How To Repair Shoes

Aug 15, 2012 by

Just when you thought you’d never be able to figure out how to fix those favorite shoes of yours from 1912…..MaggieMackbooks has found just the answer for you.  An exact reproduction of the original book HOW TO REPAIR SHOES by Frank L. West first published in 1912. Pull out those dandy shoes and grab a hammer….Here’s a little teaser from Frank’s awesome book:

A Shoe shop should be kept clean as any other place of business. A clean swept floor, clean, clear corners, bright walls, clean windows and everything straight and in place go to make a pleasant shop to work in and a pleasant place for people to visit. Show me the inside of a shoemaker’s place of business, and I will be able to tell you to a great degree the kind of customers he has and the class of work he does. The shop should be well ventilated and lighted for the sake of the workmen’s health. There should be set or special hours during the day for sweeping and arranging things. Often a workman’s work seems a burden because things are not tidy and straight.

When putting down a pair of shoes, set them straight with insides together. The little things count. A bright, pleasant shop is the first step towards making work a pleasure. 1. Always sweep from the front door towards the rear end of the shop. 2. The easiest way to sweep is to move everything, placing it in its proper place as you go so that when you are through everything will be straight. When possible cover all machines while sweeping. 3. Never leave the work bench without leaving everything straight. 4. Never keep heavy tools, such as iron lasts and lapirons on your bench. Have bench system.

The threads which shoemakers use are called ”ends” (warped thread twisted) and are made of two or more threads or strands of smaller thread, or flax, as it is called. The first thing in making an end is breaking the flax. To break the flax, hold the main part, which is to be broken for the end, in the left hand, firmly gripping it where you want it broken, between the first finger and thumb so that it will not turn beyond that point. With the right hand, lay the part of flax which is attached to the ball on the knee and roll it from you. This will cause the small flax fibers to separate, thus enabling you to break it easily. When the fibers separate give the thread a light, quick jerk and it will break. When the thread breaks pull it apart gradually so that the fibers will taper. See Diagram No. 1 for breaking. When putting threads together lay them one just behind the other so that the end  will have a very fine point. See Diagram No. 2. Putting the threads together Roll the end with the same movement as shown in Diagram No. 1, only allow it to turn between the fingers of the left hand. After rolling or twisting, wax well. ”  Enjoy!



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