Canadian Footwear in the Age of the Machine

Canadian Footwear in the Age of the Machine. Mechanization transformed shoemaking. For example, by mid-century Québec City, and Montréal in particular, had become home to a thriving boot and shoe business. The time of shoes as a scarce and expensive commodity was over. By 1900, leather products in the province of Québec's leather products - chiefly shoes - ranked 2nd in the province's industries.

Tourigney & Marois Boot and Shoe Manufacturers
Québec City Archives, Picture Collection/Archives de la ville de Québec
c. 1912
© Québec City Archives, Picture Collection/Archives de la ville de Québec


Machine-Made Footwear for Men
Each of these pairs of shoes and boots represents a different type of footwear that a man might have owned, between 1860 and 1910.

Machine-Made Footwear for Women

Women’s footwear in this era offered a variety of choices.

Ranging from well-made but unfashionable black walking shoes to flamboyant ‘barrette’ boots, this collection suggests how many footwear choices a woman could make to reflect her personality and position in society.

Most pairs of women’s shoes were symmetrical, without a distinct left and right shoe.
Machine-Made Footwear for Men
Each of these pairs of shoes and boots represents a different type of footwear that a man might have owned, between 1860 and 1910.

Machine-Made Footwear for Women

Women’s footwear in this era offered a variety of choices.

Ranging from well-made but unfashionable black walking shoes to flamboyant ‘barrette’ boots, this collection suggests how many footwear choices a woman could make to reflect her personality and position in society.

Most pairs of women’s shoes were symmetrical, without a distinct left and right shoe.

© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

Self-portrait of William Notman, 1866-67

Self-portrait of William Notman, 1866-67

McCord Museum
1866 - 1867
I-24152
© McCord Museum


Portrait of a Man, late 19th century

Portrait of a Man, late 19th century

Courtesy of Shirley Hart

© Courtesy of Shirley Hart


Wooden Soled Boots

This serviceable leather boot boasts a wooden sole, making it very durable for everyday wear, at the cost of some comfort.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1880 - 1895
Leather and wood
S96.71
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Side-lace Albert Boots

The side-laced boot represents a style suitable for dress wear, with fine black kid uppers, and covered with a decorative spat of black wool.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1860 - 1865
Kid, wool and leather
P89.254
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Slippers

Inside the home, a man might wear embroidered slippers in bright colours.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1860 - 1880
Leather, kid and wool
P91.5
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Pump with Buckles

For the most formal occasions, buckled pumps (court shoes) remained appropriate, although by the end of the century they became very old-fashioned.

The Bata Shoe Museum
1890 - 1915
Leather, silver and textile
P80.1543
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Detail of Waterfront

Detail of Waterfront at the CNE grounds, Toronto, by William James

By William James

© City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 1883


Portrait of a young man and two women, c. 1890

Portrait of a young man and two women, c. 1890

TPL, Picture Collection
c. 1890
© TPL, Picture Collection


Elastic-sided Boots

Elastic-sided Boots

Geo. V. Smith
1880 - 1890
Wool and leather
S89.122
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Shoes

Shoes

The Bata Shoe Museum
1872
Red kid and leather
P81.2
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Elastic-sided Boots

Elastic-sided Boots

The Bata Shoe Museum

Leather, kid and rubber elastic
S97.140
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Lace Boots

Lace Boots

The Bata Shoe Museum
1870 - 1885
Leather, silk and cotton
S88.9
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Tango Boots

Tango Boots

Stagg, Mantle & Co.
1885 - 1890
Leather
S83.384
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Socks

Socks

The Bata Shoe Museum
1895 - 1920
Cotton
P87.72
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Pumps

Pumps

The Bata Shoe Museum
1899
Leather and silk
P97.88
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Oxford Shoes

Oxford Shoes

The Bata Shoe Museum
1895 - 1905
Leather and wool
P86.254
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will :
  • Explain how the environment influenced population (Aboriginal, French and Engilsh) in their culture, lifestyle and economy;
  • Identify the effects that resulted from interaction between Aboriginal peoples and colonizers;
  • Summarize the evolution of the shoes in Canada and involve significant changes to Canada’s development;
  • Analyze the development of Canada through the evolution of shoes.

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