- Jun 19, 2013--- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, Sgt42RHR@... wrote:
> Roy, thank you for your balanced and informative post.
> Regarding toe shape, I have documented what you say below for Gentlemen and Officers based on numerous period paintings. That is, shoes for the better sort were pointed or rounded and narrow.
> Because it was not my question, I've not focused on period images of shoes for soldiers, workers, and the common sort. Do you know if the common shoe had a narrow rounded or pointed toe, or was the toe rounded but more broadly so, as is seen in most of the reproduced common shoes?
> Again, thanks for the post!
> John M. Johnston
> There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness. Dave Barry.
> In a message dated 6/18/2013 7:18:35 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
> Roy@... writes:
> The blunt, square toe is great for early 18th C. but by the Rev War most English/American/French shoe toes were pointed or rounded.
Considering how few of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of English/French/American shoes made in the Rev War have survived or were illustrated, it is risky making generalizations. Having said that, I believe a pointed toe was more common than a rounded toe. But the rounded toe of todays repros are generally more broadly rounded than the original shoes.
If you remember Frye's Colonial Shoe of the Bicentennial era, I think that would represent a shoe with too broad/round a toe. The roundness of toe style that Robert Land uses is about the maximum I feel comfortable with.
I bring the French shoes into discussion because they sent over thousands of shoes, probably though the Dutch trading companies, for the Continental Army. I seen a few French originals when they send over the French uniform exhibit in 1981 and they are pointed toe shape. You might remember that Clothier General James Mease remarked how small the French shoes were, and not very well made or of thin leather. Perhaps the French sent over Turn shoes, which are like modern tassel loafers. But I digress.
Conversely, the British army shoes dug up from the 1760's Fort Ligonier PA muddy stream bed are all round toed. And I recall the shoes dug up from the 1781 scuttled British ships in the York River are a mix of round and pointed toe. At one time the Yorktown Victory Center had a few on display. I'm in my library study writing this and I can't find my copy of the Fort Michilimackinac book or Woolwich foundry book - both show shoes found or used at those sites. With 950 plus Rev War era books I've got to organize this place someday!
So a pointed toe would definitely be correct, but no one makes them at an affordable price. Last night I got word that one of the guys in the 40th wants to come over so I can show him how to make a pair of shoes. If he has all summer that might work, but that craft isn't something picked up in a week or two. If he does make a pair it will be round toe.
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