Men's Colonial Shoes.
All shoes sold with out buckles, please see our buckle selection. Buckles ship free with shoes
Fugawee makes both straight last and left/right or "crooked" colonial shoes. The straight last is more correct for the ordinary persona of the Colonial period but the crooked last is more comfortable. After being worn a few times, a straight lasted shoe soon molds itself to your foot.
Never swap shoes. That is a myth with but a faint foundation in history.
Toe caps, the formed section at the front of the shoe, didn't come into use until about 1870. When you buy a Colonial shoe, expect soft toes and expect to need your shoes a little longer if you have prominent big toes.
What's the story on straight-lasted shoes?
During the Middle Ages shoes were soft, made something like hard-soled moccasins and had little, if any, heel. They were easily made to fit each foot. Then came the. Italians. Some people even blame Leonardo DaVinci.
High-heeled shoes are mentioned as early as 1533 but they reached ordinary fops in the 1590's when they swept into Venice and Florence. This brought out a whole new set of problems. The shank in the arch of the shoe had to be strong and stiff enough to keep the shoe from collapsing forward and the sides of the shoe had to be molded so that the foot would not slide down into the toe area. The complexities and cost of carving compound curves into the last (the form that the shoe is molded over) and then making a mirror image for the other foot limited such shoes to the very rich.
The fashionably foppish folk were faced with a dilemma: Style or Comfort?
You guessed it. Style won out, so from the 1590's until the 1830's ordinary people wore straight last shoes. Then, in 1828 a foreman at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts named Blanchard developed a duplicating lathe for the manufacture of gun stocks.
The original Blanchard lathe is on exhibit in the Springfield Armory museum. Despite the Armory's history of service since the birth of the Republic, it is gone. An industrial park and/or Junior College now occupy the buildings. A small but fascinating museum of American arms making since the birth of the republic is set up in one of the old buildings. The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday. When asking directions from the local people, ask for the Junior College. Most of them don't know how those old buildings won this nation's wars.
A Philadelphia shoemaker thought that Blanchard's new lathe was also ideal for making shoe lasts and soon discovered that, by reversing the cam which guided the cutter, a mirror image could be produced. Since a wooden last gets chewed up by tack holes in a few hundred uses, there was a constant demand for new lasts and the new lasts soon were all made in left and right. By 1841 the military was using left/right shoes. By 1851 left/rights were officially specified.
Some slippers and light women's shoes continued to be made on straight lasts by the turn-shoe method until perhaps 1870. This probably is because the lasts were usable for a longer period since they did not suffer all the tack holes used in welt construction.
So back to your choices in a man's Colonial shoe.
Franklin sells for $106.20
Franklin sells for $105.00
To Order: Phone 1-800-605-8280 between 9 AM and 5 PM Eastern time.
The toe of the Concord is a little more round than the Franklin's, bringing the style closer to the shoes found at Ft. Ligonier. We took the pattern for the Franklin uppers and formed them over a last taken from an 1860's military shoe. The Concord is available in rough or smooth finish. Buckles are not included.We wanted more of a common man's shoe. Then we named it the Concord in honor of the heroes who left their homes and their wife-warm beds to gather at the Concord bridge and dare the British Empire to do its worst. Size: 5E through 15EEE for the Concords. Buckles sold separately, but if shipped with shoes, included in shipping price. All shoes sold with out buckles, please see our buckle selection. Buckles ship free with shoes
The left/right Concord And "Lexington" is unlined and made of a heavier leather than the Franklin.The Lexington is 5/8 of an inch deeper then the regular Concord. The Lexington only comes in smooth at this time. This shoe is to afford the more mature reenactors space to place orthotics inserts or Inner soles without compromising fit. Thus giving more time to walk about, instead of sitting with aching feet wishing you could go visiting. At this time we carry sizes 9D to 12EE.
In 1775 one shilling had the purchasing power of five of today's dollars. That meant that an English pound (£ ) had about the value of one hundred dollars in today's money. The most common and most trusted form of currency was the Spanish silver dollar which was often cut into eight pie-shaped pieces known as "bits".
That's right, that's why a quarter of a dollar is known as "two bits" and until January, 2000, the prices of shares of stock on Wall Street were quoted in quarters and eighths of a dollar.
After the revolution, the reliance on foreign coinage had another pernicious effect. While the soldiers were away from home fighting for America's freedom, local taxes went on and debts grew... ...and were not payable in the printing press currency with which the new Republic paid its saviours. The veterans lost their farms and homes to taxes and debts. At best, they were forced to exchange the useless "shin plasters" for a couple of cents on the dollar.
So it came to be that any worthless thing was said to be, "Not worth a Continental." In spite of this, the New York and Philadelphia bankers, perhaps knowing something that the veterans of the Continental Army did not, shoveled the useless Continental dollars into their vaults.
In 1793 Congress redeemed the Continental currency in gold .... at full face value From Philadelphia to Boston the banks brought out the brimming baskets full of shin plasters that they had taken from the veterans at almost nothing on the dollar and there was rejoicing throughout bankerland.
Square Toes For a period in the 1720s and early 1730s Boxy square toes were in fashion. Then, about 1735, toes became pointed, heels became higher and the mark of an old fart were two bits of fashion. He wore his stockings pulled up over his breeches at the knees and he was "square" or "an old square" in that he clung to the square toes of an earlier fashion. Today someone who is out of touch might be called "square". Just like 1735. There are a number of uses of "old square toes" in stage plays and novels of the 1700s.
Straight lasts, No Left or right Buckles sold separately
Smooth $106.20 Rough
Sizes from 7E to13Ĺ EE. We carry E, EE and EEE widths in whole sizes, E and EE in half sizes. Available in rough out or smooth finish. Short tongue, round toe, (square toes disappeared in 1735) 1ľ inch latchets. . To discuss your order and fitting needs:
Phone orders: 800-605-8280 between 9 AM and 5 PM Eastern time.
In 1757-58 a British army was on its way to attack the French stronghold of Fort Duquesne; later known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Delayed by the weather, they established winter quarters at Fort Ligonier in what became the state of Pennsylvania. A neighboring creek was used as a refuse dump and a flash flood in January or February, 1758 deposited a load of clay that sealed the contents of the dump for two hundred years.
In 1958 the dump was opened and, among other things, a great number of shoes and shoe parts were discovered. Units of that British army had recently been stationed in Bermuda, Ireland, Britain, Philadelphia and Charleston. Their shoes had been made in all of those places, reflecting the supply system of the British Army at the time.
The discarded shoes showed fourteen toe styles, an equal number of tongue styles and latchets (straps) from 3/4 inch to 3 inches in width. There were no boxy square toes. The closest thing was a few examples of a cut-off point something like a "snoot boot."
From the original list, we selected the most common or predominant features. The result was a round-toed shoe with a low or moderate heel, short tongue and latchets of 1ľ inches. That is the shoe we made. It will serve for a military or everyday shoe from 1740 to 1800.
Swapping shoes from foot to foot each day. In over a hundred examples, the Ligonier collection showed one or two with evidence of having been swapped from foot to foot. Although there is evidence that some officers put out such orders, the practice was seldom followed.
Can you imagine getting into camp with wet shoes, drying them near the fire, but not too near, so that they are stiff and cold in the morning; and then forcing your feet into the clammy leather that had been molded to the other foot? No way. This would also be a fine way to tear up the latchets by re-setting the buckles each day.
Rough out or smooth? Fugawee uses the same top grain leather for both types and doesn't use cheaper splits for the rough-out. The rough-out reflects the common shoe in Colonial times. The leather splitting machine was not invented until the 1840's.
In Colonial days, leather was brought to thickness by "currying" or scraping over a wooden beam. Unlined shoes would be made with the smooth side inside to take the place of a lining. The rough outside leather was dressed with a mixture of soot, lard, bear grease and beeswax. The first commercial shoe polish was advertised in Boston in 1771.
For the most authentic appearance, the rough-out Concord or 1758 model may be "packed" with commercial shoe polish to simulate the bear grease polish of the itinerant shoemaker.
Shoe pegs were used only to hold heels and shanks in place. Full pegging was tried by one factory in Braintree, Mass in 1771. The experiment lasted about a year.
|Return Policy We will do our best to give you the proper fit. Exchanged shoes must be in sellable condition. Just imagine how you would react if you received shoes with holes in the latchets, or wear on the soles. If you send a pair back for another size, Fugawee will pay the return shipping back to you on the second pair.|
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