History of Footwear Lasting “

Sneha Bharti
7 min readSep 12, 2020


Jan Matzeliger was an Associate in Nursing artificer of Surinamese and Dutch descent best illustrious for patenting the shoe lasting machine, that created footwear cheaper. This made the history of footwear remarkable.

Who Was Jan Matzeliger?

Jan Matzeliger settled within the U.S. in 1873 and trained as a maker. In 1883, he proprietary a shoe lasting machine that multiplied the provision of shoes and attenuated the value of footwear. He died because of TB on August 24, 1889.

Early Life

Jan Ernst Matzeliger was born on Sept 15, 1852, in port, South American country -known at the time as Dutch Guiana. Matzeliger’s father was a Dutch engineer, and his mother was Surinamese. Showing mechanical ability at a young age. Matzeliger began in operation in machine retailers supervised by his father at the age of 10. At 19, he left South American country to examine the planet. As a sailor on Associate in Nursing East Indian merchantman.

The invention of the Lasting Machine

After subsiding within the US, Matzeliger worked for many years to be told English. As a dark-skinned man, his skilled choices were restricted, and he struggled to form living in an urban center. In 1877, Matzeliger affected to Lynn, Massachusetts, to hunt add the town’s quickly growing industry.

He found a position as an apprentice in a shoe factory. Matzeliger learned the cordwainer trade, which involved crafting shoes almost entirely by hand.

Cordwainers created molds of customers’ feet, known as “lasts,” with wood or stone. The shoes were then sized and formed consistent with the molds. the method of shaping and attaching the body of the shoe to its sole was done entirely by hand with “hand lasters.” This was thought-about the foremost troublesome and long stage of assembly. Since the ultimate step within the method was mechanized, the dearth of mechanization of the penultimate stage, the lasting, created a big bottleneck.

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Matzeliger comes into being to seek out an answer to the issues he discerned within the crafting method. He thought there had to be some way to develop an Associate in Nursing automatic technique for lasting shoes. He began developing with styles for machines that would do the duty. once experimenting with many models, he applied for a patent on a “lasting machine.”

On March twenty, 1883, Matzeliger received patent selection 274,207 for his machine. The mechanism commands a shoe on a final, force the animal product down around the heel, set, and drove among the nails, thus discharged the finished shoe. It had the potential to supply 700 pairs of shoes a day-more than 10 times the amount typically created by human hands.

Matzeliger’s lasting machine was an instantaneous success. In 1889, the Consolidated Lasting Machine Company was shaped to manufacture the devices, with Matzelinger receiving an oversized quantity of stock within the organization. when Matzeliger’s death, the United Shoe Machinery Company nonheritable his patent.

Death and Legacy

Matzeliger’s shoe lasting machine increased shoe production staggeringly. The result was the utilization of additional unskilled staff and therefore the proliferation of low-priced, high-quality footwear for folks around the world. sadly, Matzeliger was ready to relish his success for less than a brief time. He contractile TB in 1886 and died on August 24, 1889, at the age of 37, in Lynn. In 1991, us government issued a “Black Heritage” item in Matzeliger’s honor.

Journey of footwear


* CONNOR MEHEW considers the worth of moving to the employment of water-based adhesives in footwear production.
* For a contemporary complete, it’s turning into progressively necessary — particularly within the eyes of the buyer — to be seen to be taking responsibility for the environmental impact of your merchandise. One space of footwear producing that has traditionally been viewed as having a for the most part negative environmental impact is sole bonding. a robust sole bond has forever been important to the producing method, and production errors that cause sole bond failures represent a major share of client returns. it’s so very important that any amendment to the present method doesn’t negatively have an effect on the strength of the bond within the final product.
* Due to the necessity for a robust and sturdy bond, it’s necessary that the adherents area unit properly ready. This unremarkably involves priming chemicals and also the use of a good adhesive. These adhesives and primers use carrier liquids that area unit historically organic solvents. this can be as a result of they dry quickly, therefore shortening the drying method considerably.

  • Reducing Emissions;
  • It is becoming increasingly important, however, to reduce the use of solvents in footwear manufacturing due to their emission of large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many countries have legislation aimed at reducing the exposure of workers to these compounds, as well as reducing these emissions into the environment.

This has led many in the footwear industry to seek viable alternatives to solvent-based adhesives (SBAs) and primers. Over 60g of solvent typically evaporates per pair from adhesives alone. This includes losses such as evaporation from open adhesive pots, which has been measured to be as high as ten per cent per hour. When this is combined with a typical figure of 50g of solvent during the priming process, each pair produced leads to over 100g of VOCs being released into the atmosphere due to the solvents used in these two processes alone. This represents a figure of 100 tonnes of VOCs for every million pairs produced. When it comes to adhesives, a wide range of solvent-free formulations are available.

  • By far the most commonly used of these currently are water-based adhesives (WBAs). These have the advantage that WBAs can be used on most production lines using existing equipment and, assuming that the line is efficient, they can be implemented at a similar cost to SBAs. While at face value WBAs can cost up to three times as much as SBAs per volume, SBAs only contain in the region of 8–17 per cent solids.
  • This is due to using a solvent as a base and only being able to dissolve so much of the active ingredient before reaching a point of saturation. In contrast, WBAs are dispersions, where the water acts as a carrier in which adhesive particles can be suspended. They have a solid content of around 50 per cent, meaning that just one coat of WBA contains the same amount of adhesive as two or three coats of SBA. This brings the cost of WBAs much closer to that of SBAs.
  • Of course, it is important to minimise any waste of adhesive as far as possible. This is due to the fact that if bad practices already exist on a production line and these continue when WBAs are introduced, the cost of the wasted adhesive will be significantly higher than the current process — even if the volume of wasted adhesive remains constant.
  • The Solvent-Free Challenge;

Even with a move towards WBAs becoming increasingly popular, going completely solvent-free still remains a challenge. This is because until recently, there had been no viable alternative to solvent-based primers, which account for up to 60 per cent of all VOCs released into the atmosphere through footwear manufacturing. Now, however, with the advent of new priming technologies, truly solvent-free sole bonding may be on the horizon. During the process of priming with traditional methods, chemicals are applied to modify the surface chemistry of the adherend, thus providing a greater surface area for adhesion. It is often the case that a different priming chemical is required for each adherend.The majority of primers consist of at least 98 per cent of solvent carrier, with only a very small amount of the solid active ingredient. Solvent is effective as a carrier due to its low surface tension, which allows it to easily wet most soling materials in a way that a solution with a much higher surface tension cannot. One technique designed to mainly prime rubber compounds has emerged, which uses powerful ultra-violet lamps and generated ozone.

  • It works by eroding the surface of the adherend on a microscopic scale in order to provide a greater surface area for the adhesive. This technique also causes certain surface bonds to break, which effectively increases the surface energy of the material thus allowing a WBA to effectively wet and bond the adherend.
  • Although mostly used for rubbers, it has also proven to be affective on ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), polyethylene (PE) foams and polyurethane (PU). It is worth noting that there is a small amount of ozone left over after this process as a waste product. Ozone is considered a pollutant at low altitudes due its high reactivity and ability to cause photochemical smog. It has a short half-life and dissipates relatively quickly — between 11 hours and three days, dependant on humidity. Despite this, due to the reduction in emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over more traditional priming methods, this method involving ozone generation is seen favourably as an alternative to solvent based primers. Traditional priming does have a few other advantages that are not inherently replicated by the method that uses ozone.
  • The fact that primers are applied using a scrubbing action has the benefit of cleaning the surface at the same time, removing loose particles that could remain from scouring and roughing, as well as removing any soaps or release agents from the adherend that could act as a contaminant. It may therefore be necessary to clean the adherends as a pre-treatment to remove these loose particles and to ensure the strongest possible bond.
  • In conclusion, it is possible with the use of WBAs and modern priming methods to completely eliminate the use of solvents in the sole bonding process. Typically, there would have to be significant changes made to any current production line, and soling materials would have to be carefully selected with these bonding methods in mind. If communicated to the consumer effectively, these changes could prove to be a massive boon to a manufacturer’s environmental credentials.
  • SATRA is able to assist with the elimination of solvents from production lines through to the provision of information and advice. We can also help to assess the success of various adhesive and adherend pairings via testing to ensure that a good strong bond has been achieved. Please contact SATRA’s footwear testing team for assistance. footwear@satra.com How can we help?

Originally published at https://www.footwearsb.com on September 12, 2020.