Workmen Cutting Leather for Shoes, Lynn, Mass.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Formerly each farmer tanned his own hides, or there was a small tannery in the neighborhood which brought up the skins and did the tanning for a locality. Each year a shoemaker made the rounds of all the homes in a community, and made shoes or boots for every member of the family. In doing this, he would his wooden last for the largest foot in the household. When the boots or shoes had been fashioned for the first pair, he would trim down the last to the next largest in size; and so on until the family was supplied down to the smallest child. A bit later, each community had it shoemaker's shop. This shoemaker bought his leather form the tannery and made boots and shoes for the people of the neighborhood, who came to his place to have their feet measured. Now the entire industry is changed. We go to a store, select our pair of shoes, and our part of the business is done. But this is the smallest and the easiest part. Such factories as this great one shown here are busy turning out shoes. The total value of boots and shoes manufactured in the United States, according to the 1910 census, amounted to almost $700,000,000. Massachusetts takes first rank in this industry. To the boot and shoe factories comes leather from Russia, South America, Texas, France, Germany, England, and even far away China and Korea. These workman in the view are cutting leather. One man cuts out only certain parts. You can tell this by the product the first workman on the right is turning out. All his pieces are the same shape. The shoes on which these men are working are extra fine. Usually the cutting is done by machines. The United States is the home of the machine-made boot and shoe. Keystone ID: 22188 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.