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Sole-stitching machine. Shoe production was largely mechanised by the 1860s. Machinery was used for cutting leather, stitching and joining the sole to the upper. Lynam Blake's large sole-stitching machine was power-driven and expensive to purchase. It was most suited to large-scale production and helped centralise shoemaking in provincial factories. Many of London's skilled boot- and shoemakers were displaced by the introduction of machinery. They were forced to find jobs in other areas, such as casual dock work. George Fullick acquired his Blake, along with many other pieces of equipment, in 1953 from a fellow craftsman who was retiring. In 1988, Mr Fullick and his wife closed their business and retired, selling the machine to another shoe repairer who was just starting his own business.
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