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Jan Matzeliger Biography

Matzeliger settled in America in 1873 and trained as a shoemaker. In 1883, he patented a shoe lasting machine that raised the access to shoes and reduced the amount of footwear. Matzeliger’s dad proved to be a Dutch engineer, and his mom was Surinamese. Revealing mechanical aptitude in a youthful age, Matzeliger started working in machine shops supervised by his dad in the age of 10.

After settling in America, Matzeliger worked for a number of years to master English. As a dark skinned guy, his professional choices were restricted, and he fought to earn an income in Philadelphia. He found a place as an apprentice in a shoe factory. Matzeliger learned the cordwaining trade, which included crafting shoes nearly completely by hand.

Cordwainers made forms of customers’ feet, called “lasts,” with wood or rock. The shoes were then sized and formed in line with the forms. This is considered the most challenging and time consuming phase of assembly. Considering that the ultimate part of the procedure was mechanized, having less mechanization of the penultimate period, the continuing, created an important bottleneck.

Matzeliger set out to find a means to fix the issues he identified in the shoemaking process. He believed there needed to be a means to come up with an automatic way of continuing shoes. He started coming up with designs for machines that could get the job done. After experimenting with several versions, he applied for a patent on a “long-term machine.”

The mechanism held a shoe on a last, pulled the leather down across the heel, place and drove in the nails, and after that eliminated the finished shoe. It had the ability to create 700 pairs of shoes a day more than 10 times the number normally made by human hands. Matzeliger’s long-term machine was an instant success. In 1889, the Consolidated Lasting Machine Company was formed to produce the apparatus, with Matzelinger receiving a great deal of stock in the corporation. After Matzeliger’s departure, the United Shoe Machinery Company obtained his patent.

Matzeliger’s shoe lasting machine raised shoe creation enormously. The end result was the employment of more unskilled workers as well as the proliferation of low cost, high quality footwear for individuals all over the world. Sadly, Matzeliger could savor his success for just a limited time. He got tuberculosis in 1886 and died on August 24, 1889, in the age of 37, in Lynn. In 1991, the Usa government issued a “Black Heritage” postage stamp in Matzeliger’s honour.

Jan Matzeliger Biography