Category Archives: Working life

Strikes and sewing machines

Before 1855, most shoemaking processes took place in people’s homes, with outworkers carrying out work in their own houses. Women and children would sew together the leather uppers, made from pieces of thin leather, while men would carry out the … Continue reading

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Trade Unions

Early workers’ organisations Early trade societies in Stafford and Stone appear to have been friendly societies, which provided benefits for members and their families when they were sick or unemployed. There were a number of these organisations in the 1850s, … Continue reading

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Making a Shoe in a factory, 1938

Factory methods, heavily mechanised, greatly changed the shoemaking process. Described here are some of the stages needed in the Goodyear welted shoe process during the 1930s. Anything between 100 and 200 separate operations could be involved, virtually all performed by … Continue reading

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Making a shoe by hand

How to make shoes by hand Boots and shoes are the most complicated item of clothing we wear. A great deal of skill is needed to make a shoe, and a large range of tools are required to do the … Continue reading

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Lotus Ltd

For most of its life, Lotus Ltd was the biggest shoe manufacturer in Stafford and Stone. The closure of the Stafford factory in late 1998 effectively ended the area’s long history of shoemaking. The company’s origins lie with Thomas Bostock … Continue reading

Posted in Boot & shoe making companies, Bostock, Lotus, Stafford, Stone, Strike, Working life | 25 Comments