Keeping Stock

In the first half of the nineteenth century, some shoemakers in the larger towns began to stock an inventory of shoes, rather than just making them on demand. This was the beginning of the retail shop, where people could go to buy an inexpensive pair of ready-made shoes. One early example was ‘Cheap Thomas Thompson’s Shoe Warehouse’ which flourished in 1830s Toronto.

Mass Production and Imports

To get the volume of product required to stock a shoe-store, entrepreneurs adopted several approaches. Some shoemakers set up a system of mass production, in which leather was pre-cut to standard sizes, and craftsmen performed a few, specific tasks in an assembly-line fashion. The result was still a hand-made shoe, but one made by several pairs of hands, not just one. As early as 1809, one master shoemaker in Montreal employed a dozen journeymen; a few years later he stocked 500 pairs of ready-made shoes on his shelves.

Other businessmen simply imported shoes to meet the demand, principally from the growing shoe manufacturers in the United States. It was the mechanization of shoemaking that made it possible to stock Read More
Keeping Stock

In the first half of the nineteenth century, some shoemakers in the larger towns began to stock an inventory of shoes, rather than just making them on demand. This was the beginning of the retail shop, where people could go to buy an inexpensive pair of ready-made shoes. One early example was ‘Cheap Thomas Thompson’s Shoe Warehouse’ which flourished in 1830s Toronto.

Mass Production and Imports

To get the volume of product required to stock a shoe-store, entrepreneurs adopted several approaches. Some shoemakers set up a system of mass production, in which leather was pre-cut to standard sizes, and craftsmen performed a few, specific tasks in an assembly-line fashion. The result was still a hand-made shoe, but one made by several pairs of hands, not just one. As early as 1809, one master shoemaker in Montreal employed a dozen journeymen; a few years later he stocked 500 pairs of ready-made shoes on his shelves.

Other businessmen simply imported shoes to meet the demand, principally from the growing shoe manufacturers in the United States. It was the mechanization of shoemaking that made it possible to stock a store with hundreds of relatively inexpensive pairs of shoes in the latest styles.

Buying Shoes

In many ways, a visit to the shoe store in Toronto in 1910 would be a familiar experience to shoe shoppers today. Shoes were stored and shipped in boxes, which were stacked up on shelves for easy access. The label on the box revealed not just the style and size of the shoe, but proudly illustrated the factory where it was made. Dozens of shoes of similar designs were available in varying sizes and colours, reflecting the mass production of shoes by factories here and abroad.

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

A. Henderson & Son Shoe Store, Pictou, Nova Scotia, c. 1831

A. Henderson & Son Shoe Store, Pictou, Nova Scotia, c. 1831

Herb Nott & Co. Ltd.
c. 1831
© Herb Nott & Co. Ltd.


A. Henderson & Son Shoe Store, Pictou, Nova Scotia, c. 1914

A. Henderson & Son Shoe Store, Pictou, Nova Scotia, c. 1914

Herb Nott & Co. Ltd

© Herb Nott & Co. Ltd


Bill of Sale, A. Henderson & Son, Pictou, Nova Scotia, c. 1868

Bill of Sale, A. Henderson & Son, Pictou, Nova Scotia, c. 1868

Herb Nott & Co. Ltd.

© Herb Nott & Co. Ltd.


Shoe Stand

Shoe Stand

The Bata Shoe Museum

Wood and brass
S99.9
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Women's Side Button Boots

Women's Side Button Boots

Walker Parker Co.
1908 - 1914
Leather
S79.6
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Women's lace-up boots with shoe box

Women's lace-up boots with shoe box

Walker Parker Co.
1900 - 1910
Leather and textile
S79.2
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Women's Derby Shoes

Women's Derby Shoes

The Bata Shoe Museum
1905 - 1915
Leather
S81.362
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Woman's lace-up two-tone boot

Woman's lace-up two-tone boot

The Bata Shoe Museum
1908 - 1915
Kid and Leather
P89.173
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Man's Low Lace-up Boots

Man's Low Lace-up Boots

The Bata Shoe Museum
1910 - 1925
Leather
S80.972.
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Button Hook

Button Hook

The Bata Shoe Museum

Steel
S79.212
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Shoe Horn

Shoe Horn

The Bata Shoe Museum
1800 - 1870
CANADA
Wood
S89.130
© The Bata Shoe Museum, 2005. All Rights Reserved.


Merchants Rubber Co. shoe catalogue

Merchants Rubber Co. shoe catalogue

The Bata Shoe Museum
1908 - 1909
© 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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