An old boot

An old boot is a derogatory term for an older woman, but we have the real thing in Market Lavington Museum. This one is as tough as old boots, as it is now over a hundred years old, dating from the early twentieth century.

It is a black leather lady’s boot and would have been threaded with a long lace to tie, once the foot was inside.

Behind the lace is a long tongue, to protect the stockinged leg from discomfort from being rubbed by the eyelets.

This boot was not made by a local bootmaker, but mass produced as we can see by the label inside.

A little research (from https://buildingourpast.com/2016/04/05/the-public-benefit-boot-co-and-lennards/) has shown that this philanthropic firm had been formed in 1875 as the Public Benefit Boot Company. The aim was to produce more affordable footwear to the working class by cutting out middlemen, refusing credit and through bulk purchasing.

The owner of our boot had done their best to extend its wearable life. The sole has been repaired using parts of a worn leather belt.

The boot was found in a loft space, presumably put there for good luck, a habit that usually involved children’s boots. (See Boots as good luckĀ charms.)

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