L̶a̶s̶t̶⠀Jan Ernst Matzeliger, Comes First

Perhaps not quite as catchy as ‘Last Comes First’, but definitley more important. Without Jan Ernst Matzeliger, we may not look at shoe consturction in quite the same way we do now. Jan Ernst Matzeliger, (born Sept. 15, 1852, Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana [now Suriname]), is an inventor best known for his shoe-lasting machine that mechanically shaped the upper portions of shoes.

‘Son of a Dutch father and a black Surinamese mother, Matzeliger began work as a sailor on a merchant ship at the age of 19 and after about six years settled in Lynn, where he found employment in a shoe factory and became interested in the possibilities of lasting shoes by machine. Working alone and at night for six months, he produced a model in wood and on March 20, 1883, received a patent (see photograph). His invention won swift acceptance and within two years had largely supplanted hand methods in Lynn. Matzeliger received several other patents for shoe-manufacturing machinery, including an improved model of his first lasting machine.’ (via – Britannica)

Dee Wells recently wrote an in-depth article about Jan Ernst Matzeliger, which you can read in full, here.

Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | www.MrBailey.co.uk

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