Saturday, January 10, 2009

Take off your boots!

By: Erin Crissman, Curator I can remember my mother saying that several times each day during the winter. I would begrudgingly sit on the floor and tug my boots off, probably flinging muddy snow around the room. Certainly children and adults in the 19th century heard that order as well. (At the left are a pair of child's boots in our collection from about 1860.) However, they had an ingenious tool to help them get out of their boots that I don't see very often today - a bootjack.
This device came in a variety of forms, but the essential function was always the same - a tool to help you remove your shoes without sitting and tugging. The boot-wearer could step on one side of the bootjack, then put his boot heel into the carved-out wedge on the other side and pull his foot out of the boot. No sitting, no tugging and no muddy snow spray. (At the right is a homemade bootjack in our collection from the 1800s.)
Bootjack: F0031.1950
Boots: F0042.1959ab

1 comment:

bredto said...

My grandparents had one of these when I was growing up and it was the only one I've ever seen... until now. I pretty sure my grandfather made it himself. It's a great tool and neat to see it here.

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