The history of the Goodyear welting machine
Charles Goodyear Jr. did not Invent the Welting Machine, according Dan’s research, here is the story:
“The fact of the matter is that around 1869 Goodyear Jr, who wielded the finances of his famous father’s estate, purchased a patent from a New York shoe producer named James Hanan for a modified sewing machine that used a curved needle and awl to sew welts onto shoes without taking them off the last or penetrating the insole. This new machine offered considerable advantages over the previously popular McKay (Blake stitch machine) method, but was riddled with mechanical difficulties. Upon purchasing the patent, Goodyear hired its original inventor Auguste Destouy and another mechanic named Daniel Mills to work for him at the American Shoe Tip Company and sort out the new machine’s shortcomings.
Under Goodyear’s direction and, more importantly, with his financial support the two got to work and filed no fewer than 7 different patents between 1869 and 1876. This effort resulted in the famous 1875 patent for the welting machine that would take on Goodyear’s name Perhaps the fact that Goodyear’s name is on the patents is the reason why he is so often credited with actually inventing the machine but most of the evidence seems to indicate that his contribution came in the way of adapting and promoting his mechanics’ work rather than doing any of the actual inventing himself.
This, of course, is not to discredit his contributions as none of this could have happened without Goodyear’s involvement.”
Dan (Lordpoint boot & leather)
First Goodyear Welting Machine 1869 (Patent nº. 96.944)
How the Goodyear Welted Shoes are assembled?
In this 22 minute film, from around the 1930’s, you will see many of the 174 processes and 210 operations done on the assembling a pair of high quality Goodyear Welted Oxford shoes.
Today we make the shoe the same way, but we use better tools and better row materials, allowing us to produce the best quality and the more competitive price ever.
There are more than 140 years that we are improving the noblest way of making shoes.
This video It is owned by Gentleman’s Gazette, whose reading we recommend, is an important document to get a more precise notion of the complexity of Goodyear welted construction.