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Sunday, 11 May 2014


In the second half of the eighteenth century skilled shoemakers traveled to the Colonies. They went from door to door, repairing old shoes and making new shoes. Some established small shops in villages and towns.

The first to operate a shoe shop on a factory system was John Adam Dagyr, a Welshman who came to Lynn, Massachusetts in 1750. Under his system each worker specialized in only a single operation of the entire shoemaking process. Dagyr is called the "father of American shoemaking."

The first steps towards mechanisation were taken during the Napoleonic Wars by the engineer, Marc Brunel. In 1812 he devised a scheme for making nailed-boot-making machinery that automatically fastened soles to uppers by means of metallic pins or nails. With the support of the Duke of York, the shoes were manufactured, and, due to their strength, cheapness, and durability, were introduced for the use of the army.

A shoe stitching machine was invented by the American Lyman Blake in 1856 and perfected by 1864. Entering in to partnership with McKay, his device became known as the McKay stitching machine and was quickly adopted by manufacturers throughout New England.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc, Wikipedia

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