Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/518

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

began to expand rapidly, and goods were shipped not only to Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, but even to Liverpool. Lynn, in 1788, exported 100,000 pairs of shoes; while, seven years later, the volume of transactions had increased to 300,000 pairs, and there were at that time 200 master workmen and 600 journeymen and apprentices engaged in the making of them.

But, with all this development of trade, boots and shoes continued to be made by hand. Spasmodic attempts were made to abbreviate the processes, but nothing satisfactory resulted from them for many years. Mr. David Knox, writing in a shoe journal of his experiences as a manufacturer, says: "In 1855, the year in which I commenced business, about the only machinery used in shoe manufacturing were the sewing machines to stitch uppers and the machines to strip leather and cut it into soles. Even these were not in general use. Some manufacturers had introduced revolving cutters—in Lynn the Richards and Foster machines, and in Marblehead the Thompson. With the Foster and Thompson machines soles could be cut reasonably quick, but such was the risk of the operator's fingers being chopped off by the PSM V41 D518 Mckay leather stitching machine.jpgFig. 6.—McKay Stitching Machine. erratic movements of the knives that the old Thompson or Ingalls beam was preferred. By very hard work on these machines about fifteen pairs of soles could be cut per minute, while on the modern machines, operated by steam-power, as many as ninety pairs are cut in the same time, and with vastly more accuracy."

The chief tools of the shoemaker then consisted of his hammer, his awl, his lapstone, his knives, and his harness for "setting-up" his boots or shoes. The essentials of a shoe are the upper, the sole, the counter or heel stiffening, and the heel. These parts are again subdivided into the "vamp" for covering the front of the foot, the large and the small quarters for encircling the ankles, the button-piece, etc. The work of the shoemaker is to prepare and close these various parts of the upper and the linings together, to bring them into the desired shape, to fasten them to the sole which has been previously cut, to attach the heel, and then to give the various parts the desired finish and style. These processes indicate the lines along which machinery had to be applied. All the operations have been subdivided to the minutest detail, and in the performance