The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The shoe-maker., pp. 78 ff.
78 THE SHOE-MAKER. This is a useful and profitable trade, though very extensive. Leather is the chief article he uses for shoes and boots ; but he has sometimes other materials, such as silk, jean, nankeen, &c. for ladies' shoes. In order to join the upper, leather to the sole, he must have, onabench near him, his knife, his awl, and a stone to sharpen his tools; be- fore him, on his right, a hammer and lap- stone; and on the other side, a tub of water in which he keeps a quantity of wax in balls. He sews the leather with thread waxed over, and thereby made a strong and durable sub- stance, called a wax-end. To each end of this thread is fastened a hog's bristle, which guides the thread through the holes made in the leather with an awl. Both bristles are put into each hole, and one wax-end is worked like two. Shoe-makers' wax is commonly made by melting together about equal parts of pitch and yellow rosin; in warm weather it is necessary to have a greater proportion of rosin than in the win- ter. For ladies' light coloured shoes and other fine work, different wax is used. The best and strongest thread for an end, is made of hemnp. Shoes and boots are made on lasts, pieces of wood imitating the fect.
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