Jan Matzeliger was an inventor of Surinamese and Dutch descent finest known because that patenting the shoe lasting machine, which make footwear an ext affordable.

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Who was Jan Matzeliger?

Jan Matzeliger cleared up in the United states in 1873 and trained together a shoemaker. In 1883, the patented a shoes lasting an equipment that boosted the accessibility of shoes and decreased the price that footwear. He died of tuberculosis on august 24, 1889.

Early Life

Jan serious Matzeliger to be born ~ above September 15, 1852, in Paramaribo, Suriname —known at the time as netherlands Guiana. Matzeliger's father was a dutch engineer, and also his mother was Surinamese. Showing mechanical aptitude in ~ a young age, Matzeliger began working in machine shops managed by his father at the period of 10. At 19, the left Suriname to see the world as a sailor on an east Indian vendor ship. In 1873, he resolved in Philadelphia.


Invention of the Lasting Machine

After settling in the joined States, Matzeliger functioned for number of years to find out English. Together a dark-skinned man, his professional options were limited, and he struggled to do a life in Philadelphia. In 1877, Matzeliger relocated to Lynn, Massachusetts, come seek occupational in the town's rapidly farming shoe industry. He discovered a position as one apprentice in a shoe factory. Matzeliger learned the cordwaining trade, which connected crafting shoes almost entirely by hand.


Cordwainers make molds the customers' feet, referred to as "lasts," with wood or stone. The pair of shoes were then sized and shaped follow to the molds. The procedure of shaping and also attaching the body of the shoe to its single was done completely by hand with "hand lasters." This was considered the most daunting and time-consuming phase of assembly. Since the last step in the process was mechanized, the absence of mechanization the the penultimate stage, the lasting, produced a far-reaching bottleneck.


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Matzeliger collection out to find a systems to the difficulties he discerned in the shoemaking process. He assumed there had to be a means to construct an automatic technique for lasting shoes. He started coming up v designs for makers that can do the job. After exploring with numerous models, he used for a patent top top a "lasting machine."

On in march 20, 1883, Matzeliger received patent number 274,207 because that his machine. The mechanism organized a shoe on a last, traction the leather down around the heel, set and drove in the nails, and then discharged the perfect shoe. It had actually the capacity to develop 700 bag of shoes a day—more than 10 times the amount generally produced by human hands.


Matzeliger's lasting machine was an prompt success. In 1889, the Consolidated Lasting an equipment Company was developed to to produce the devices, with Matzelinger receiving a huge amount of share in the organization. ~ Matzeliger's death, the united Shoe Machinery agency acquired his patent.

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Death and also Legacy

Matzeliger's shoes lasting maker increased shoe production tremendously. The result was the employed of an ext unskilled workers and the proliferation that low-cost, high-quality footwear for people about the world. Unfortunately, Matzeliger was able to enjoy his success for just a short time. He contract tuberculosis in 1886 and also died on respectable 24, 1889, at the age of 37, in Lynn. In 1991, the joined States federal government issued a "Black Heritage" postage rubber stamp in Matzeliger's honor.

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