The tedious and tiresome work of cleaning and polishing boots and shoes may be greatly facilitated, and the task rendered much easier, by the simple and novel apparatus shown in the accompanying illustration. For this improvement patents have been granted in the United States and Canada, and in the principal European countries, to Richard Lundqvist, of Laguna de Terminos, Mexico. It consists of a stand carrying a post on whose upper end is a rubber-faced block shaped somewhat similar to a foot, on which may be placed a shoe with a last inside, there being in the top of the last a longitudinal recess or slit adapted to be engaged by the overhanging upper end of a pivoted lever, whose lower end passes through an opening in the post. A spiral spring normally holds the lever out of contact with the last, but when the lever is moved into engagement with the top of the last, it is thus held in locked position by means of a wedge, holding the shoe firmly against the block and permitting the operator to use both hands in his work. The operator is also thus enabled to employ his strength to the best advantage with the brushes or for the after polishing with the woolen cloth, the heat generated by tbe friction of which is designed to soften the hardened fatty matter in the leather and contribute to its durability and the comfort of the wearer. A smaller block is placed on top of the larger one when ladies and childrens shoes are to be polished. It is not designed that the last shall fit very snugly in the boot or shoe, so that a large and a small last will answer for a considerable range of sizes, the boot or shoe, where necessary, being partially stuffed with rags, paper, or other soft material to make a sufficiently good fit. Upon the post is also fixed a box with hinged covers, in which may be kept the lasts, blacking, brushes, cloths, etc.
This article was originally published with the title "A Holder to Facilitate Work on Boots or Shoes" in Scientific American 73, 24, 373 (December 1895)