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It is always amazing to see the workmanship of the shoe industry from before the 1950’s. Even more impressive is the work from the turn of the 20th century. Although machinery in shoemaking was introduced in the 1850’s and heavily used by the 1890’s, there simply seemed to be a higher level of workmanship all the way up through the mid 1900’s, with respects to today. As I have said before, shoemaking now is brilliant with features that are beautiful, unique and that never existed before but I still feel that precision in the finishing and overall detail was taken far more seriously then. Take for example the stitching on the upper of the shoe presented. While this probably would not be a hot-selling item today and therefore probably never attempted, I still feel doubtful that the precision of this closing work (stitching on the upper) could be mimicked by the factory workers of today (to this level of accuracy). The question is why? And that question, to me, is very important….


6 thoughts on “The Craftsmanship of Yesteryear”

  1. perhaps the factory workers of yesterday started at 14/15 years old … were kids of other shoe makers … starting to learn the skills necessary from an early age, its why tiger woods or a david beckham has more skill .. then there is tenure … they probably spent their whole career doing the same thing …. the same task, so neurologically as well as physically they are attuned to those specialised tasks .. finally, they probably worked longer hours, no 9 to 5 days … which unions later pushed though. this added to time spent ‘practising’.

  2. it’s profit margins. nothing else. the constant increase of greed.
    any interest rate, AT ALL, on a loan used to be considered usury…
    not anymore.

    1. the desire for higher profit margins of the factory does not explain the ability of the workers now versus then

  3. Perhaps it was a culture of excellence that produced that kind of thing. One has to wonder what worldview gives rise to such extraordinary displays of excellence? And furthermore one has to wonder what worldview our own contemporary world has that makes excellence such a rare commodity?

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