CultureJan Ernst Matzeliger

Jan Ernst Matzeliger


What garnered Jan Ernst Matzeliger the most prominence was the work that he made on the machine that fundamentally altered the way that the shoe industry was conducted. His creation, which he named the “final welting machine,” was a piece of machinery that covered the inner of footwear with a layer of leather. He referred to this innovation as his “final welting machine.” The shoes ended up having a longer lifespan and becoming more comfortable as a result of this change. In the past, this process had to be carried out manually, which necessitated a considerable amount of time commitment. Today, however, this task may be completed automatically. Using the equipment owned by Matzeliger, the job that needed to be done could be finished a great deal more rapidly.

Matzeliger’s innovation made it possible to manufacture shoes in extremely large quantities, which opened up new market opportunities. In addition to this, it contributed in the process of establishing Philadelphia as the principal hub for the shoe industry in the United States. In the years leading up to Matzeliger’s breakthrough, the bulk of footwear was manufactured in the state of Massachusetts. But when he invented his machine, businesses in Philadelphia were able to produce shoes in a far shorter length of time and at a significantly cheaper cost than they had been able to do before. Because of this, the shoe industry in the city had a period of significant growth.

Matzeliger spent the day observing the hand lasters that were used in the shoe factory. During the night, he labored over salvaging materials from the factory in an effort to construct replicas of the movers used by the lasters. Matzeliger sketched in private. It took him a total of six months to finish the construction of a straightforward machine that he made out of wire, wood, and cigar boxes. Even before Matzeliger had finished perfecting the device, his employer made him an offer of $50 for it. Matzeliger declined the offer that was made. After that, he spent the next four years working on a project in which he attempted to construct a durable machine out of scrap iron. The offer of $1,500 that Matzeliger received for his iron laster was accepted. Once more, he turned down the offer and proceeded to concentrate on perfecting his long-lasting machine in an empty part of the factory where he worked.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger

In order to save money for his research, he limited his food intake to five or six cents each day and went without sleep. Matzeliger put in ten years of labor on his long-lasting equipment, but he received little support during that time. Matzeliger was ridiculed by the general public after the secret of his research was made public, yet he did not give up on his endeavor.

Matzeliger was unlucky in that he did not get to see the full influence that his long-lasting machine had on the shoe industry during his lifetime since he did not survive long enough to see it. The revolutionary technological advancement made it feasible to make anything from 150 to 700 pairs of shoes each and every single day. On the other hand, those who finished shoes by hand were only allowed to complete a maximum of fifty pairs per day. As a direct consequence of the introduction of the lasting machine, the expenses incurred in the manufacturing of footwear were cut in half, which led to a drop in the cost of footwear. Over the course of this time period, improvements were made to the working conditions of the employees as well as to their remuneration. The city of Lynn, which is located in the state of Massachusetts, is currently known as the “World Shoe Capital.” In Lynn, there is a school that was established to teach young men how to operate the lasting machine. Each year, more than 200 students graduate from the institution. These graduates are then able to instruct people across the United States and the rest of the world on how to use the lasting machine. More than 200 students graduate from the institution each and every year.

Despite the fact that Matzeliger had already gone away in 1901, he was recognized posthumously at the Pan-American Exposition with both a gold medal and a diploma for his contributions to the field. This was the case despite the fact that Matzeliger had already passed away in 1901. In 1967, a radio drama series was developed with the working title “The Great Ones” with the purpose of paying honor to the accomplishments of African Americans in the realms of science, art, and industry. The series was prepared with the year 1967. The presentation featured a play that was a dramatization of the events that occurred in the life of Jan Matzeliger. In 1991, the United States Postal Service paid tribute to him by issuing a commemorative stamp as a part of the Black Heritage Collection. The stamp was issued in the year 1991. In his honor, a statue was erected in Lynn, and the North Congregational Church in Lynn is home to a life-size portrait of Matzeliger that adorns one of the church’s walls. Matzeliger is a name that stands out as an important figure in the history books of Lynn’s past.

In 1883, Matzeliger was awarded a patent for his invention, despite the fact that he had been engaged in a number of legal conflicts in the years leading up to the event. He was unlucky in that he did not survive to see it grow so widespread that everyone used it because he passed away before that time. In the year 1889, at the age of 37, he went away as a consequence of TB, which ultimately led to his death. However, as a result of his innovation, there was a substantial paradigm change in the manufacture of footwear, which played a vital role in Philadelphia’s rise to prominence as a leading industrial city in the United States.

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Kim is an 80s wild child. She loves to write on all things culture related. Kim enjoys watching TV shows such as The A Team. Kim started her writing career with a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication from Rowan University in New Jersey. Over the years, Kim has written for a variety of publications on world-topics. She’s married and shares 2 kids with her husband. They make their home in Irvine, California, where they enjoy camping trips along the coast.


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