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May 2003


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Bob Arnold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 May 2003 09:21:57 -0400
text/plain (89 lines)
I do not know of any case wherein shoemakers were anything but makers of
footware for humans. Sometimes an archaic term for them is used:

>>> [log in to unmask] 04/30/03 11:42AM >>>
Hello. I have been doing some newspaper reading from
1798 to 1819 in Saratoga Co., particularly Ballston
Spa. In preparing a "business directory" for those
shops mentioned in the ads and articles, I do not get
the idea that "shoemakers" made anything but shoes for
humans. There were two "blacksmiths" in Ballston,
whose businesses began to be advertised in 1809: Elias
CROES and Norman WEBSTER. There was a Patent Shearing
Machine salesman named James Wiltse (1809), but no
mention of a horse-shoe maker. My untutored impression
of the blacksmith is that horse-shoe making would have
been a staple of his trade, only the occasional wheel
or carriage needing repair. The reference to the
decline of the local (human) shoe maker in the 1860s
may have been a local phenomenon, as the mail-order
catalogue purveying of items would not have taken off
for some decades later, R.W. Sears not having started
his company until 1886. As for the vet/farrier, no one
advertised as either in those years. Perhaps I'm
researching in too early a period for the
veterinarian, but "farrier" is a very old term. Check
your source you mention at the beginning of your

--- Harold Miller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I am researching the history of blacksmithing in the
> Town of Berne, a rural
> town in western Albany County. I have been told that
> in the 19th-Century
> blacksmithing was seldom combined with farrier work
> (horse shoeing). Farmers
> who came into town to buy supplies or bring wheat to
> the mill, would stay at
> a hotel overnight, board their wagons and horses,
> and have them shod at a
> Farrier located next to the hotel. Another thing is
> that farriers were often
> the local veterinarian.
> The 1865 State Census for Berne lists:
> 15 Blacksmiths
> 9 Shoe Makers / Shoemakers
> 4 Wagon Makers
> 3 Harness Makers
> 7 Hotel Keepers
> There are no Farriers listed on the census and no
> Cobblers. The census and
> maps confirm that in the hamlets that had hotels,
> there was generally
> blacksmith shops and Shoe Makers located very
> nearby. The question is: Are
> the Shoe Makers more likely to have been Farriers or
> Cobblers?
> I'm inclined to think that the Shoe Makers in Berne
> in 1865 were Farriers,
> but before I go with that, I would appreciate the
> input from someone more
> knowledgeable.
> Thanks!
> Harold Miller
> Berne Historical Project www.bernehistory.org
> "Berne Heritage Days 2003 to be held July 18, 19,
> and 20."

"... Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the
stature of the fulness of Christ."
                             Ephesians 4:13

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