On this day March 20th, 1883 Shoe maker Jan Metzeliger filed and received a patent for his shoe lasting machine.

A shoe “Last” is the mold of one’s foot used to make and customize shoes. Sewing the shoe together was a great hand skill in which one could produce 50 pairs of shoes in a ten hour day. Metzeliger’s machine produced 150 pairs in the same time.

Unfortunately Metzeliger sacrificed his health for his machine starving himself working long hours. He developed tuberculosis and died before his 37th birthday never truly benefiting financially off his machine.


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