Jan Earnst Matzeliger


Jan Earnst Matzeliger Famous memorial

Paramaribo, Suriname
Death 24 Aug 1889 (aged 36)
Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Plot 25 Gentian Path
Memorial ID 31868269 View Source

Inventor. He invented the shoe lasting machine, which reduced the cost of manufacturing shoes by one-half. Born in Paramaribo, Suriname, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 19, eventually settling in Lynn, Massachusetts, one of the centers of shoe manufacuring in the nation. Apprenticed to a cobbler and working in a factory, he channeled a natural inclination for mechanics into discovering a way to mechanize the lasting of shoes. Lasting, the attachment of the upper part of the shoe to the sole, was still done by hand. In 1883, he applied for and received a patent for his lasting machine. His machine, which could produce 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day, versus 50 by hand, revolutionized the industry. In 1889, the same year that the Consolidated Lasting Machine Company was formed, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 37. His invention made quality footware affordable to persons worldwide.

Bio by: Garver Graver


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 1 Dec 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 31868269
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jan Earnst Matzeliger (15 Sep 1852–24 Aug 1889), Find a Grave Memorial ID 31868269, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .