1:54 PM

Hello and Welcome to my blog- My friend Shirley McDonald shared this image with me when I lectured at the Nelson Atkins Museum.......It must have been a wet and rainy day because the little boy is still wearing his rubber overshoes! I can't say for sure if these are Goodyear or Not.
Oh- you can't see it, then here's a closer view.....

For those who collect images, look again for this detail and send me jpg at ElizabethCT@gmail.com  I would love to post yours if I have your permission.


If you have been to the Steamboat Arabia Museum, then you have seen three types of these shoes in a range of sizes. Standard Sizes were something new. Goodyear is best known because his patent didn't become sticky in the summertime or crack in the winter.


Goodyear resided in Nagatuck, CT where the original factory ran by Mr Lewis manufactured shoes - just outside New Haven. Goodyear doesn't appear to have manufactured the shoes, he just sold the rights to several place and there were several lawsuits that make for interesting reading. 


The Union Indian Rubber Store operating in Harem a suburb in NYC mentioned below in the letter was one firm that bought the rights to Goodyears Patent in 1848 specifically for non-shoes items. I am working on my memory but the other rubber shoes in the Steamboat Arabia's Collection stamped, Ford were manufactured in New Jersey and I do have more to do on this firm.

Harvard Business School Baker Library- Rare book Collection has an excellent catalogue for the Union Indian Rubber manufacturer dated abt 1860 with tons of items manufactured- from poncho's to nipples for baby bottles. This can be reviewed, but no copies made. For Civil War Reenactors this firm had many contracts with the US Government during the civil war.

This invoice below for a Boston store shows they sold  rubber boots & Shoes and other rubber items. I enlarged this to full size to read.


If I recall, Greg Hawley told me they had 13 cases and the only way these survived was because they were protected while buried in a perfect PH soil. Now these are protected in a special case with zero oxygen Greg's dad built. Perhaps the Arabia's facebook will do a video on these, because clearly rubber overshoes have a interesting history. You really have to see them up close and personal in the museum to really get the impact.


Dry Good sellers could order directly to at the a Goodyear factory as this man in Norfolk VA did in 1849.  His letter says,  letter says,
Your shoes arrived safely to hand, but far from being sized regular or as desired. I am herefore compelled to order again to get sizes from you and I have to order very carefully as there is an India Rubber store entirely just set up here. Agent for the I believe the Union Indian Rubber factory NYC.
Send 6/3 4/4 3/4 3/1 2/4 - 18 pairs. Low cut ladies next new line [?] little stouter sole than the last.  Send 7/1 6/3 5/1 5/2 4/2 3/2 3/3 2/4 2/2 High cut, lined white stock in nett stouter than these just from you and more those got last year. Toes little wider but round of misses 2/3 16/2 12/1 10/1 high cut, heavy lined W stockett. Send me 6/10 62/10 7/8 8/5 Gents high cut. White Stockinett lined, little heavier soles than those just received
Your & C. F W Seabury
Must be sent immediately....

Any store could carry Rubber Overshoes, but there was an assigned Agent in St Louis where they cases most likely were purchased







__________________________________________________________                                       
                                                BUSINESS DIRECTORY
__________________________________________________________


                        DEPOT UNION RUBBER MILLS   
                                    W. RIDER & BROTHER, PROPRIETORS                  
     W.  J. BABCOCK,
                          116 MAIN STREET, ST LOUIS,

           Commission Agent for the Sale of Goodyear’s Patent
                                    Metallic Rubber Fabrics.
                    

Coats assorted, Cloaks do, Capes do, Ponchos do, Blankets, Haversacks, Canteens, Horse Covers Foot Balls, Saddle Bags, Leggins-Bathing Caps.
Knapsacks, Carriage Cloths, Bat Balls, Sheet Rubber, Teething Rings,
Life Preservers, Syringes, Breast Bottles, Shower Mats, do Baths, Tent
Carpets, Pails, Whips, Fire Buckets, Sportsmen’s Bottles, Wading Boots,
Baptismal Pants, Grain Bags, Hose, Portable Boats, Cushions, Air Beds,
Air Pillows, Traveling Bags, Tobacco Wallets, Money Purses, Maps,
Elastic Garters, Suspenders, Baby Jumpers, Stationers’ Gum, Artists’ Do,
Water Tanks, Engine Packing, Machine Banding, Apron Cloths, Parlor Balls,
Overalls.

__________________________________________________________

(Library of Congress, 1850’s St Louis Mo, Business Directory by James Green No. 1339:1 page 125. Micofiche)

Now for something that affects us now.....According to Automotive News, there will be shortage of rubber harvested (Rubber comes from Trees) so the price of tires is expected to go up so if you were thinking of replacing yours, you might want to do it sooner rather than later.