• The steps of the Goodyear welting process from The Shoe industry. Courtesy of Harvard University via HathiTrust.

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    The shoe industry
    • Date
    • 1922
    • Creator
    • Allen, Frederick J. (Frederick James), 1864-1927.
    • Description
    • Shoe and leather bibliography": p. 397-400: "Shoe and leather journals": p. 40l.
    • Rights
    • Public domain. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
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    • HathiTrust
    • Contributing Institution
    • Harvard University.

  • The Goodyear welt from The Shoe industry. Courtesy of Harvard University via HathiTrust.

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    Select an item:
    The shoe industry
    • Date
    • 1922
    • Creator
    • Allen, Frederick J. (Frederick James), 1864-1927.
    • Description
    • Shoe and leather bibliography": p. 397-400: "Shoe and leather journals": p. 40l.
    • Rights
    • Public domain. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
    • Partner
    • HathiTrust
    • Contributing Institution
    • Harvard University.

  • "Man making shoes." Man using a welting machine. Courtesy of Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Man making shoes
    • Date
    • 1874-1982
    • Description
    • Title from materials accompanying item. Date supplied by cataloger.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library

Charles Goodyear Jr. (1833-1896) followed in the innovative footsteps of his father, Charles Goodyear, who invented the rubber vulcanization process. The younger Goodyear invented a welting process for attaching the heel of a shoe to the sole by machine. The welt works as an attaching point for the sole and shoe, usually leather or rubber lining the outsole, allowing shoes to be resoled when worn down. The process lent each pair of shoes a lifespan of years, if not decades.

Although the resoling process became mechanized with Goodyear’s invention of the “Goodyear Welting Machine,” it was nonetheless time-consuming. The multi-step process required a skilled operator’s presence at the helm of the device.