Richards Sole Cutting Patent Model

Richards Sole Cutting Patent Model

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Richard Richards of Lynn, Massachusetts received patent number 3,857 on December 16, 1844 for his invention of a machine for cutting leather soles for shoes. The leather is placed upon the platform, and operating the treadle causes the machine to move the leather into position, cut a sole, and move the cut sole away from the blade. Richards had previously been a shoe last maker in Lynn, a city that became synonymous with shoe making as mechanization began to take over the industry in the second half of the 19th century. While Richards machine was a step towards mechanization of the shoe industry, it was still only a step in the process. The tedious task of hand lasting each shoe remained, but a machine patented by Jan Matzeliger of Lynn in 1883 solved this problem, increasing the rate of production by 70.
Object Name
patent model, sole cutting machine
date made
1840 - 1844
patent date
Richards, Richard
Richards, Richard
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Lynn
associated place
United States: Massachusetts, Lynn
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
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Work and Industry: Agriculture
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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