Image of Pray’s Stitching Shop, Salem c. 1863

“The first widespread technological revolution in the shoe industry came with the invention of the sewing machine. Beginning in the 1850s, the use of the sewing machine in shoe manufacturing allowed local businesses to create women’s slippers to compete with French imports then the rage among well-shod consumers. The first sewing machine was installed in a Lynn factory in 1852 and was used to stitch shoe uppers.” Quoted in Richter, Paula Bradstreet, “Following the Footprints of the Past: The Shoe Collection of the Essex Institute.” Essex Institute Historical Collections (April 1991): 123-4.


Salem in History Website.