The Organization of the Boot and Shoe Industry

The Organization of the Boot and Shoe Industry

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Excerpt from The Organization of the Boot and Shoe Industry: In Massachusetts Before 1875

Introductory Survey of Materials, Methods and Scope of This Study of Facts Concerning the Organization of the Boot and Shoe Industry in Massachusetts before 1875

The development of the boot and shoe industry of Massachusetts proves to be an interesting and productive field for economic investigation, not merely because its history goes back to colonial days as one of the leading industries of the states, but more especially because the evolution of industrial organization finds here an unusually complete illustration. The change from older stages to the modern Factory Stage has been comparatively recent, and survivals of earlier forms have existed within the memory of the old men of today. Sources, direct or indirect, oral and recorded, can be woven together to establish, to limit, and to illustrate each one of these stages and the transitions of their various phases.

Materials, and Difficulties in Collecting them

The materials used as the basis of the conclusions given here have been gathered at first hand within the last ten years, by the writer, in the best known shoe centres of Massachusetts, i.e., Brockton, the Brookfields, the Weymouths, the Braintrees, the Randolphs, and Lynn. The collection and use of such written and oral testimony has been attended with difficulty. No New England shoemaker of a former generation has dreamed that posterity would seek for a record of his daily work.

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