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  • Men's Patten Overshoe, 1830-1850

    Pattens, a type of overshoe, were used to protect both feet and shoes from mud and snow. Wooden-soled overshoes were used as early as the fourteenth-century but were restricted to the wealthy. By the early fifteenth-century, a form of composite leather sole made pattens more widely accessible. Because of their functional appearance, they were generally associated with the lower classes and country people, although they were more useful in town than in the country where the iron ring would have s…

  • Women's Slippers, 1830-1850

    These slippers- really shoes- may have been used for a wedding. They appear plain but remnants of thread on the throat indicate this pair was decorated. Heeled shoes with square toes were particularly popular in the 1830's and 1840's. These leather shoes are less delicate than those made from satin, but still offer little support or protection from the elements. Thus, these are indoor shoes used to look fashionable. If worn outside they would quickly become soiled; the foot hangs over the straig…

  • Women's Shoes, about 1860

    These shoes, commonly called slippers in this period, were likely made to match a specific outfit. They may have been made to match a wedding gown. Flimsy fabric shoes such as this were very popular, but provided no support and quickly were soiled and damaged. They were purely decorative and worn by women who were expected to stay primarily indoors and not required to do any work.

  • Women's Patten Overshoe, 1830-1850

    According to the donor, the patten overshoes were worn in the mid 19th century by her great-grandmother, Mrs. Pastrigs. Pattens, a type of overshoe, were used to protect both feet and shoes from mud and snow. Wooden-soled overshoes were used as early as the fourteenth-century but were restricted to the wealthy. By the early fifteenth-century, a form of composite leather sole made pattens more widely accessible. Because of their functional appearance, they were generally associated with the lower…