping, smoothing, blacking, and burnishing the
edges of the soles, withdrawing the lasts, and cleaning out any pegs
which may have pierced through the inner sole. There are numerous minor
operations connected with forwarding and finishing in various materials,
such as punching holes, inserting eyelets, etc.


Before one can understand how shoes are repaired, it is necessary to know
the difference between the inside and outside of a shoe.

The last is divided into four parts, viz. toe, ball, shank, and heel.

Diagram No. 1 shows these parts and their shapes.

Diagram No. 2 shows the length of the inside of the divisions as compared
with those of the outside. Notice the long shank and short ball.

Diagram No. 3 shows the outside of the divisions and the effect they have
upon the shape of the shoe. See short shank and long ball.

Always remember that the ball of a shoe is longer on the outside, having
a short shank. The ball is shorter on the inside, having a long shank.
Compare outside and inside diagrams Nos. 2 and 3.

[Illustration: How a Side of Leather is shaped and divided as to Quality.
_See page 5._

_Dia. 1._ _Dia. 2._ _Dia. 3._]


The first operation in half soling a shoe is to cut off the old portion
from “a” to “c” as shown on diagram No. 1. The shoe is placed in
different positions and corrected in every way before putting on the new
sole. It is generally better to wet the shoe in order to put it in shape.

The leather is skived thin and accurate enough to make a neat,
comfortable joint, and yet thick enough for the nails to hold.

Then the filling is added before placing on the sole. The sole is trimmed
and a guide line drawn around the edge, so that the nails may be properly

Finishing the sole is an important part. If everything else is properly
done, this part becomes comparatively easy. See that all nails are
clinched. With a level bottom, smooth joints and edges, the shoe can be
made to look like a new shoe and yet feel like an old one.

On account of the heel being more directly under the body and the first
part to strike the ground, it generally wears out first. For this reason
in repairing a heel great care must be taken to see that good leather
and solid work are put into it. Pull off the worn top piece and see that
what is left is hammered down solidly. Next split a piece of solid,
easy-cutting, scrap sole leather, so that two pieces can be made out of
one. Put them on the shoe and fasten them on well, piece by piece, with
tacks. See that the heel is level before putting on the top piece. (If
necessary, a small piece may be put under the top piece.) After it is
level, put on top piece, trim in shape, then draw guide line and nail
down. The nails are placed thicker on the side that is worn down most, to
protect the heel. The heel is next rasped, and smoothed with a buffer and
sandpaper. When finished, it should set level.


As the shoemaking industry has become more and more perfect, there has
been an increasing interest taken in shoe repairing. A medium-priced
shoe as it is made to-day may often be in good enough condition to be
heeled and soled a couple of times. Hence, although in the past many shoe
stores and departments have had their shoe repairing done by outside
shops, the tendency to-day is for every shoe store to have its own repair
department. This method has resulted largely from the development of
machinery for shoe repairing, which is revolutionizing the business to
such an extent that in a few years repairing by hand will be among the
lost arts. With the new inventions for restoring upper leather, and the
improvement of machinery for shoe repairing, repair departments will very
soon be but little short of miniature factories.

The machinery ordinarily used consists of the Goodyear stitcher, used
for attaching soles to Goodyear welts by the lock-stitch method, just
as in shoe factories making Goodyear welt shoes. Then there is a heel
trimmer, a bottom finisher, consisting of a rapidly revolving roll
covered with coarse and fine sandpaper, and an opera heel builder for
forming concave heels. There are two wheels used for tan and white
heel work, one heel being covered with a white cloth, and the other
with a coarse brush. Adjoining these are usually the shank and heel
finisher,--capable of smoothing and highly polishing a shank or heel in
about a dozen seconds,--the bottom finisher, that grinds and smooths down
the new sole, and a machine used for rubbing off dirt before the shoe is
finished, consisting of a heavy horsehair brush. Another useful part of
the equipment is an edge setter, which is also identical with the one
used in factories. The shoe stitching machines and the parts used in
finishing are all operated on one long shaft, rapidly revolved by the aid
of a motor. It is a fact that a shoe may be actually soled and heeled in
less than six minutes.

Five or six men are usually employed in the repair department of a large
establishment. When the customer’s shoes are brought in, one of these men
cuts off the old sole and traces an outline of the new sole on a block of
the very best oak leather. After these are cut out by hand in rough form,
they are soaked in water and channeled; that is to say, a part of the
sole is turned up in which the stitches are to be run. A second man, by
the use of the Goodyear stitcher, joins the sole and welt together with a
very strong and tightly drawn lock stitch. This is a large machine with a
curved, barbed needle and awl, and a shuttle which sews through an inch
of leather with the greatest ease and speed. There are from one hundred
and fifty to two hundred stitches in each shoe; moreover, every one of
them is locked with heavy wax thread, so that there is no chance of their
ever giving away. If one stitch should break, the other stitches would
remain intact, as they are all independent of each other. Both soles are
stitched on in a little over half a minute without breaking a thread or
stopping the machine.

A coating of rubber cement is now placed in the edges of the outsole, and
the lip of the channel is smoothed down so that the stitches are entirely
hidden when looking at the bottom of the shoe. The edge trimming is done
next with the aid of a rapidly revolving wheel, which trims the edges
square and true in about forty seconds. After this, the shank is finished
on a rapidly revolving wheel covered with emery cloth.

Bottom finishing is the next step. This is done on a machine having
two long cylinders, one covered with fine and the other with coarse
sandpaper. These cylinders revolve rapidly, and the operator uses the
coarse sandpaper for scouring the dirt and old finish off the leather,
and the fine sandpaper for finishing the sole as smooth as that of any
new shoe.

The brushing in or smoothing is next done by the horsehair brush we have
mentioned before. A preparation called Lewis’s rival bottom polish--a
sort of white wax--is placed on the brush machine. The brush now smooths
the surface of the sole, filling in all small holes with wax and leaving
the sole absolutely perfect. Finally, the shoe is placed against a
rapidly revolving brush which finishes the uppers with a luster that
would make any ordinary boot-black green with envy. Another operation
that fully completes the process is the hardening of the edges with hot
steel, which ends in producing an edge that is as hard as iron. When it
is polished with a black dye, it looks exactly like a new sole.

A few words are necessary with regard to the heel. The old heel having
been removed, several lifts of new leather in rough form are tacked
on. The shoe is then taken to the heel trimmer and is formed correctly
and then smoothed down to a brilliant surface on the finely covered
revolving wheel. In a few seconds it is stained, smoothed, and polished.
In less than six minutes the shoe is ready for the customer.



ASSEMBLING. Includes the following operations: tacking the insole to the
last, putting in the box and counter of the shoe, and putting the upper
of the shoe on the last.

BACKSTAY. A term used to denote a strip of leather covering and
strengthening the back seam of a shoe. English backstay means the strip
of leather that meets the quarters on each side and is sewed to them,
forming the lower part of the shoe. California backstay is a term applied
to piping caught in the back seam.

BACK STRAP. The strap by which the shoe is pulled on the foot.

BAL. An abbreviation of the word “Balmoral” and means either men’s,
women’s, or children’s front lace shoe of medium height, as distinguished
from one that is adjusted to the ankle by buttons, buckles, rubber
goring, etc.

BALL. Refers to the ball of the foot--the fleshy part of the bottom of
the foot, back of the toes.

BEADING. Means folding in the edges of the upper leather instead of
leaving them raw, or wheeling any impression around the sole to the heel.
It is called seat wheeling in many shoe factory rooms.

BEATING OUT. The same as leveling. It is the term used in turn-shoe work.

BELLOWS TONGUE. A broad tongue sewed to the sides of the top, seen in
waterproof and some working shoes.

BELTING. The term applied to the usual back tanned cowhide, used in
various thicknesses for machinery belts.

BETWEEN SUBSTANCE. That part of the sole that holds the stitch.

BLACKBALL. A mass of grease and lampblack, formerly used by shoemakers
on edges of heels and soles; sometimes called “cobbler’s botch.”

BLACKING THE EDGE. Blacking or dyeing edge of sole, welt, or that part of
the edge which cannot be blacked so well in the making room.

BLOCKING. The cutting or chopping of a sole in such a form or shape that
it can be rounded.

BLOOM. A term often applied to the grayish white deposit that gathers on
shoes in stock. It can be wiped off readily.

BLUCHER. The name of a shoe or half boot, originated by Field Marshal
Blücher of the Prussian Army, in the time of Napoleon I. It became very
popular and has since received occasional favor, being used with high
tops as a sporting or hunting boot. Its distinguishing feature is the
extension forward of the quarters to lace across the tongue, which may be
an extension upward of the vamp.

BOOT. A term used (especially abroad) to designate women’s high-cut
shoes. In this country it applies only to high or topped footwear,
usually made with the tops stiff and solid. It is sometimes laced, as in
hunting boots.

BOOTEE. Leather legging extending between knee and ankle, usually of
Russian calf,--a riding boot originating with the English.

BOTTOM FILLING. The filling that goes in the low space on the bottom in
the forepart of the shoe. It is either ground cork, tarred felt, or other

BOTTOM SCOURING. Sandpapering the parts of the sole, except the heel.

BOXING. A term used to designate the stiffening material placed in the
toe of a shoe to support it and retain the shape; such as leather,
composition of leather and paper, wire net, drilling (a cotton fabric)
stiffened with shellac, etc.

BOX CALF. A well-known proprietary leather having a grain of
rectangularly crossed lines.

BOX TOE. Used to hold up the toe of the shoe so as to retain the shape.
It is generally of sole leather, but often made of canvas or other
material and stiffened with shellac or gum.

BREAKING THE SOLE. Molding the sole so as to fit the spring better.

BROGAN. A heavy pegged or nailed work shoe, medium cut in height.

BRUSHING. The final finish of the top edge, heel, and bottom, by means of
a brush.

BUCKSKIN. A soft leather, generally yellow or grayish in color. One way
of preparing it is by treating deerskins in oil.

BUFF. A split side leather, coarser than glove grain, but otherwise
similar. It is used for cheaper grades of shoes, principally for men.

BUFFING. The same as bottom scouring.

CABARETTA. A tanned sheepskin of superior finish used for shoe stock.
There are sheep with wool not far removed from hair in texture, which
produce a skin of greater tenacity and finish than the ordinary sheep.

CACK. A sole leather bottom without a heel. An infant’s shoe is called a

CALFSKINS. Skins of meat cattle of all kinds, weighing up to fifteen
pounds, are usually included in this term. They make a strong and pliable
leather. Calfskins were formerly finished with wax and oil on the flesh
side, but can now be made so as to be finished on the “grain,” which is
the hair side of the skin.

CAP. A term meaning the same as tip.

CARTON. A cardboard box intended for one pair of shoes.

CEMENTING. This is the operation of placing cement on the outsole and the
bottom of the welt shoe so that the outsole is held to the shoe by the

CHAMOIS. A leather made from the skins of chamois, calves, deer, goats,
sheep, and split hides of other animals.

CHANNELING. Cutting into the sole in such a way that the thread or
stitching is away from the surface. In the outsole department it means
preparing a place for the stitch. In insoles and turn soles, channeling
is done so that soles are prepared to hold the stitching.

CHANNEL SCREWED. A process by which the sole is fastened to the uppers.
After a channel is cut and laid over on the outside of the outsole, the
outsole and insole are fastened together, holding the upper and lining
between them by means of wire screws, which are fastened in this channel.
The skived part is then smoothed down over the heads of the screws,
entirely covering them from sight, and preventing the screws from easily
working up into the foot.

CHANNEL STITCHED. A method of fastening soles to the uppers, either by
McKay or welt process, in which a portion of the sole’s outer side is
channeled into, and the stitches afterwards covered on the lower side by
the lip of this channel.

CHANNEL TURNING. Turning a lip or flap of sole leather (called channel),
so that the stitching can be done in the proper place; or it may mean
turning up the flap or lip of the channel, that is, the part that is to
cover the stitch.

CHECKING. A term applied to the edges of heels or soles that have
cracked, or have been injured in process of construction.

CLEANING INSIDE. Cleaning the lining.

CLEANING NAILS. Scraping the blacking off the tops of the heel slugs.

CLEANING SHOES. Removing dirt, wax, cement, etc., from them.

CLICKING. Cutting the uppers of shoes.

CLOSING. Putting two or more pieces together.

CLOSING ON. Stitching the lining and outside together.

COLONIAL. A name given to a woman’s low shoe, with vamp extended into a
flaring tongue, with a large, ornamental buckle across the instep. The
buckle and tongue are the distinctive features of the shoe, whether the
shoe fastens with a lace or strap.

COLTSKIN. Coltskin has been brought into general use in shoemaking
within the past few years. The skin of a colt is thin enough to use like
calfskin in its entirety, with such shaving as is given all hides in
tanning. Coltskin makes a firm basis needed for patent leather, and has
been much used in recent years for this purpose. Russia is the chief
source of supply.

COMBINATION LAST. One with a different width instep from the ball. It may
be one or two widths’ difference, such as the D ball with a B instep.
Combination lasts are generally used in fitting low insteps.

COMPOSITION. A term used to denote the small scraps that accumulate
about tanneries and factories, which are ground up and mixed with a
paste or a kind of cement, and flattened into sheets which are used as
insoles, and in other parts, in various grades of shoes, where wear is
not excessive.

CONGRESS GAITER. A shoe designed especially for comfort, with rubber
goring in the sides which adjusts it to the ankle, instead of laces, and
sometimes made with lace front to imitate a regular shoe.

CORDOVAN. Originally a Spanish leather made from horsehide. The Spaniards
were, for a great many centuries, the best leather makers. The term
is applied to a grain leather from the best and strongest part of a

COUNTER. The stiffening in the back part of a shoe, often called
stiffening, to support the outer leather and prevent the shoe from
“running over” at the heel. It is made either of sole leather, shaved
thin on the edge and shaped by machinery, as in the best shoes, or
composition or paper, in cheap shoes. Metal is occasionally used on the
outside of the shoes in heavy goods for miners and furnacemen.

COUPON TAG. A tag from which a coupon is cut for every operation.
Operatives hold part of the coupon and the holders of the coupons are
paid for the part named.

COWHIDE. Refers to hides of cattle, heavier than kips, which run up to
twenty-five pounds each.

CREASING VAMP. Making hollow grooves across the front of the vamp to add
to its looks.

CREEDMORE. A man’s heavy lace shoe, with gusset, blucher cut.

CREOLE. A heavy congress work shoe. This shoe, the creedmore, and brogans
are usually made of oil grains, kip, or split leather, sometimes pegged,
sometimes “stitched down.”

CRIMPING. Shaping any part of the upper so that it will conform to the
last better.

CUSHION SOLE. An elastic inner sole.

CUT-OFF VAMP. One cut off at tip for economy when tip is to be covered by
a cap.

DIEING. Cutting soles to fit the last, outsoles, insoles, heel lifts,
counters, or half soles, with a machine and a die.

DOM PEDRO. A heavy, one-buckle shoe, with gusset or bellows tongue.
Originally it was a patent name for certain shoes made of fine material,
but is now applied to cheap grades.

DONGOLA. A heavy, plump goatskin, tanned with a semibright finish.

DRESSING. A process for giving the upper its original finish by means of
liquid put on with sponge.

EDGE SETTING. The finishing edge of the sole,--polishing it.

EDGE TRIMMING. Trimming the edge of a sole smoothly to conform to last.

ENAMEL. Leather that is given a shiny finish on the grain side. The
process is similar to that of patent leather, only that patent leather is
finished on the flesh side, or the surface of the split.

EYELET. A small ring of metal, etc., placed in the holes for lacing; the
eyelet holes are sometimes worked with thread like a buttonhole.

EYELETTING. Putting on eyelets.

FACING. The bleached calf or sheepskin used around the top of the shoe,
and down the eyelet row and inside of the upper.

FAIR STITCH. Term applied to the stitching that shows around the outer
edge of the sole, to give the McKay shoe the appearance of a welt shoe.

FAKING. Putting a gloss on any part of the bottom of the shoe.

FINDINGS. The small parts of a shoe, such as blacking, cement, nails,
wax, tacks, thread, etc.

FLAP, LIP, AND SHOULDER. Terms used in connection with the channel or
with the operation of sewing.

FOLLOWER. Any last or form put in a shoe from which the original last has
been pulled.

FOREPART FINISHING. The staining and polishing of the forepart of the

FORM. A term applied to a filler last. It may be of wood, papier-mâché,
leather board, or any similar material, and is used to enhance the
appearance of sample shoes, in salesmen’s lines or in window displays.

FOXED. Having the lower part of the quarter a separate piece of leather
or covered by an extra piece; “slipper foxed” is a term sometimes applied
to women’s full vamp shoes.

FOXING. The name applied to that part of the upper that extends from the
sole to the laces in front, and to about the height of the counter in the
back; being the length of the upper. It may be in one or more pieces and
is often cut down to the shank in circular form.

FRIZZING. A process to which chamois and wash leather are subjected,
after the skins are unhaired, scraped, “fleshed,” and raised. It consists
in rubbing the skins with pumice stone or a blunt knife till the
appearance of the grain is entirely removed.

FRONT. A term used for part of a congress toe.

GAITER. A term usually applied to a separate ankle covering or to a
congress shoe.

GEMMING. The operation of making gem insoles.

GEM INSOLES. An insole for welt shoes of leather.


GLOVE GRAIN. A light, soft-finished, split leather, for women’s or
children’s shoes or topping.


GOODYEAR WELT. A term used to denote the process of attaching the sole
to the upper of a shoe by means of a narrow strip of leather called a

GORE. A rubber elastic used in a congress shoe. It is also applied to the
long, wedge-shaped piece of leather set in an upper to widen it.

GRADING. The sorting of outsoles and half soles to get uniform weight in
edges of finished shoes.

HALF SOLE. Half of a complete sole used in forepart of bottom under

HARNESS LEATHER. Similar to belting, and is made from hides heavier than

HEEL. Made of layers of leather or wood called liftings, and attached to
rear part of shoe (heel seat). There are different varieties of heels.
The French heel is an extremely high heel with a curved outline in back
and front (breast). It is sometimes made of wood covered with leather,
with thicknesses of sole leather, or all sole leather. The Cuban heel is
a high, straight heel, without the curve of the French or “Louis XV”
heel. Military heel is a straight heel not as high as the Cuban. A spring
heel is a low heel formed by extending back the outside of the shoe to
the heel, with a slip inserted between the outsole and heel slat. Wedge
heel is somewhat similar to a spring heel, except that a wedge-shaped
lift is tacked on the outside instead of a slit. Slugging heels is the
process of affixing the made-up heel by one operation of the machine.

HEEL FINISHING. Blacking and polishing the heel edge.

HEEL LINING. The lining to cover heel nails inside the shoe; it is often
known by other names.

HEEL PAD. In the manufacture of shoes, is a small piece of felt, leather,
or other substance fastened to and covering the full width of the insole
at the point upon which the heel rests. A heel cushion is sometimes
called a heel pad.

HEEL SCOURING. Sandpapering the edge of the heel, except the front or
breast portion.

HEEL SEAT. That part of sole on which heel is fastened.

HEEL SEAT NAILING. Nailing the heel part of sole.

HEEL SEAT TRIMMING. Trimming the rear or heel part of sole.

HEEL SHAVING. Shaving the heel, shaping it.

HEMLOCK TANNED. A process of tanning leather by hemlock bark.

HIDES. Distinguished from skins, in the trade. Hides refer to skins of
animals which are over twenty-five pounds in weight. Skins refer to
smaller animals; as skins of goats, calves, sheep.

INLAY. A trimming of the upper by an insertion of the same or different
kind of material than that of the body in which it is inlaid. It is used
for decorative purpose on a shoe.

INSEAMING. Sewing sole on turn shoe. Welting and inseaming are
practically the same operation.

INSEAM TRIMMING. Cutting off the surplus leather; term is also applied to
pulling sole tacks.

INSOLE. The first sole laid on the last, and is the foundation of all
shoes with insoles. It is an important though invisible portion of a
shoe. This inner sole is the part to which the upper and outsole are
sewed or nailed in the McKay and welt shoes.

INSPECTING. The examination of shoes to see that the work is perfect; it
is sometimes called crowning.

INSPECTING INSOLE. The operation of looking inside of the shoe for tacks.

INSTEP. The top of the arch of the foot.

IRON. A term indicating the thickness of sole leather; each unit is
approximately one thirty-second of an inch in thickness.

IRONING UPPERS. Taking wrinkles out of the uppers and smoothing the same
with a hot iron.

JULIETTE. A woman’s house slipper which is cut a little above the ankle
in front and back, and cut down on the sides is called a Juliette.

KANGAROO. The skin of the animal of that name, which makes a splendid
leather, of firm texture. It is quite expensive, hence substitutes are on
the market under the same name.

KID. A term applied to the shoe leather made from the skins of mature

KIP. A term applied to leather made from hides weighing between fifteen
and twenty-five pounds.

LACE STAY. A strip of leather reënforcing the eyelet holes.

LACE HOOK. An eyelet extended into a recurved hook, around which the lace
is looped. It is most commonly used in men’s and boys’ shoes, although
recently some have been invented for use in women’s shoes with curved
ends, to avoid catching the dress.

LACING. The operation of putting laces in shoes.

LAST. A wooden form over which the shoe is constructed, giving the shoe
its distinctive shape.

LASTING. The process of making the uppers conform to the last in all
respects. The operations of assembling and pulling over are parts of

LAYING CHANNEL. Turning down the lip or flap to cover the stitching.

LEVELING. Shaping the sole to the bottom of the last.

LIFT. The name given to one thickness of sole leather used in the heel.
Top lift is the bottom lift, when the shoe is right side up, and is the
last piece put on in manufacture.

LINING. The inside part of shoe, generally of cloth (dull) or sheepskin.

LINING CUTTING. The operation of cutting the cloth linings.

LINING-IN. The operation of putting lining inside of the shoe to cover
insole or part of insole.

LOADING LEATHER. Filling the pores of the leather with glucose to
increase its weight.

MAKING LININGS. Consists of closing up heel of lining; putting on top and
side or eyelet stay.

MATCH MARKING. An operation performed on colored uppers, except black, to
get different parts of the upper the same shade and color, and both shoes
in the pair alike.

MAT. A term applied to a dull finish kid as distinguished from glazed.

MCKAY SEWED OR MCKAY. A shoe in which the outsole is attached to the
insole and upper by a method named for the inventor.

MCKAY SEWING. Sewing through and through so that thread is seen inside
of shoe.

MIDDLE SOLE. Any sole between outsole and insole.

MOCK WELT. McKay-sewed shoe with a double sole and having a leather sock
lining. It is fair stitched to imitate a welt.

MONKEY SKIN. A peculiar grained skin, and is considered in the trade as a
fancy leather. It is often imitated.

MOROCCO. A name applied to leather originally made in Morocco. It is a
sumac-tanned goatskin, red in color, and is used in book binding. The
name is also applied to a leather made in imitation of this, and to
heavy, plump goatskins used for shoes.

MOLDING. Shaping the sole to fit the bottom of last.

MULES. The name applied to slippers with no counters or quarters.

NAP. The woolly side of hide, cloth, or felt.

NAUMKEAGING. Smoothing up the bottom with fine sandpaper. Sometimes the
buffing grain.

NULLIFIER. A shoe with high vamp and quarter, dropping low at the sides,
made with a short rubber goring for summer or house wear.

OAK TANNED. A process of tanning by means of a substance obtained from
oak bark.

OIL LEATHER. Leather prepared by currying hides in oil. The hides are
moist, that the oily matter may be gradually and thoroughly absorbed.

OOZE. A chrome tan calfskin treated on the flesh side in such a manner
that the long fibers are loosened and form a nap surface; made in many

OUTSIDE CUTTING. Cutting the leather parts of the shoe, as vamp, tip,
top, etc.

OUTSIDE TAP. The tap used outside of men’s or boys’ heavy shoes.

OUTSOLE. The sole next the ground, on which all wear comes.

[Illustration: Cross Section of McKay Sewed Shoe.]

[Illustration: Cross Section of Goodyear Welt Shoe.]

OXFORD. A low-cut shoe no higher than the instep lace, button, or
goring, made in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes.

PACKER HIDES. Hides taken off in the large slaughterhouses. They are
rated slightly higher in price, because great care and skill are used in
taking them off.

PACKING. Placing a pair of shoes in a carton.

PACS. Coverings for the feet made of good quality calfskin, similar in
form and appearance to the Indian moccasin. They do not have sole leather
bottoms. If properly made, they are waterproof.

PANCAKE. A term applied to one of the many artificial leathers formed
from leather scraps, shaved thin, and cemented together under heavy

PASTED COUNTER. One that is cut from two pieces of sole leather pasted
together. It is sometimes called a two-piece counter.

PATENT LEATHER. Varnished leather.

PATTERN. The model by which the pieces comprising the upper of a shoe
are cut, applied collectively to upper as modified by the differing
shape of these pieces.

PEBBLE. A term used in the process to bring out the grain of leather and
give it a roughened or rubbed appearance.

PEGGING. Lasting out soles with pegs.

PERFORATING. Making very small holes around parts of upper. It is
performed mostly for decoration.

POLISH. The name of ladies’ or misses’ front-lace shoe of higher cut than
“bal,” and named from Poland, where it originated.

PRESSING. Consists of a flat-press pressure for heels and soles, to
prevent cracking of edges and to make parts adhere.

PORPOISE. This skin is sometimes used for leather and boot laces, but
porpoise hides are ordinarily obtained from the white whale.

PULLING LASTS. Removing the lasts from shoes.

PULLING OVER. Pulling upper on the last and tacking it in position.

PUMP. A low-cut shoe originally having no fastenings, such as laces or
buttons. A pump is cut lower than the instep.

PUMP SOLE. An extra-light single sole, running clear through to the
back of the heel. A pump sole in former years was distinguished by its
flexibility and was hand turned.

PUTTING ON TAP. Sticking half sole to the outsole.

QUARTER. The rear part of upper when a full vamp is not used. Term is
used mostly in women’s, and Oxfords or low shoes.

RAND. Made of sole leather about as wide as a welt, but thin at one edge.
It is tacked to the heel so as to balance the heel evenly on the sole and
fill any open space around the edge between sole and heel.

RAPID STITCHING. Sewing the sole to welt.

RELASTING. Consists in putting lasts in shoes from which the original
lasts have been removed.

REPAIRING. A term applied to filling slight cracks in patent tips or
patent leather.

ROAN. Sheepskin tanned with sumac. The process is similar in its details
to that employed for morocco leather, but lacks the graining given to the
morocco by the grooved rollers in the finishing. It imitates ungrained

ROLLING. The process of passing leather between rolls to make it firm and
hard. Rolling consists in polishing the bottom on roll and brush.

ROUGH ROUNDING. Rounding outsole to the shape of last, and cutting
channel in the welt-channeled shoes.

ROYALTIES. Sums paid for the use of machines to machine companies.

RUSSET CALF. Russet-colored calf is made from calfskins.

RUSSET GRAIN. Russet-colored grain is made from a split cowhide.

SABOT. The name of a one-piece wooden shoe, carved from a block of
basswood. A novelty to Americans, but worn by people in the rural and
manufacturing sections of Holland, Germany, and France.

SACK LINING. The lining inside the shoe and insole.

SANDAL. The name of a woman’s strap slipper, or a sole worn by children.
Originally fastened on the foot by straps.

SATIN CALF. A grain split, stuffed with oil, and smooth finished.

SCOURING BREAST. Sandpapering the front part of the heel.

SCREW-FASTENED. A shoe having the sole attached with screws, as in cheap
or working shoes.

SEAL GRAIN. Usually a flesh split, with an artificial grain which is
stamped or printed on the finished leather.

SECOND LASTING. The same as relasting. Term used most in turn work.

SHANK. The middle position of the bottom of the foot. Shank supports are
placed in shoes to stiffen that part of the bottom. They are of steel,
of wood, or of a combination of leather board and steel, and can be
placed in the shoe any time before the outsole is laid.

SHANK BURNISHING. Polishing a black shank with hot iron.

SHANK FINISHING. Finishing the shank with blacking or in colors. The top
lift is generally finished at the same time.

SHANKING OUT. Means making the edge of the shank thinner than the other
part of the sole, and making it smooth.

SHEEPSKINS. Used largely for linings and for cheap shoes for women and
children. It is too soft and weak in texture for heavy wear, and liable
to split and tear.

SHORT VAMP. A foreshortened vamp. The distance between the extreme tip
and the throat of the vamp shortened for appearances.

SIDES. Leather made from hides which are split into two sides down the

SIDE LASTING. Lasting the side of the shoe only.

SIZE. Shoes are measured by the length and width. The length is expressed
by numbers and the widths by letters.

SKINS. A term used to represent the skin covering of small animals, such
as goats.

SKIRTING. The outer parts of leather (hide), such as shanks, bellies,
necks, etc.

SKIVING. Making the sole the same thickness in all parts. Skiving means
cutting or shaving down to a thin edge. This operation may be done in the
cutting department or stitching department.

SLIP. The name applied to spring heels or to soles. Slip is a thin piece
of sole leather inserted above the outer sole.

SLUGGING. Driving slugs in heels, on part or all of the heel.

SOCK LINING. The lining for insole, inside of shoe.

SOFT TIP. A term applied to a shoe on which no boxing is used under the

SOLES AND SOLE LEATHER. Name applied to pieces of leather of various
thickness on the bottom of a shoe, usually made from heavy hides of
leather. There are many varieties of soles: a “full-double” sole has two
thicknesses of leather extending clear back to the heel; “half-double”
sole is a full outer sole, with slip extending back to shank; single sole
is self-defining; “tap” is a half sole.

SOLE LAYING. Sole laying is the operation of laying the outsole.

SORTING. The process of selecting and sorting soles, so that they may be
put up in different qualities.

SPEWING. Shoes in stock sometimes become coated with a grayish white,
powdery substance, that looks like mildew. This formation on leather that
is not fully seasoned is called spewing, and the deposit is called bloom.
It can readily be wiped off, and does not indicate any serious defect or
trouble with the leather. It is not a mildew or growth, but apparently
an exudation of materials used in tanning.

SPLITS. A name applied to split leather, that is, two or more parts of
the hide.

SPRING HEEL. Consists of one or more lifts used between the outsole and
upper. It is seen mostly in children’s shoes and is often called wedge
heel. It can also be put on outside instead of under the outsole.

STAMPING. The operation of putting size and width on the inside of the
shoe. Parts of the uppers are often stamped or marked so that the whole
are put together properly in the stitching room.

STAY. The name given to any piece of leather put in the upper to
strengthen it or to strengthen a seam.

STAMPING BOTTOMS. The operation of stamping name on bottom. It is often
performed in finishing rooms.

STAMPING CARTON. Putting the size, width, and other marks on carton.

STAMPING SIZES. Stamping sizes on heel part of the sole.

STANDARD-FASTENED. Nailing bottom on standard screw machine.

STAYING. Putting on a stay, generally heel stay.

STITCH SEPARATING. Marking between stitches so as to make them show to
good advantage.

STITCH DOWN. A term applied to a flexible shoe used in the army, in which
the top is turned out instead of under and stitched through the sole.

STITCHED ALOFT. A term used to indicate that the sewing stitches show
on the bottom. No channel is necessary in this sole. It may be a slight
groove. In stitching, the shoe is held bottom up, therefore the name
“stitched aloft.”

STRAIGHT LAST. One that is neither right nor left, and a shoe made over
such a last can be worn on either foot. This term is sometimes applied to
right and left shoes that have a barely perceptible outside swing.

STRIPPING. Consists of cutting in strips wide enough to cut soles all of
equal size in length.

SUEDE. A trade term applied to kid skins, finished on the flesh side.

SWING. A term applied to the curve of the outer edge of a sole.

TACKING ON. Consists in laying the outsole on McKay’s lasted shoes.

TACK PULLING AND TRIMMING OUT. Consist of preparing bottom for welting.
It also makes it better for the operation.

TAMPICO. A variety of goat skins coming from the province of Tampico,
Central America.

TAP. Half of a complete sole, often called half sole when used under

TAN. Tan is a sort of brownish leather.

TANNING. Tanning is the process of converting hides or skins into

TAP TRIMMING. Shaping the tap to conform to the sole.

TAWING. The process of making leather by soaking hides in a solution of
salt and alum, or by packing them down with dry salt and powdered alum.
Used to prepare skin rugs and furs.

TEMPERING. The operation of wetting the leather in water to take hardness
out and make leather “mull,” so that it may be worked easier.

TIP. The toe piece which is stitched to the vamp and outside of it. Stock
tip is a tip of the same material as the vamp. Patent tip is a patent
leather tip. Diamond tip refers to the shape extending back to a point.
Imitation tip-stitching across the vamp is imitation of a tip.

TIP CUTTING. Cutting the tip which goes on the toe of the vamp.

TOE AND HEEL LASTING. Lasting heel and toe.

TOE PIECE. A piece attached to cut-off vamp to lengthen it.

TONGUE. A narrow strip of leather necessary on all laced shoes.

TOP. The part of the upper above the vamp; tip of shoe.

TOP CUTTING. Cutting the top only.

TOP FACING. The strip of leather or band of cloth around the top of the
shoe on the inside is called the top facing. It adds to the finish of the
lining, and is sometimes used to advertise the name of manufacturers by a
design of letters woven or sewed on it.

TOP LIFT. The lift which is next to the ground.

TOP LIFT SCOURING. Sandpapering top lift of heel to make it smooth.

TOP STITCHING. Consists of stitching across the top and down the side.

TREEING. Shaping the shoe, making it smooth. Produces the same effect
as ironing, although no hot iron is used. It makes the upper plump and
gives it a good finish and “feel.”

TRIMMING CUTTING. Cutting stays, facings, and other small parts of the

TRIMMING VAMP. Cutting off hanging or surplus thread.

TURNING. To turn shoe right side out. Also turning upper right side out.

TURNED SHOE. A lady’s fine shoe that is made wrong side out, then turned
right side out, which operation necessitates the use of a thin, flexible
sole of good quality. The sole is fastened to the last, the upper is
lasted over it wrong side out, then the two are sewed together, the
thread catching through a channel cut in the edge of the sole. The seam
does not come through to the bottom of the sole where it would chafe the
foot on inside.

UPPER. A term applied collectively to the upper parts of a shoe.

UNGRAINED. Smooth surface.

VAMP. The lower or front part of the upper of a shoe. It is the most
important piece of the upper and should be cut from the strongest and
cleanest part of the skin. “Cut-off” vamp is one that extends only to the
tip, instead of being continued to the toe and lasted under with the tip.
Whole vamp is one that extends to the heel without a seam.

VAMPING. Stitching the vamp to the top.

VAMP CUTTING. Cutting vamp with or without the tip.

VELOUR. A finish for calf leather. It is the French name for velvet and
is used in the shoe trade for a patent chrome-tanned calf leather. It is
an excellent leather and has a smooth and velvety finish.

VELLUM. A name for skins that are made into a variety of parchment.

VENEERING. Consists in making soles, whole or part, heavier, by means of
leather-board or other material fastened to the sole by an adhesive.

VESTING. A material originally designed for making vests. As used in
shoes, it is made with fancy-figured weave, having a backing of stiff
buckram or rubber-treated tissue to strengthen it.

VISCOLIZING. A patent method of waterproofing sole leather by the use of
partly emulsified oils with a water-resisting tendency. Viscolized soles
are used in hunting and sporting boots.

VICI. A patent trade name for a brand of chrome-tanned kid.

WASH LEATHER. An inferior quality of chamois.

WELT. A narrow strip of leather that is sewed to the upper of a shoe
with an insole leaving the edge of the welt extending outward, so that
the outsole can be attached by sewing through both welt and outsole,
around the outside of the shoe. The attaching of the sole and upper
thus involves two sewings, first the insole, welt and upper, then the
outsole to the welt. The name is applied to the shoe itself when made
in this way to distinguish it from a turned, or McKay sewed shoe. This
is the method used by cobblers in the production of hand-sewed shoes to
fasten the sole and upper together. Goodyear welt is a welt in which the
sewing is done by a machine named for the inventor. There are very few
hand-welted shoes made.

WELT BEATING. The flattening out of the welt, making it smooth.

WELTING. Sewing the welt to shoe.

WHITE ALUM. Bleached leather tawed with white alum.

WOODEN CASE. Large box for twelve or more pairs.



The use of gloves is so old that relics of them have been found in the
habitations of the cave dwellers. The Romans used them as decorative
articles of dress and the Greeks to protect the hands when doing heavy

The gloves of ladies and gentlemen in the days of Queen Elizabeth,
and before and after, were most beautiful in hand workmanship and
embellishments, but they were usually shapeless things, and in these days
no one would wear them; they are not to be compared with the elegant
style and artistic finish of the modern product.

When the social world was restricted, so to speak, in the numbers of
its members who could afford some of life’s luxuries, the use of the
glove was confined largely to royalty, nobility, and the well-to-do.
And the trade not being extensive, prices were high--being added to by
decorative elaboration in needlework in order that the manufacturer and
his employees might extract as much money as possible from the ultimate
buyer. While glove making is now one of the stabilities of modern
manufacture, it is, nevertheless, constantly changing in styles, due to
eagerness for novelties and new fashions.

Glove making of leather, in a rough, crude form, was carried on in this
country to a very limited extent in New York State as early as 1760, by
glove makers brought from Scotland to settle on the grants of Sir William
Johnson, in Fulton county. But there was no general market for the home
product until one was found in Albany in 1825. These early gloves, crude
and clumsy, were cut with shears from leather by means of pasteboard
patterns, and men did the cutting and women the sewing. Dies were later
introduced, and this led to a great improvement in the character of the

But a still greater step forward was taken when the sewing machine was
introduced in 1852. This abolished handwork entirely, but still the
industry remained largely of a domestic nature, since it could be carried
on at home with a machine as well as in a factory. Later steam power was
installed in factories with which to run the machines. The cutting of
gloves, and the stitching on the backs, was done before the gloves were
sent out to be completed in workers’ homes.

As in everything wherein power can be substituted for hand labor in
these days, the methods of glove manufacture have undergone a great
transformation. The treating of skins in a great tub, three feet deep,
whole dyeing and scouring, in rooms of high temperature, has been
displaced by putting skins and colors into a cube-shaped box, which,
revolving with an irregular motion, produces the same results more
quickly than by the primitive way. But when color is to be applied to but
one side the process is the same as of old,--hand use of a brush while
the skin is stretched out on a slab.

When taken from the stock on hand to be made into gloves, the first thing
done to skins by some glove makers is to “feed” them with eggs--not eggs
of suspicious merits, but good enough for table use. And of these nothing
is used but the yolk. One glove maker imports from China large quantities
of the yolks of duck eggs for his work, and his yearly consumption of
yolks amounts to seventeen thousand.

When the skins leave the dyehouse, they are rapidly dried in steam-heated
lofts; and while stiff and rough they are, or were, worked into softness
and smoothness over a wooden upright standard, called a stake, at the
top of which is fitted a blunt semicircular knife. Over this the skin is
drawn by hand, back and forth, until it becomes as pliable and delicate
as silk. When this work was done manually it was most laborious. But now
it has been mostly taken over by very ingenious machinery, which looks,
in operation, as if it would tear a skin into fragments by the way it
snaps and pulls at it, but which is adjustable to such nicety of action
and power that the work is done exactly as it is wanted.

The next operation is to pare the skins to uniformity of thickness. This
also was handwork for a long time, done with a peculiarly shaped knife,
but now emery-coated wheels, with rounded edges, are used by the workers,
who, with their aid, do just as good and much faster work in drawing and
thinning the skins with absolute precision. This completes the treatment
of the skin.

Now the function of the cutter begins, and he must be a workman of
experience and good judgment, in that he must contend with the inconstant
inelasticity of the skin, reducing it to uniform resistance. He must
get so many pieces of glove size from each skin, and suit the pieces
to particular features of the skin. When done with a skin he must have
left, as useless, only trifling strips and shreds. The shapeliness of
the glove which a woman draws over her hand, depends altogether upon the
intelligence and skill of the cutter. In American factories the cutter is
usually from some glove-making center in Europe and from a family whose
occupation has been glove making for centuries.

A punch next cuts these glove pieces into shape, forming and dividing the
fingers, slitting the buttonholes, providing side pieces for fingers and
thumbs, and also the fragments used for strengthening the buttonholes.
The sewing, formerly the handiwork of women, is now done on machines
of capacity for exceptionally fine quality of intricate stitching. The
number of glove sizes made is sufficient to meet every likely demand.
When sewn, and the buttons or fastenings put on, they pass beneath the
critical eye of an inspector for scrutiny as to faults. Then they are
finally shaped on a hot metal hand, smoothed, banded, boxed, and sent to
the salesroom for shipment.

The first and fourth fingers of a glove are completed by gussets, or
strips, sewed only on the inner side; but the second and third fingers
require gussets on both sides to complete the fingers. In addition to
these, small, diamond-shaped pieces are sewed in at the roots of the
fingers. Special care is necessary in sewing in the thumb pieces, as
poorly made gloves usually give way at this point.

Natural lined gloves are now common enough, although it is not many years
since they were regarded as impracticable. These are made from pelts of
various animals with the hair left on the skin to form the lining.


For automobile and furniture leather only choice hides should be used.
The kind of hides generally employed for this class of leather are French
and Swiss, as these run full and plump on the bellies, are free from cuts
on the flesh and are of clear grain. The hides are trimmed before placing
them in the soaking pits, all useless parts, such as nose, shanks, etc.,
being cut away.

After remaining in soak for a day or two, the hides are hauled out,
fleshed, and returned to the soaks for thorough softening. When
thoroughly soaked, they are toggled and reeled into the first lime. The
first lime must be a weak, mellow lime, or a harsh grain will show after
the leather is tanned. The hides are reeled over into stronger limes
every day for seven days, when they are ready for unhairing. After coming
from the limes, the hides should go into a pit of soft water heated to
about ninety degrees Fahrenheit and left over night before starting in
to unhair. After unhairing, they are thrown into a vat of clean water
and thoroughly worked out on the grain to remove short hairs and scud
and are then ready for bating. One that has a little bacterial action
is preferred to an acid bate. After bating, the hides are given a good
scudding on the grain and are then ready for the tanning liquors.

The liquors are made of hemlock and oak and are used very weak on the
start. The hides are suspended for a day in a liquor not over six degrees
specific gravity reading in strength, and the following day shifted over
into a stronger liquor. The stock is given stronger liquors every day
until tanned enough for splitting.

The stock is struck out smoothly and brought to the machine for
splitting. The buffing is first taken away and sold for hat bands,
pocket-books, etc. The grains are finished and the splits are returned to
the tanning liquors to be thoroughly tanned. As soon as the splits are
tanned, they are washed up, drained, and then drummed in the drum in a
sumac liquor. They are now scoured, and, after being well set out, are
given a good oiling with cod oil.

They are now tacked out on the frames and dried out. They are next taken
from the frames and boarded by hand over the table. The splits are taken
to the japan shop and are tacked out again and are ready for the first
coat of daub. Two coats are applied. After each coat, the splits are well
rubbed down, when they receive the slicker coat. The color coats are now
applied, and after drying out, the leather is grained up and finished.



Examine the rubbers we wear during the winter and stormy weather.

Rubber shoe coverings are made to protect the shoe from water and snow
and may be in the form of either slippers or arctics. The covering is
rendered waterproof by means of a compound rubber.

Rubber is the name given to a coagulated milky juice obtained from many
different trees, vines, and shrubs that grow on that part of the earth’s
surface which forms a band some three or four hundred miles on either
side of the equator.

[Illustration: Crude Rubber.]

Rubber is graded commercially, according to the district where it is
found. In the order of importance it may be divided into three general
sorts, viz., American, African, and Asiatic. The best and largest
quantities of rubber come from Brazil, along the banks of the Amazon
River. The countries in the northern and western part of South America,
and the Central American States and Mexico furnish considerable rubber.
Eastern and western Africa also produce many kinds of rubber in large
quantities, though somewhat inferior to the Brazilian product. The
Asiatic rubbers are unimportant in quantity, and, excepting the rubber
obtained from cultivated trees in Ceylon, are decidedly inferior in

The fluid rubber obtained from Brazil is called Para and is used
principally in the manufacture of rubber footwear. The method of
gathering and coagulating the rubber juice (called latex) varies in the
different countries. The native first clears a space under a number of
trees and proceeds to tap the trees with a short-handled ax, having a
small blade, by cutting gashes in the bark. A cup is fixed under each
cut to catch the fluid as it flows out. As fast as the cups are filled,
they are emptied into a large vessel and carried to the camp to be
coagulated. A fire is started in a shallow hole in the ground, and palm
nuts, which make a dense smoke, are thrown on. An earthen cover which has
a small opening on top is placed over the fire, allowing the smoke to
escape through the opening. A wooden paddle is first dipped in clay water
and then into the latex and then held over the smoke. The heat coagulates
a thin layer of rubber on the paddle. It is dipped again and again in the
latex and smoked each time. After being dipped many times, a lump (called
biscuit) of rubber is formed. A cut is made in the biscuit and the paddle
removed. Then the rubber is ready for market. The world’s crop of rubber
in 1911 was about ninety thousand tons.

Few people realize the number of operations necessary to produce from the
crude biscuit of India rubber the highly finished rubber shoe of to-day.
Briefly stated, the various steps are washing, drying, compounding,
calendering, cutting the various parts, making or putting these parts
together, varnishing, vulcanizing, and packing. Each of these processes
requires a distinct and separate department, and many of these processes
are subdivided into minor operations.

The huge stock of Para rubber, that is rubber obtained from the Amazon
section, to be found in any of the leading rubber factories counts well
up into the thousands of dollars. With rubber at or near $1.50 per pound,
a stock of ten to fifty tons runs up into the five or six figures.

This crude rubber, as it comes from the Amazon, contains more or less
dirt, pebbles, and other foreign substances, which must be removed.

The large cakes of crude rubber are first broken up by a cracker machine,
consisting of two large, revolving steel cylinders, from which the
product falls into pans or trays. It goes then to a machine known as a
“washer” or “sheeter,” where it is run between revolving cylinders, upon
which a continuous spray of clean water is maintained. After being rolled
into rough sheets, it is put into a tank, from which it is taken to the
“beater” machine, in which water runs continuously, and then it is washed
again and “sheeted out.” It is then dried in one of two ways.

(1) The older way. The sheets are hung over rods in a large room, and
allowed to dry in the air. To facilitate the same, a fan or blower is
often used to cause a circulation and removal of the moisture-laden air.
This requires a period of from one to two or three months.

[Illustration: Washing and Drying.]

(2) The second method is called vacuum drying. This process is gradually
being introduced, so that now probably more rubber is dried in vacuum
than by air. The vacuum drier consists of a large iron cylinder filled
with plates, through which steam is allowed to circulate. The rubber
is placed on the plates and the air is exhausted from the cylinder by
means of an air pump until very nearly twenty-six degrees of vacuum are
obtained. By this process only from two to three hours are required to
produce perfectly dry rubber.

The making of a rubber shoe is not the simple matter which might at
first be supposed. An ordinary rubber shoe consists of at least seven
or eight different parts, sometimes twenty-one parts to a pair, while
a high-button gaiter has seventeen distinct parts, and a rubber boot
has twenty-three different pieces. There are insoles, outsoles, stays,
piping, foxing, and a dozen other different pieces, each one of which
is necessary to the proper construction of a rubber shoe or boot. The
thinner sheets for the uppers are cut by hand, the deft work of the
cutters in following the patterns outlined on the sheets being the result
of years of practice. The sheets of rubber from which the uppers and
soles are cut are at this stage of the work plastic and very sticky. It
is necessary on this account to cut the various pieces one by one, and
keep them separate. The soles and some of the heavier pieces are dried
out by the machine, and the heels are made by a special machine, but by
far the greater part is done by wonderfully skilled hands. All of these
parts which go to make a shoe, or the twenty-three parts which go into
a boot, are collected and sent to the making department, which, in most
factories, is a large room containing several hundred operatives, each
working by herself, and bringing the many separate parts into the fully
finished footwear.

[Illustration: Calender Room.]

The sheets of rubber, after being dried, are taken to the “compound”
room, where they are sprinkled with whiting, to prevent sticking, and
weighed. Next they are taken into the calender room to a “mixer,” by
means of which the rubber is combined with other substances, which
include sulphur, litharge, whiting, lampblack, tar, resin, lime, palm
oil, and linseed oil.

There are different calendering machines. The ones called the upper
calenders form sheets of rubber stock for the upper part of the shoe. The
soling calenders form the stock for the sole or bottom part of the shoe;
other calender machines are used to coat a layer of gum on one side of
the fabrics used for lining and various strips, fillers, toe, and heel
pieces. The gum sheets are sent to the cutting room.

Generally, linings for nine pairs of shoes are cut at once. The linings
are cut both by hand and by machine. Men who cut with dies, by hand,
stand at the bench and use iron mallets, like those used in cutting
heels. Inner soles, heel pieces, and linings are all cut by means of dies
in the same manner.

The edges of the several parts are spread with cement, and then the
parts are taken to the making room and distributed. In the making
department the boots and shoes are put together. Women make the light
overshoes; men make the heavy ones. Rubbers are made by women, but men
put on the outer soles.

Linings are first applied smoothly to a wooden last and cemented
together, the cement side out. The rubber parts are then stuck on and
rolled firmly with a small hand roller. Young women become very skilled
in this work, taking up the several parts in rapid succession, placing
them accurately upon the last, and rolling and pounding them firmly

[Illustration: Cutting Room.]

Perhaps the most interesting single process is that of putting the rubber
boot together. This work is done by men, and requires, in addition
to accurate eyesight, rapid and very deft movements of the hand and
considerable strength. No nails, tacks, or stitching are required. The
natural adhesiveness of the rubber, assisted by the use of rubber
cement, holds the parts solidly together.

In the making of the shoe the last is covered with the various pieces
which are so made as to adhere where they are placed. It is exact and
nice work fitting all these pieces perfectly, each edge overlapping just
so far and no farther. The lighter shoes are made by women, but the heavy
lumbermen’s shoes, arctics, and especially the boots, are made by men,
for this work needs strength as well as dexterity.

The goods which require varnishing are put on racks and treated with a
mixture of boiled linseed oil, naphtha, and other materials, which are
applied with brushes, and impart a gloss to the surface.

On vulcanizing boots and shoes, the shoes are placed on racks supported
by iron cars, which are run over tracks into the vulcanizing chamber.
This consists principally of a large room provided with a steam coil on
the floor. The temperature rarely exceeds two hundred and sixty degrees
Fahrenheit. In vulcanizing shoes, the heat is increased gradually from
the beginning, about one hundred and eighty degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise
the goods would be blistered, due to the rapid evaporation of moisture
and other volatile constituents. They are kept in these heaters from six
to seven hours. This causes a union of sulphur and rubber, which is not
affected by heat or cold.

They are wheeled on another truck to the packing room, where they are
inspected, taken from the lasts, tied together in pairs, or placed in
cartons, as the case may be. They are then sent to the shipping room to
be packed in cases ready to be delivered to the cars waiting at a side
track of the railroad, or sent to the storehouse until they shall be
called for by the jobbers or retail dealers.

An important branch of the rubber business is the manufacture of tennis
shoes. This is a generic term, which is applied to all kinds of footwear
having cloth tops and rubber soles. As the name indicates, they were
first used in playing the game of tennis, but they have come into very
general use as warm weather and vacation shoes, and every year shows
an increased popularity. These shoes are made in a similar manner to
the rubber shoes, the rubber soles being cemented to the cloth uppers
and vulcanized the same as the rubber overshoes. Many different styles
are made, and each year shows some improvements in the shapes, in the
textiles which are used, in the colors and combinations of soles and

Rubber shoes should not be expected to give satisfactory service unless
properly fitted. If too short, too narrow, or if worn over leathers
with extra heavy taps, or unusually thick, wide soles, strains will be
brought upon parts not designed to stand them and the rubber will give
way. Rubber goods, particularly boots, if too large will wrinkle and a
continued wrinkling and bending is liable to cause cracking.

Extreme heat or cold should be avoided. Rubber boots or shoes should
never be dried by placing them near a heater of any kind. If left near
a stove, register, or radiator, the rubber is liable to dry and crack.
If left out of doors in winter, or in an extremely cold place, they will
freeze. Then when the warm foot is put into them and the rubbers are
worn, the rubber will crack.

Oil, grease, milk, or blood will cause rubber to decay in a very short
time. If spattered with any of these, the rubber should be promptly and
thoroughly cleaned with warm water and soap.

The oil in leather tops will rot rubber, so that care should be taken
in storing and packing to prevent the leather and rubber from coming in

[Illustration: Putting together the Parts of a Rubber Shoe.]

Various heavy goods are advertised as proof against snagging. It should
be remembered, however, that no rubber can be made strong enough to be
absolutely proof against tearing or puncturing by extremely sharp edges,
such as stiff stubble, sharp-edged rocks, broken glass, etc.

Mud, barnyard dirt, or filth of any kind should never be allowed to dry
on rubbers. They should be cleaned as carefully as leather boots or shoes.

Exposure to strong sunlight for any length of time produces an effect on
rubbers similar to that of putting them near a stove or radiator. Rubbers
should not be left in the sun to dry. When not in use they should be kept
in a cool, dark place.


Rubber heels are generally made for boots and shoes as follows. The
compounded rubber is sheeted on a calender roll, on a drum, until
several layers are obtained, thus making a sheet of about one inch in
thickness. The heel is cut out from this sheet by means of a die and
placed in a mold. It is there subjected to an extremely high pressure,
generally obtained by hydraulic power. The plates of the press are heated
with live steam. The heels are removed at the end of nine or ten minutes
and the sheet which was formerly nearly an inch in thickness is now only
about half an inch and has by pressure been molded into the shape of the
heel desired, is semi or partially vulcanized, and also is imprinted upon
the bottom with the name or other brand of the company.

The cup-shaped portion of the heel is now coated with a layer of rubber
cement, and firmly placed on the boot ready to go to the vulcanizer,
where vulcanizing of the heel is then completed.

[Illustration: Heel-making Department.]

Many articles of rubber are vulcanized by the use of chloride of sulphur,
which process is sometimes known as “cold cure.” The action of sulphur
chloride itself is so violent that it must be diluted, and for this
purpose carbon bisulfide is often used. In some cases, as, for example,
the manufacture of tobacco pouches, the articles are submerged for from
one to two minutes in the liquid, then removed and washed thoroughly. In
another case, as in the manufacture of some kinds of rubber cloth, such
as hospital sheeting, the coated cloth is suspended in a suitable room
and the chloride of sulphur and carbon bisulfide mixed and evaporated
by action of heat so that the cloth is subjected to the action of vapor
alone. Only articles with comparatively thin walls can be successfully
vulcanized by the cold cure, as at best the vulcanizing action of the
chloride is only superficial.

No account of vulcanization processes as employed in the manufacture of
rubber goods is complete without the mention of “steam cure.” A great
variety of rubber goods under the general term of mechanical sundries
are cured by this method. This includes rubber matting, door mats, water
bottles, druggists’ sundries, etc. This process consists in brief of
submitting the articles to be vulcanized to the action of live steam
for from half an hour to an hour, or until the goods are thoroughly
vulcanized. The temperature and duration of time required depend to a
considerable extent upon the thickness of the walls of the article. In
order to prevent the goods from being pitted and damaged by the action of
steam, they are wrapped with cloth or imbedded in pans of soapstone. A
great variety of rubber tubing is cured by this method.

In rubber cloth making, the crude rubber is put through the washing
process, dried and mixed with sulphur, litharge, coloring matter, etc.,
and then is taken to the cement room, where it is “cut” with naphtha,
forming a thick paste or dough. This is taken to the spreading room in
large tubs and fed into the roller machine, which is like a long table
made of steam pipes placed horizontally in a single layer. Below one end
is a roll of cloth, which is passed between two iron rollers on the end.
The dough is fed in between these rollers and is spread smoothly over
the cloth, which is rolled up and removed to a heating room, where it
is unrolled and hung on racks, and then subjected to sufficient heat to
cause the combination of the sulphur and rubber.


Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance in all rubber
factories of the chemical department. During the last two or three years
there has been an unusual development along these lines, and to-day no
factory for the manufacture of rubber goods is complete that does not
possess a well-equipped laboratory. Not only does this department enable
the manufacturer to control the purity and uniformity of his compounding
ingredients and the innumerable grades of crude rubber, but, what is of
even greater importance, it enables him to inaugurate research work as
applied to his particular line of manufacture. This part of laboratory
work is already producing results not only of scientific interest, but of
very great practical and economic value. Still another rôle of the modern
chemical laboratory is to exercise a control over the finished material,
so that the manager of the works may be in possession daily of reasons
for any variation detrimental to the standard of his products.


ANKLE PIECE. A large piece of light sheeted gum, which goes around the
ankle and extends about halfway up the leg.

BACK STAY. A piece of frictioned sheeting similar to the side stay in
shape and placed at the back of the heel and ankle.

GUM COUNTER. A piece cut out of sheeted gum, on the under side of which
is placed a counter form or a piece of frictioned sheeting.

OUTER FILLER. A filling sole cut from rag-coated or frictioned sheeting,
and designed to fill up the hollow on the bottom caused by bringing the
edges of the gum vamp and counter underneath.

INNER SOLE. Usually made of felt or sheeting coated on one side with
rag stock. In lasting up, the bottom edges of the lining (which have
previously been cemented) are pulled under and adhere to the inner sole.

LEG COVER. A piece of sheeted gum rolled upon a piece of frictioned
sheeting called the leg form.

LEG LINING. The lining, usually of felt or wool netting, for the leg.

PARA. A name given to rubber from Brazil.

PIPING. Strips of frictioned sheeting used to join the lining together
over the instep and up the back, and also to hold the lining up on the
tree by passing a strip over the top.

RAG COUNTER. Quarter stiff is a counter piece cut out of rag-coated or
frictioned sheeting, which gives stiffness to the counter.

SIDE STAY. A spike-shaped piece of frictioned sheeting, placed on each
side of the ankle.

RAG SOLE. A sole stiffening cut out of a sheet of rag stock, which covers
the whole bottom. The edges are skived to make a perfect edge.

TOE FILLER. A rag-stock filling sole to fill up the hollow on the bottom
caused by attaching the lining to the inner sole.

[Illustration: Parts of a Rubber Boot.]

TOE LINING. The lining for the vamp, of the same material as the leg

VAMP. A piece cut out of sheeted gum.

VAMP FORM. A piece of frictioned sheeting cut to the shape of the vamp,
and put on over the toe lining.

WEB STRAPS. Straps put on with the joined ends between the leg lining and
the leg cover, and forming a loop on the inside of the boot to pull it on



We find that primitive footwear, in common with all other beginnings,
was of the crudest nature and took the form of the simple sandal. It is
probable that man first protected his foot from the rough way by simple
pieces of hide, which were bound to the bottom of the foot. The sandal,
among the most primitive, is the type of footwear worn to-day. The sandal
was simply bound to the foot by thongs of hides, which were brought
between the toes and tied around the ankle.

At about the Elizabethan period, shoemaking had really become a very
fine art. Some foot creations were made by the Court shoemakers that
reflected the individual taste of the monarch, and so great was the
competition to produce something novel that very often the styles
assumed a grotesque aspect. The toes were elongated so that sometimes
they were carried up and fastened by cords and tassels to the tops of the
shoes, and it finally became necessary to enact a law to prevent such
outrageous types of footwear. The slippers of this period were of the
extremely high-heeled variety, and small fortunes were often spent on
their ornamentation. They were mostly of the turn-shoe type, and samples
which are preserved show the excellent workmanship that was in vogue at
that time.

We now come to the first shoemaker in America. When the _Mayflower_
made the second trip to America, she carried among others a shoemaker
named Thomas Beard, who brought with him a supply of hides. Seven
years afterwards there arrived one Phillip Kertland, a native of
Buckinghamshire, who settled in Lynn in 1636.

Kertland was the pioneer shoemaker of Lynn and for years he successfully
worked at his craft, teaching others his methods and ways, so that
fifteen years after his arrival, Lynn was not only supplying the
requirements of its inhabitants, but was also sending a part of its
products to the port of Boston. As early as 1648 we find tanning and
shoemaking mentioned as an industry of the colony of Virginia, special
mention being made of the fact that a planter named Matthews employed
eight shoemakers on his premises. Legal restraint was placed on the
cordwainer in Connecticut in 1656, and in Rhode Island in 1706, while
in New York the business of tanning and shoemaking is known to have
been firmly established previous to the capitulation of the Province
to England in 1664. In 1698 the industry was carried on profitably in
Philadelphia, and in 1721 the Colonial Legislature of Pennsylvania passed
an act regulating the material and the prices of the boot and shoe

Prior to 1815 most of the shoes were hand sewed, a few having been copper
nailed. The heavier shoes were welted and the lighter ones turned. This
method of manufacture was changed, about the year 1815, by the adoption
of the wooden shoe peg, which was invented in 1811 and soon came into
general use. Up to this time little or no progress had been made in
the methods of manufacture. The shoemaker sat on his bench, and with
scarcely any other instrument than a hammer, knife, and wooden shoulder
stick, cut, stitched, hammered, and sewed until the shoe was completed.
Previous to the year 1845, which marked the first successful application
of machinery to American shoemaking, this industry was in the strictest
sense a hand process, and the young man who chose it for his vocation
was apprenticed for seven years, during which time he was taught every
detail of the art. He was instructed in the preparation of the insole
and outsole, depending almost entirely upon his eye for the proper
proportions; taught to prepare pegs and drive them, for the pegged shoe
was the common type of footwear in the first half of the last century;
and familiarized himself with the making of turned and welt shoes, which
have always been considered the highest types of shoemaking, as they
require exceptional skill of the artisan in channeling the insole and
outsole by hand, rounding the sole, sewing the welt, and stitching the
outsole. After having served his apprenticeship, it was the custom for
the full-fledged shoemaker to start on what was known as “whipping the
cat,” which meant traveling from town to town, living with a family while
making a year’s supply of shoes for each member, then moving on to fill
engagements previously made.

The change from which has been evolved our present factory system began
in the latter part of the 18th century, when a system of sizes had been
drafted, and shoemakers more enterprising than their fellows gathered
about them groups of workmen, and took upon themselves the dignity of

It was soon found that the master workman could largely increase his
income by employing other men to do the work while he directed their
efforts, and this gradually led to a division of the labor: the shoe
uppers, which had prior to this time been sewed by men using waxed thread
with bristles, now were done by women, who often took the work home.

One workman cut the leather, others sewed the uppers, and still others
fastened uppers to soles, each workman handling only one part in the
process of manufacture.

We find that in the year 1795 the evolution of the factory system had
reached a stage where in Lynn alone there were two hundred master
workmen, employing six hundred journeymen and turning out three hundred
thousand pairs of shoes per year. The entire shoe was then made under one
roof, and generally from leather that was tanned on the premises.

Factory buildings were not at this time of a very pretentious nature
and did not by any means represent the amount of work undertaken by the
proprietor; for the small ten by ten factories, which are even to-day in
existence in some of the backyards of Lynn homes, came into existence
at this time. Many farmers found that shoemaking was a remunerative
occupation in the winter, and they, and perhaps their neighbors, gathered
in these shops and took from the different factories shoes on which to
fasten the soles, or uppers to bind, which, after completion of the work,
were returned to the factory, where they were finished and sent to market
packed in wooden boxes. It was in this way that the industry prospered
and developed up to the period of the introduction of machines, which
happened but a little over half a century ago.

Up to the year 1811 absolutely no machinery was used in the making of
shoes. This year shoe pegs were invented and a machine for making them.
The pegged shoe became very widely worn, but it was not until 1835 that
any machine for driving pegs was made, and even at this time the machine
was but an indifferent success. It was a hand machine and its work was by
no means of a reliable nature.

The first machine to be widely accepted by the trade was the “rolling
machine.” This was used for rolling the sole leather under pressure, and
it is said that a man could perform in a minute with this machine the
same office that he would have required half an hour to have performed
with the old-fashioned lapstone and hammer. This was followed in 1848 by
the most important invention, the “sewing machine,” which was perfected
by Elias Howe, and was soon followed by a machine which sewed with waxed
thread and made it possible to sew the uppers of shoes in a much more
rapid, reliable, and satisfactory manner than had ever been done by hand.
This, too, was soon followed by a machine which split the sole leather
and by another for buffing or removing the grain.

In 1855 William F. Trowbridge, who was a partner in the firm of F.
Brigham & Company, of Feltonville, Massachusetts, then a part of
Marlboro, conceived the idea of driving by horse power the machines then
in use. The introduction of power became very general, so that in the
year 1860 there were scarcely any factories which were not driven by
either steam or water power.

The year 1858 was marked by the invention by Lyman R. Blake of the
McKay sewing machine, which probably more than any other has exerted a
revolutionary effect on the industry.

The McKay machine did not at this time sew the toe or heel; the sewing
was started at the shank and carried forward to a point near the toe
on one side, and the same operation repeated on the other side; but
it seemed to possess great possibilities and created a great deal of
interest throughout the trade. It was, of course, a very crude machine
and very different from the McKay machine of to-day. It was set on a
bench and the shoe to be sewed was placed over a horn, and the sewing was
done from the channel in the outsole through the sole and insole. Colonel
McKay immediately started to improve the machine. He employed skilled
mechanics to work on it and attempted to introduce it in different
factories, but encountered a great deal of opposition and criticism
in regard to its future. It is said that he offered to dispose of the
machine to the shoemakers of Lynn and allow them its exclusive use if
they would pay him three hundred thousand dollars, an offer which was not

The machine left a loop stitch and a ridge of thread on the inside of the
shoe, but it filled the great demand that existed for sewed shoes, and
many hundreds of millions of pairs have been made by its use.

While Colonel McKay had met rebuff and discouragement in attempting to
introduce his machine, the public necessity was such that manufacturers
were obliged to take it up immediately; but Colonel McKay was still
embarrassed by lack of capital to carry on his rapidly increasing
business. It was at this time that a system of placing machines in
factories, which system has proven to be the most potent factor in the
upbuilding of the shoe industry, was started. This was a royalty system,
whereby the machine or machine owner participated in the profits accruing
from the use of the machine.

It hardly seems that there can be any question as to the principle of
royalty being one of the greatest forces in building up the successful
industry which we have to-day; it afforded an easy means whereby machines
could be introduced without entailing hardships on the manufacturers,
who, had they been obliged to pay the actual worth of the machines,
would have been entirely unable to adopt them. Instances are known where
hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on machines, which machines
were abandoned without having made a single shoe.

At the time of the introduction of the McKay machine, inventors were
busy in other directions, and as a result, came the introduction of the
“cable nailing machine.” This was provided with a cable of nails, the
head of one being joined to the point of another; these the machines cut
into separate nails and drove automatically. At about this time also
was introduced the “screw machine,” which formed a screw from brass
wire, forcing it into the leather and cutting it off automatically.
This was the prototype of the “rapid standard screw machine,” which
is a comparatively recent invention, and is very widely used at the
present time as a sole fastener on the heavier class of boots and shoes.
Very soon thereafter the attention of the trade was attracted to the
invention of a New York mechanic for the sewing of soles. The device was
particularly intended for the making of turn shoes and afterwards became
famous as the “Goodyear turn shoe machine.”

Closely following the Goodyear invention came the introduction of
the first machine used in connection with heeling,--a machine which
compressed the heel and pricked holes for the nails; this was soon
followed by a machine which automatically drove the nails, the
heel having previously been put in place and held by the guides on
the machine. Other improvements in heeling machines followed with
considerable rapidity, and a machine came into use shortly afterwards
which not only nailed the heel, but which was also provided with a hand
trimmer, which the operator swung round the heel, after nailing. From
these have been evolved the heeling machines in use at the present time.

One of the early uses to which the sewing machine was put was the sewing
together of the pieces of soft and pliable leather which make the upper
of a shoe--a simple thing, involving only a slight adjustment of the
original machine. It is a far more complicated operation to sew the upper
to the thick and heavy sole, and years passed by before the secret was
discovered, and the McKay machine appeared. In the shoe sewed on the
McKay machine, the thread ran through into the inside of the inner sole,
leaving a rasping ridge on which the stocking of the wearer rubbed.
The McKay shoe displaced only the coarser grades. The hand-sewed shoe
remained the favorite of wealth and fashion, and was worn exclusively
by those who cared for comfort and could afford the price. In sewing
a shoe by hand, a thin and narrow strip of leather, called a welt, is
first sewed to the insole and upper, and the heavy outsole is sewed to
this welt, so that the stitches come outside and do not touch the foot,
the insole being left entirely smooth. It is a delicate operation by
hand, and many years elapsed before a machine was contrived by which it
could be done. At last the problem was solved. The “Goodyear welting and
stitching machines” appeared--so named for Charles Goodyear, who financed
and perfected them, a son of the man who taught the world the use of
rubber. These two machines are the nucleus of the Goodyear welt system,
to which must be attributed the revolution of an industry. Although they
are entirely distinct machines, they are inseparable, for neither can be
used effectively without the other in making the modern Goodyear welt

[Illustration: Insole for Hand Sewed Shoe.]

[Illustration: Hand Sewed Shoe.]

Much of the style of a shoe depends upon the wooden last over which the
upper is shaped before being attached to the sole. To find a substitute
for the human hand in fitting the shoe to the last and pulling the
leather over its delicate lines and curves seemed for a long time

This took place in the early seventies, when a machine was invented for
doing this work. It created a great change in a department of shoemaking
which, prior to this time, had been regarded as a confirmed hand process.
This machine, as well as those which followed afterwards for a period of
twenty years, was known as the best type of machine, by which the shoe
upper was drawn over the last by either friction or pincers, and then
tacked by use of a hand tool.

At a comparatively recent period another machine which revolutionized all
previous ideas in lasting was introduced. This machine is generally in
use at the present time, and is known as the “consolidated hand method
lasting machine.” It was fitted with pincers, which automatically drew
the leather round the last, at the same time driving a tack which held
it in place. This machine has been so developed that it is now used for
the lasting of shoes of every type, from the lowest and cheapest to
the highest grade, and it is a machine that shows wonderful mechanical

The perfection of the lasting machine has been followed recently by
the introduction of a machine which performs in a satisfactory way the
difficult process known as “pulling over,” which consists of accurately
centering the shoe upper on the last and securing it temporarily in
position for the work of lasting. The new machine, which is known as the
“hand-method pulling over machine,” is provided with pincers, which close
automatically, gripping the shoe upper at sides and toe. It is fitted
with adjustments by which the operator is enabled to quickly center the
shoe upper on the last, and, on pressure of a foot lever, the machine
automatically draws the upper closely to the last and secures it in
position by tacks, which are also driven by the machine. The introduction
of this machine marked a radical change in the one important shoemaking
process that had up to this time successfully withstood all attempts at
mechanical improvement.

At about the time that lasting was first introduced, came the machines
which were used for finishing heel and fore part. These machines were
fitted with a tool, which was heated by gas and which practically
duplicated the hand workman in rubbing the edges with a hot tool for the
purpose of finishing them. From these early machines have been evolved
the “edge-setting machines” which are in use at present.

Thus, one after another, every operation has yielded to invention, until
very recently the only remaining process was subdued when a machine for
cutting uppers was devised. There are machines for shaping, compressing,
and nailing heels; for attaching soles to uppers in heavy shoes by wooden
pegs or copper screws and wires; for rounding, buffing, and polishing the
soles; for trimming and setting the edges of the sole; for performing
innumerable operations, some seemingly trivial, but all essential to
perfection in comfort, durability or style; so that in shoe factories
to-day a greater variety of intricate and expensive machines is used than
in factories of any other kind.

At the present time the genius of the American inventor has provided for
every detail of shoemaking, even the smallest processes being performed
by mechanical devices of some kind. This has naturally made the shoemaker
of to-day a specialist, who very seldom knows anything of shoemaking
apart from the particular process in the performance of shoemaking of
which he is an adept, and from which he earns a livelihood. The American
shoe of to-day is the standard production of the world. It is in demand
wherever shoes are worn.

In the year 1874 there had been perfected not only the machines which
Colonel McKay and Mr. Goodyear had been instrumental in building, but
other inventors had introduced similar machines for doing similar work.
This brought about the most acute business competition, and finally
resulted in many cases where one machine manufacturer alleged that the
other machine infringed his rights of patent, and in many other cases the
fiercest kind of litigation was established. This had a most disastrous
effect upon shoe manufacturers, for in many cases the manufacturer was
made to bear the brunt of the blows which contending shoe machinery
manufacturers aimed at each other.

Machines in use in factories were stopped by means of injunctions;
damage suits were entered, and litigation was very general. During the
year 1899, there was ushered in one of the most important events that
ever transpired in the history of shoemaking. The most important of the
concerns which had been making war upon each other were purchased by one
large company and brought under one harmonious management.

The United Shoe Machinery Company owes its origin to a call for a change
in conditions menacing the industry of making shoes which could not
be ignored. It was created by combining into one the three companies
existing in 1899: the Goodyear Sewing Machine Company, the Consolidated &
McKay Lasting Machine Company, and the McKay Shoe Machinery Company, each
of which respectively made and leased machines adapted to a particular
class of operations. The principal machines which each made did not
interfere with the principal machines of any other. They were dependent
links in an industrial chain. The Goodyear Sewing Machine Company
chiefly made machines for sewing the sole to the upper in welt shoes
and various auxiliary machines which helped to complete the shoe; The
Consolidated & McKay Lasting Machine Company made machines for lasting
a shoe; The McKay Shoe Machinery Company made various machines for
attaching soles and heels by metallic fastenings, and furnished material
for that purpose. A single manufacturer, in order to make Goodyear welt
shoes, would be compelled to patronize all the companies, going to each
of them for that part of his equipment which it exclusively supplied.
Each company had its agents in factories looking after its machines.

The gathering of these three companies into a single organization
wrought an instant change. It resulted immediately in greater economy
of administration; in relieving the manufacturer of the vexation of
sometimes seeing his factory crippled while orders were piling up;
in freeing him from the annoyance and expense of dealing with several
different concerns in order to get his most important machines and keep
them in repair.

The attention which had been paid to royalty machines and which had been
such an important factor in building up the industry in America, was
magnified by the management of the new company. Large forces of men and
expert machinists, as well as expert shoemakers, were maintained in the
different districts where shoes were made, and every effort exerted to
promote the growth of the industry.

While the royalty system proved to be of great advantage to small shoe
manufacturers, the largest manufacturers objected to paying royalty on
machines and desired to purchase them outright. Being unable to do so,
they placed experts at work to invent similar machines. This has resulted
in the United Shoe Machinery Company claiming that these machines are
infringements and causing considerable litigation.

If one reviews the history of the trade during the past ten years, there
will be little question but that one will find it has been a period of
the greatest advancement that the trade has ever known.

Within the time of those who read these words, the way to make a shoe has
been completely changed. Methods which held their own for centuries have
disappeared, to be replaced by processes which only recently would have
been thought impossible, and which have brought within the reach of men
of modest means a luxury once enjoyed exclusively by the well-to-do. The
feet of the million are clad to-day as finely as the feet of yesterday’s
millionaire. Shoes marked by comfort, durability, and style have driven
to historical museums the stiff and clumsy boots and brogans which not so
many years ago were worn by those who could not pay to have shoes sewed
by hand.

The American people spend more than three hundred million dollars every
year in buying shoes, and average three pairs apiece, and yet few ever
think about their shoes so long as they do not look clumsy, or wear out
too quickly, or hurt the foot. Every one likes to buy good shoes as
cheaply as he can, and every one likes to feel that shoe manufacturers
are independent and successful, and that workmen get good wages, because
these things help along prosperity; but that is all. Yet here is an
industry in which the United States within a decade has come to lead
the world, and there are many things about it which it would be worth
while for every one to understand. It is worth while, for instance, to
know that there is no important operation on a shoe which need be done
by hand; that in the making of every good shoe no less than fifty-eight
different machines, and sometimes twice that number, are brought into
play; that nearly all these machines are of American invention; and
that they have been so perfectly adjusted one to another that they work
together almost with the precision of a watch; it is worth while to know
something about the marvelous system under the encouragement of which
this typical American industry has blossomed and borne fruit until it
employs two hundred million dollars of capital and nearly two hundred
thousand people, and turns out two hundred and fifty million pairs of
shoes a year; and why it is that the average man you meet to-day has a
better fitting, better wearing, and better looking shoe than the moneyed
man of yesterday--at a fraction of the expense.

This remarkable growth is distinctly American. In the United States
the tendency among the artisan class has been to abandon the slow hand
process. This tendency has been as strong as the tendency in Europe to
adhere to it. Moreover, there has developed among the laboring classes
in the United States a mobility such as is unknown elsewhere in the world.

Another advantage which has contributed to the rapid development of the
manufacture of shoes in the United States is the comparative freedom from
inherited and overconservative ideas. This country has entered upon its
industrial development unfettered by the old order of things, and with a
tendency on the part of the people to seek the best and quickest way to
accomplish every object.

[Illustration: Stitching Room of a German Shoe Factory.]

In all of the European countries in which the manufacturing of shoes is
an important industry, the transition from the household to the factory
system was hampered by guilds, elaborate national and local restrictions,
and by the national reluctance with which a people accustomed for
generations to fixed methods of work, in which they have acquired a large
degree of skill, abandon those methods for new ones. It was natural,
also, that in spite of the superior advantages of machine methods, hand
process of manufacture should still continue side by side with them, in
the European countries, though machine work had long since usurped the
whole field of the shoe industry in the United States.

As an American goes about among the European shoe factories he is greatly
surprised at the state of affairs. He is struck by three things which
are very conspicuous. They are: (1) Lack of use of machinery, lack of
all sorts of devices in order to save hand labor, which is carried out
so extensively in the United States. (2) Lack of the division of labor,
one factory attempting to make four or five kinds of shoes. (3) Lack of
methods employed for handling large quantities of materials.

One point that is overlooked in considering the shoe industries of the
two countries is the great difference in organization. In most European
factories, the manufacturer gets all the orders of different kinds, and
then attempts to make one or two lines with one or two qualities in the
same factory. In Switzerland one may find shoes and slippers for men,
women, and children made under the same roof.

In the United States the manufacturer makes a certain line of shoes in
one factory, and no other kind. If he has more than one line, he has
more than one factory, and each factory turns out a distinct shoe for a
distinct purpose. The manufacturer has his salesmen to sell these shoes.

The advantages of the American system are: (1) The managers and
workers of a factory turning out a certain line of goods become highly
specialized in that line, and can produce better results than the workers
in a factory attempting to make two or three lines of goods. (2) A large
shoe factory is laid out as a rule to do a certain kind of work, and it
seldom changes. This practice makes possible a greater production. On the
other hand we have something to learn from the European organization.
American manufacturers must meet the foreign trade. In order to do
this, the manufacturer must cater to the habits, customs, and climatic
conditions. The European manufacturer does this.


    Amhide, black, 58.
      russet, 59.

    Anatomy of the foot, 77, 80.

    Ankle piece, 246.

    Assembling, 126, 177.

    Automobile leather, 225.
      tanning of, 226.

    Backs, 12.

    Backstay, 2, 177, 247.

    Back strap, 177.

    Bal., 177.

    Ball, 178.

    Bating, 19.

    Beading, 178.

    Beamhouse process, 5.

    Beating out, 178.

    Bellows tongue, 178.

    Belting, 62, 63, 178.
      by-products, 69.
      round, 69.

    Belt-knife splits, 60.

    Between substance, 178.

    Bison, 59.

    Blackball, 178.

    Black box chrome side, 58.

    Black hawk patent, 58.

    Blacking the edge, 179.

    Blocking, 179.

    Bloom, 179.

    Blucher, 179.

    Boot, 180.

    Bootee, 180.

    Boris, 59.

    Bottom, 1.
      filling, 180.
      scouring, 180.

    Box calf, 55, 180.
      toe, 181.

    Boxing, 180.

    Branded cowhide, 9.

    Breaking the sole, 181.

    Breast of the heel, 3.

    Brogan, 181.

    Bronko patent, 57.

    Brushing, 181.

    Buckskin, 181.

    Buff, 181.

    Buffing, 181.

    Bull hides, 16.

    Bunions, 84.

    Button fly, 2.

    Butts, 9.

    Cable-nailing machine, invention of, 261.

    Cack, 182.

    Cadet kid, 56.
      side, 57.

    Calf leather, boarded, 40.
      box, 40.
      classes of, 40, 41.
      cadet calf side, 57.
      Dongola, 59.
      dry hides, 40.
      French, 40.
      mat, 40.
      Sheboygan, 59.
      storm, 40.
      suede, 40.
      wax, 40.

    Calf side leather, 57.
      skins, 39, 182.

    Calluses, 83.

    Cambridge calf union splits, 60.

    Cap, 182.

    Carbarettas, 51, 181.

    Carton, 182.

    Cementing, 182.

    Chamois, 182.

    Channeling, 183.

    Channel screwed, 183.
      stitched, 183.
      turning, 184.

    Checking, 184.

    Chemical tanning, 23, 24, 25.

    Chrome flexible splits, 61.
      tannage, 25, 26.
      tanned embossed splits, 62.

    Cleaning, inside, 184.
      nails, 184.
      shoes, 184.

    Clicking, 184.

    Closing, 184.
      on, 184.

    Colonial, 185.

    Colorado steer hides, 9.

    Colored box chrome side, 58.

    Coltskin, 41, 185.

    Combination last, 185.

    Composition, 185.

    Congress gaiter, 186.

    Cordovan, 186.

    Corns, 83, 84.

    Counter, 124, 186.
      pasted, 201.

    Coupon tag, 187.

    Cowhide, 187.
      native, heavy and light, 7-9.
      branded, 9.

    Creasing vamp, 187.

    Creedmore, 187.

    Creole, 187.

    Crimping, 188.

    Cushion sole, 188.

    Cut-off vamp, 188.

    Dyeing, 188.

    Dom Pedro, 188.

    Dongola, 188.
      calf, 59.

    Dressing, 188.

    Dry importation, 40, 41.
      salted hides, 12, 32.

    Edge setting, 188.
      trimming, 188.

    Enamel, 189.

    Eyelet, 189.

    Eyeletting, 189.

    Facing, 189.

    Factory system, first, 254.

    Fair stitch, 189.

    Faking, 189.

    Fat liquored, 27.

    Findings, 189.

    Finishes of upper leather, 38.

    Finishing of upper leather, 5.

    Flap, 190.

    Flesher, 18.

    Flesh splits leather, 38, 60.

    Flexible bends, 61.
      splits, 61.

    Follower, 190.

    Foot, 77.
      adult, 87.
      anatomy of, 77, 78.
      astragalus, 78.
      calcaneum, 78.
      characteristics of, 81.
      cuneiform, 79.
      flatfoot, 78.
      measurements of, 95.
      metatarsal, 79.
      phalanges, 79.
      rheumatism, 79.
      structure of, 86.

    Footwear, history of, 250.

    Forepart finishing, 190.

    Form, 190.

    Foxed, 190.

    Foxing, 2, 190.

    Fresh hides, 7.

    Frizzing, 191.

    Front, 191.

    Fudge-stitched, 133.

    Fundamental shoe terms, 1.

    Furniture leather, 225.
      tanning of, 226.

    Gaiter, 191.
      congress, 186.

    Gem insoles, 191.

    Gemming, 191.

    Glazed kid, 191.

    Gloves, 218.
      grain, 191.
      tanning, 221.

    Goatskin, 191.

    Goodyear welt, 192.
      difference between McKay and, 145.

    Gore, 192.

    Grades of leather, 7.

    Grading, 192.

    Grain leather, 38.

    Green hides, 7.

    Green salted, 12.

    Gum counter, 247.

    Half sole, 192.

    Harness leather, 192.

    Heel, 192.
      breast of, 3.
      finishing, 193.
      lining, 193.
      nailing, 194.
      nailing machine, invention of, 262.
      pad, 193.
      scouring, 194.
      seat, 194.
      shaving, 194.
      trimming, 194.

    Hemlock leather, 29.
      tanning, 29, 30, 194.

    Hercules storm chrome, 59.

    Hides, 4, 194.
      bull, 10, 63.
      classes of, 5, 6.
      country, 10.
      dry, 12, 32.
      dry importation, 40, 41.
      dry salted, 12, 32.
      fresh, 7.
      grades of, 7, 8, 9.
      green, 7.
      green salted, 12, 32.
      imported, 32.
      quality of, 6.

    Inlay, 194.

    Inner sole, 247.

    Inseaming, 195.

    Inseam trimming, 195.

    Instep, 195.

    Iron, 195.

    Ironing uppers, 196.

    Juliette, 196.

    Kid, buckskin, 52.
      buff, 52.
      caster, 51.
      chamois, 52.
      characteristics of, 49.
      Cordovan, 52.
      dull, 49.
      glazed, 49, 50.
      importation of, 45.
      kangaroo, 52, 196.
      kangaroo kid side, 58.
      kinds of finish, 49.
      mat, 49, 50.
      method of collecting, 46-48.
      patent, 49.
      process of tanning, 49.
      seal grain, 52.
      splits, 52.
      suede, 51.

    Kids, 41, 44, 196.

    Kips, 5, 196.

    Lace hook, 196.
      stay, 2, 196.

    Lacing, 197.

    Lasting, 197.

    Lasts, 97, 197.
      combination, 185.
      how made, 97.

    Laying channel, 197.

    Leather, 4.
      automobile and furniture, 226.
      belting, 62.
      effect of cold, 53.
      gloves, 218.
      glove tanning, 221.
      harness, 192.
      hemlock, 29.
      products, manufacture of, 218.
      white, 54.

    Leg cover, 198.
      lining, 198.

    Leveling, 197.

    Lift, 197.

    Lining, 197.

    Lining-in, 198.

    Lip, 190.

    Loading leather, 198.

    Mat royal chrome side, 58.

    McKay shoe, 144, 198, 199.
      difference between Goodyear welt and, 145.
      difference between turned and, 152.

    Middle sole, 199.

    Mock welt, 199.

    Molding, 199.

    Monkey skin, 199.

    Morocco, 199.

    Mules, 199.

    Nap, 199.

    Native cowhides, 9.
      steer hides, 9.

    Naumkeaging, 199.

    Nullifier, 200.

    Oak-tanned leather, 28, 200.

    Oak tanning, 28, 29.

    Ohio buffs, 10.

    Ooze gusset splits, 61.
      leather, 200.
      vamp splits, 62.

    Ottawa, 59.
      black and russet splits, 60.

    Outer filler, 247.

    Outside cutting, 200.
      tap, 200.

    Oxford, 200.
      calf union splits, 60.

    Packer hides, 201.

    Packing, 201.

    Pacs, 201.

    Pancake, 201.

    Para, 248.

    Pasted leather, 201.

    Patent leather, 41-43, 201.
      black hawk, 58.
      effect of cold on, 43.
      objections to, 44.

    Pattern, 201.

    Pebble, 202.

    Pegged shoemaking, 160.

    Pegging, 202.

    Perforating, 118.

    Perforation, 202.

    Pickled skins, 18.

    Piping, 248.

    Polish, 202.

    Porpoise, 202.

    Pressing, 202.

    Pulling lasts, 202.

    Pulling over, 202.
      machine, 127.

    Pump, 202.
      sole, 202.

    Quarter, 2, 203.

    Rag counter, 248.

    Rand, 203.

    Rawhide products, 67.

    Relasting, 203.

    Remnants, 33.
      sole leather, 33-37.

    Repairing, 204.

    Roan, 204.

    Rolling, 204.
      machine, invention of, 257.

    Rough rounding, 204.

    Royal kid, 56.

    Royalties, 204.

    Royalty system, invention of, 260.

    Rubber, 228.
      cloth manufacture, 244.
      commercial grades of, 228.
      drying, 232.
      heels, 241.
      shoe manufacture, 228.
        calendering, 235.
        cutting, 235.
        varnishing, 237.
        vulcanizing, 237.
        washing, 231.

    Russet calf, 204.
      grain, 204.

    Sabot, 204.

    Sack lining, 204, 207.

    Sandal, 205, 250.

    Satin calf, 205.

    Scouring breast, 205.

    Screw fastened, 205.

    Seal grain, 205.

    Second lasting, 205.

    Sewing machine, invention of, 257.

    Shank, 1, 205.
      burnishing, 206.
      finishing, 206.

    Shanking out, 206.

    Sheboygan calf, 59.

    Sheepskin, 206.

    Sheep tanning, 16, 17.

    Shoe, 103.
      apprentice, 253.
      case of, 109.
      cutting room, 112.
      departments of, 103.
      dressing, 142.
      factories, 103.
      finishing, 138.
      heeling, 140.
      methods of manufacture, 103.
      parts of, 1.
      repairing, 167, 170.
      sizes, 85, 207.
      stitching, 119, 131.
      treeing, 140.

    Shoe Machinery Company, organization of, 270.

    Shoemaker, first, in America, 251.

    Shoemaking, 162.
      old-fashioned, 162.
      nail method, 161.
      terms of, 177.

    Shoe pegs, invention of, 257.

    Shoulder, 196.

    Sides, 206.

    Side stay, 248.

    Skins, 6, 207.

    Skirting, 207.

    Skiver, 18, 207.

    Skiving machine, 117.

    Slip, 207.

    Slugging, 207.

    Soaking process, 13, 19.

    Soft tip, 207.

    Sole, 11, 123, 208.
      leather, 27, 28, 208.
      laying, 208.
      breaking of, 181.

    Sorting, 208.

    Spewing, 208.

    Splits, 11, 60-62, 209.

    Spring heel, 209.

    Stamping, 209, 210.

    Standard fastened, 210.
      screw shoemaking, 160.

    Stay, 209.

    Staying, 210.

    Steer hides, native, 9.

    Stitch aloft, 210.

    Stitch down, 210.
      fair, 189.
      separating, 210.

    Stitching, rapid, 203.

    Straight last, 210.

    Stripping, 211.

    Styles, how made, 93.

    Suede, 211.

    Tacking on, 211.

    Tack pulling, 211.

    Tampico, 211.

    Tan, 211.
      royal, 56.

    Tanned leather adulterants, 75.
      effects of perspiration, 71.
      lubrication, 72.
      properties, 70.
      substitutes, 73, 74, 76.
      weighing, 75.

    Tannin, 21.

    Tanning, 4, 21, 211.
      chemical, 21.
      hemlock, 29, 30.
      leather for belting, 64, 65, 66.
      oak, 28, 29.
      processes of, 21.
      rapid processes of, 25.
      tawing, 21, 212.
      Union, 30, 31.
      vegetable, 21.

    Tap, 211.
      putting on, 202.
      trimming, 212.

    Tawing, 212.

    Tempering, 212.

    Tennis shoe manufacture, 239.

    Texas steer hide, 9.

    Tip, 2, 212.
      cutting, 212.

    Toe, and heel lasting, 212.
      box, 181.
      filler, 248.
      lining, 248.
      piece, 213.

    Tongue, 2, 213.

    Top, 1, 213.
      cutting, 213.
      facing, 213.
      left, 213.
      left scouring, 213.
      left stitching, 213.

    Treeing, 213.

    Trimming counter, 213.
      vamp, 213.

    Turned shoe, characteristics of, 156.
      difference between McKay and, 152.
      history of, 158.

    Turning, 214.
      shoe, 151, 214.

    Ungrained, 214.

    Unhairing of hides, 15, 19.

    Union-tanned leather, 30, 31.

    Union tanning, 30, 31.

    Upper, 1, 214.

    Upper or dress leather, 37, 38, 55-57.

    Vamp, 1, 214, 249.
      creasing, 187.
      cutting, 215.
      form, 249.
      short, 206.

    Vamping, 215.

    Vegetable tanning, 22.
      tans, 22.

    Vellum, 215.

    Velour, 215.

    Veneering, 215.

    Vesting, 215.

    Vici, 216.

    Viscolizing, 216.

    Vulcanizing, 243.
      cold cure, 243.
      steam cure, 243.

    Wash leather, 216.

    Waterproof black, 58.

    Waxed threads, 164.

    Web straps, 249.

    Welts, 129, 216.
      beating, 217.
      Goodyear, 192.

    Welting, 217.

    White alum, 217.

    Willow calf leather, 55.

    Wooden case, 217.

    Zulu, 59.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Manual of Shoemaking and Leather and Rubber Products" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files. We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's search system for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.