Manufacturer Little & Co.

Not on view

The brogan is a heavy ankle-high work shoe with a pegged or nailed sole which was worn in rural areas and by laborers and slaves. Brogans of this type were mass produced in New England factories for wear by men, women, and children with no differentiation in style. Being utilitarian items for the working classes, brogans were usually worn out and discarded. This shoe, in a size suitable for a child or small woman, was kept as sample and never worn, and consequently is preserved in relatively good condition. The brass tip is a less common feature, incorporated to extend the wear of the shoe. It is also surprising to see a shoe of this quality stamped by the manufacturer. While this example and another from the same donation lack the usual lace holes, another brogan in the collection is furnished with a riveted buckle and strap, suggesting that the finishing of the closure was a distinct process after manufacture, allowing a jobber, distributor, retailer or the wearer to determine the fastening to suit his or her preference.

Brogans, Little & Co., leather, probably American

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