I wake every morning near sunrise, and
I dress. Then I make breakfast while my husband, Gideon, dresses
himself and he pulls on his boots so he can walk down the road
and buy the milk for the day. Our neighbors, the Browns,
always milk their cows and wait for Gideon to come and buy some
for our selves.
Gideon opens the door to
head for the Browns and I remind him to buy extra cream because
I’m making cheese today.
It is near now. I hear Ida coming to the kitchen, she’ll
be sixteen soon, and Amy Q is following her. Amy is fourteen. Ida
helps me finish breakfast, then goes out into her and Amy’s
room to wake John, who’s only one year old.
Gideon sets the cream
and milk by the front door and Amy rushes over to get it. She sets
it next to me and turns out the door. She goes after her father;
they are going to feed out ten chickens. We don’t have any
animals other than chickens, but that’s okay, because we get
our milk, and meat, and vegetables from our neighbors for cheap.
We also sell eggs and both Gideon and Ida have jobs. Gideon has
a shoe shop across the road and Ida is a schoolteacher at the ParadeSchool. Both of them earn the money for our family with those
Source - Elliot C.
Cogswell, History of Nottingham,
Deerfield & Northwood, New Hampshire, 1873
Source - Joanne Wasson, Tales of Old Deerfield
Amy and Gideon finished with
the chickens washed their hands and join Ida, John and I at
the table. Gideon says the Grace and we eat a quick breakfast.
Ida leaves first after breakfast headed for school because it
is Friday and there is class.
Eliza” Gideon says as he kisses my cheek and leaves for
work, following Ida out the door. He goes across the road where
there is a work shed. Gideon has all of his leathers and other
materials and his tools there. Many other men in Deerfield are shoemakers also, but most of them sell the shoes
in other towns in New Hampshire. Some sell to other states.
Gideon is a good
husband and a very good man just as his father had been. His
father, Gideon Webster Burbank, died only a year before the
birth of our first son. Gideon’s mother was a fashionable
woman; her name was Agnes Ballou. My husband is named after
Amy helps me
finish cleaning up and I put John in his crib for his nap. The
crib is older than Ida. Amy once slept in it as did Ida and
our other two sons. Gideon and my first son died minutes after
he was born. The baby had been a boy but we did not name him
because he died so soon. I was very sad. Three years later I
was pregnant again.
The baby was
a girl this time. We named her Ida A. The A stands for Anne
which is my middle name. She was a healthy bay and she is living
and for this Gideon and I are both grateful. Two years after
Ida was born I had another daughter. She was a beautiful and
healthy baby dog. We named her Amy Q.
Amy was two years old I had Charles Webster. His middle name
was after Gideon’s. Charles was a giggling baby until
he was a few months old.Charles
became very sick and he died from it. We buried him by our nameless
son. However, less than a year later I became pregnant yet again.
Though I was still mourning the loss of Charles, I had another
son. We named him John H.H. John is a strong name and Gideon
and I hope he will live up to his name.We hope he will stay healthy and alive unlike his brothers.
Amy and I finish the chores and at Gideon came home for lunch. I serve him, Amy, and I
some soup. John chews on some carrot with his little teeth.
Gideon tells us about his day at work and how he got new leather
and how he sold several pairs of shoes and how he made many
as well. I ask him to please get me a chicken for dinner. So
he goes to the hen house with the small axe. We were getting
new chickens in four days.
go with him this time but instead helps to fill the wash basin
with hot water. I start to wash the dishes and Gideon comes
back the chicken. He sets the chicken on the table, then headed
back to work. We are lucky he works so near. Most men who work
away from home don’t come home for lunch.
I watch Gideon
cross the road then I go back to the basin and finish the dishes
from lunch. Amy pours the milk and the cream into the pans.
She set them into the cellar to separate. Once I churn the butter
I can use the extras to make sour milk cheese. I will serve
it with blueberry pie and surprise Gideon with it. I love when
he’s happy and he loves blueberry pie.
Even with the losses of our two sons and even though
we don’t live in a fancy home I am grateful for my family.
They help me be happy and be loved and that is why I love them.
Most of this story is based on my educated guesses and
is very hypothetical.
I do not know if what
happened in my story is really what happened on a Friday in
1871. My story is based on how other 1870’s households
were and on also on the information I researched to write my
story. I do know that Gideon, Eliza, and all of their children
were real people living on Parade Road in Deerfield New Hampshire, in
the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.
Eliza had five children and at least three of which lived a
normal length life. Gideon’s first son only had a birth
record, on which his name is not stated. I made a guess at what
could have been the reason for that. I came up with two possible
answers. One was that Gideon and Eliza hadn’t agreed upon
a name for their son so that they simply didn’t fill out
a name for the record.
My second guess was the reason that I put into my story. I wrote
that he died while being born so Gideon and Eliza had no reason
to name him. A lot of children died very young from illness
or during childbirth in this time period. Gideon also had a
second son who died very young and he died from an illness.
John did live to lead a good life and I believe he became a
teacher at the ParadeSchool. Ida did teach there too.
I am not sure if the Burbank’s bought goods from nearby
neighbors but I am pretty sure that they did not have a farm.
The census records I looked at listed Gideon as a shoemaker
not a farmer. I thought that if they had any animals it would
probably have been a dog or chickens.
There is really a shoe shop (work shed) across the road from
the Burbank’s house and Gideon may or may not have returned
home for lunch, again I am guessing. I have made the most educated
guesses that I could for the questions I could not answer. I
hope that you learned something not only about the life of a
family in 1871, but also about my “Dead Guy” Gideon
1910 Federal Census, Deerfield, NH
1910 Federal Census, Deerfield, NH
Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1851
Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1855
Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1857
Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1859
Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1912
1800 Federal Census, Deerfield, NH
Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1859
Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1870
1870 Federal Census
1880 Federal Census
1910 Federal Census
Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1912
Ruth Tilton Houghton, Stories of Old Deerfield, From “Memories”
Ida A. Burbank
probably led an average, country life in Deerfield.
As the daughter of Gideon and Eliza Ann Burbank, and the sister
to John Burbank. Doing chores and being a teacher at age 14.
Whoa, only age 14!
Most young women who became teachers that young usually
did it for a specific reason, but Ida’s reason we may
never know. Some taught for the money to help their families
make ends meet, while others taught just because they loved
to help people and were fortunate enough to have gone through
school themselves. The shortage of teachers may have encouraged
her to become a teacher, and the prospect of making money to
save and spend at her leisure.
become a teacher in the late 1800’s, you usually needed
to have completed at least through the twelfth grade and take
an exam to show that you qualified. The exam was not often very
difficult because people with a lot of education that willing
to teach a group of farm children sometimes were hard to come
In Deerfield at the time, there
were a total of 12 one-room schoolhouses, and one was located
on the Deerfield Parade, close to were the Burbank’s
lived. It is most likely that Ida taught there in the one room
schoolhouse in 1870.
Most one-room schoolhouses were basically bare bones,
only the essentials. There was a pot bellied stove to heat the
cold room in the winter. It burned coal, corncobs, or split
firewood. Children who sat nearest to the stove roasted while
the almost everyone else froze. The wash basin was to clean
up after playing hard at recess and before digging into the
lunch pail brought from home that maybe contained pickles, fried
chicken, hard boiled eggs and if they were lucky, a jar of potato
salad. Girls and boys sat on opposite sides of the room and
it was considered a punishment to be sent to the other side
of the room. This punishment often backfired however, much to
the schoolmistress’s dismay.
Teachers were usually quick to discipline over small
things because any interruptions took up time that was desperately
needed to get through a simple lesson. A ruler could be rapped
on the pupil’s knuckles, or they could be thrown across
the teacher’s knee and spanked. Other forms of humiliation
were to be forced into the corner and have a dunce cap placed
upon their head, or to go outside and choose a small, flexible
branch to be whipped across the student’s backside. If
a student was punished in school, most likely the parents would
get involved and the punishment didn’t end at school.
Often after being punished, the student’s peers would
taunt them until someone stepped in and forced them to stop.
The age of the
students in the school could be from five to fifteen, and sometimes
adults would come at a later hour to finish the education they
may not have had time to get as a child. It was uncommon for
older students to come to school during the day because they
were usually needed at home to work on the farm or to work at
a job to help make money for the family. Class sizes were usually
rather small, about ten to fifteen students but the spread of
education and comprehension of the information given out was
A teacher was
expected to cover a lesson for each age group in about fifteen
minutes, which usually resulted in being forced to repeat lessons
over and over. Most of the learning a student acquired was from
oral dictation, memorization, and drilling. Those same tactics
are still used today so the schoolmasters and mistresses must
have seen enough of a success for it to be continued in schools
across the country. It was very uncommon for there to be enough
supplies for every student so they made do with what they had.
Slates were often shared between peers and textbooks didn’t
come in complete sets but everyone got along as well as they
could under the conditions they were given to deal with.
for each class but if a student went through every grade, they
would most likely understand basic mathematics, handwriting,
basic geography, reading, philosophy, oral history, and how
to write a proper letter. Handwriting and letter writing were
both very important subjects because that was how most communication
was accomplished. Usually people didn’t bother going to
high school because of
The school years
were often broken up into chunks because of the need to have
children at home to help with the planting and harvesting, and
in the winter if the weather was very cold or really snowy,
there was no school. Because of these interruptions, it was
common for school to run into the summer since there was no
weather to delay school. But some schools had short terms. Thirty
short days in fact. Can you imagine only going to school for
thirty days a year instead of one hundred eighty?
Ida may have had a very busy life outside of teaching but for
now, we do not know a definite answer. Possibly full of dating,
visiting with friends and family as many other young ladies of
that time spent their days. Not too different from now. I think
that if we were to read an actual diary from that time period
we would realize how similar their thoughts, feelings and actions
were. Most kids feel that you can’t learn a lot from the
past but this project has shown me otherwise and I would have
Burbank and his wife had five children. The names of their children
were, No name, Ida, Amy, Charles, and John. The kid with no name
was born on May 26th 1851. Ida was born about five years later on September 25th
1855. On May 13th 1857 Amy was born. Two years later Charles was born on April 20th 1859. On April 15th 1870 Gideon and his wife Ann had their fifth child named
Burbank died on September 15th 1859
just a few months after he was born. Nobody knows exactly why
Charles died only a few months after he was born but we have reasons
why he could of died and why other children were dying so young.
are a lot of reasons why children were dying in the 1800s and
why they were dying so young. Some kids were dying of smallpox,
diphtheria, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, whooping cough, tetanus
(lockjaw), polio, measles, mumps, German measles (rebella), tuberculosis,
scarlet fever, many different types of influenza, scurvey, shigella,
dysenteries, rickets, and salmonella. Some kids were even dying
of bursting appendicitis and cancer. A lot of kids died during
the time period of the Black Death Plague. Some of these you maybe
have heard of them or even had some of them.
was one of the main diseases that were killing children. Cholera
is a severe bacterial infection of the gut that is caused by contact
with feces or vomits of someone who is or was infected. When you
get cholera you get a bloated, crampy feeling in the lower abdomen
and you give off a little odor. Very watery, light colored, and
laced with tiny bits of mucus form in your throat and in your
nose. Cholera can cause death by dehydration. As the disease progresses
you get intense thirst, extreme weakness in your bones, sunken
eyes, decreased urination/pressure, weakened pulse, unconsciousness,
seizures, and kidney failures.
was another one of the main diseases that was killing children
in the 1800s. Tuberculosis is an infection that is caused by a
bacterial organism. There are not really any signs that will tell
you if you’re starting to get tuberculosis. To find out
if you have tuberculosis or if your starting to get tuberculosis
then you has to a skin test but it is not an ordinary skin test
it’s a Mantoux test. Most people when they get tuberculosis
it first occurs in the lung then it spreads to other parts of
the body like the brain and the kidneys and even in the bones.
Tuberculosis kills mostly children from the age of childbirth
to anywhere from 15 to 18. Some adults do get tuberculosis but
it is more likely that little kids and teenagers get it. If you’re
an older adult like the age of 45 and older then you could get
it and die from it just as easy as an infant.
cough was common for little kids to get. Whooping cough is an
infection in the nose, throat, and in the lungs. Since whooping
cough has to do with the lungs it makes it so that you have along
‘burst’ of uncontrollably coughing. Whooping cough
is caused by a bacterium. Whooping cough got its name because
you can’t stop coughing. It takes a long time for you to
stop coughing. Some people that have been researching about whooping
cough have found out that the long ‘burst’ of coughing
is caused by thick mucus that is hard to cough up. Another name
for whooping cough is Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough is
spread from droplets of mucus that is coughed up or sneezed out
and someone gets it on their hands or breathes it in.
looks like a big word but it is the flu and ‘influenza’
is just a fancy word for the flu. Influenza is an illness but
basically it is the common cold. Some of the symptoms are a high
fever, a headache, sometimes you get body aches and you may lose
your appetite. When you have influenza you get a runny nose, a
cough, and sometimes the chills. There are many different kinds
of influenza. There are so many different types of influenza that
you will never get the same one twice. When you think of a common
cold you think that you cannot die but you actually can. Influenza
normally only last for a couple days at a time. you can be sick
for more then a couple days or even weeks at a time but if your
sick that long then you most likely have had a different cold
then the cold you started out with or you don’t have influenza.
you see there are many kinds of disease in the worlds and that
were killing children back in the 1800s. Gideon Burbank’s
kids probably died of one of these disease. Most likely they either
died of tuberculosis or cholera.
Otto L. Bettmann,
The Good Old Days-They were Terrible! [Random House
October 12, 1974]
What are some of the games that Gideon W. Burbank played
as a child in the 1800’s? As a child Gideon probably didn’t
have a lot of time to play. There were a lot of chores that had
to be done at home. Gideon and the other children got most of
their playtime at school. Sometimes they would play at home if
they had time.
Some games that the children played at home and at school
were hopscotch, jump rope, string & hoop games, and marbles
& tops. They would also play board games, cards, string games,
tell stories, jacks, and read. Not all of the games that Gideon
and the other children played were fun. During school they would
sometimes play things that would help them learn better, like
word games, and spelling games.
That’s not all that Gideon and the other children
would do to entertain themselves. Playing sports was one of the
best ways to have fun. Kids from the neighborhood would get together
and play soccer, baseball, and football. Those were played in
the street most of the time or a field if there was one close
It wasn’t just the kids that got to have fun. Once
in a while after work the adult would all get together and do
something. A lot of the time they played two of the most popular
card games, which were Bridge and Poker. Both of which are still
really popular now.Card games weren’t
the only things that they played. They also played chess, checker,
and instruments that they had.
Activities that the children and adults did in the 1800’s
weren’t always appropriate. The adults would sometimes get
together and play drinking games, get really drunk, and possibly
end up doing something stupid. The children during April Fools
Day would pull pranks on people.
In the 1800’s one of the most popular toys for girls
were dolls. Girls considered them as their best friends, and brought
them everywhere. Dolls back then were either made out of wood,
paper, cloth, paper mache, or printed dolls. Dolls have changed
a little over the years. Now they are mostly made out of rubber
and porcelain, and aren’t all hand made.
Popular indoor games that Gideon probably played are marbles,
blocks, puzzles, action books, and cards. There were also toy
boats & trains, cars & trucks, and Jack-in-the-boxes.
They would also play board games.
Popular outdoor games include “Kick the Wicky,”
kite flying, snowball fights (when there was snow), marbles (both
an outdoor & indoor game), parachutes, Snow Man, and I’ve
Lost my Squirrel. More games are Have you Seen my Sheep, Pinch-O,
and they also played with sand toys.
Two of the most popular board games were Mansion of
Happiness, and The Checkered Game of Life. These two
board games were based on real life situations. It taught you
to always be good and do the right thing. The Checkered Game
of Life was created by Milton
Bradley in 1860. Both of these games are still played now.
How were some of the games played in the 1800’s?
“Kick the Wicky” was played with a 12 inch long stick.
This game took two people to play. The stick was placed so it
was leaning against a curb. One person kicks the stick and the
other person has to try and catch it. If you catch it then you
I’ve Lost my Squirrel is really similar to Duck Duck
Goose. There’s one person that goes on the outside of the
circle, and he/she goes around repeating, “I’ve lost
my squirrel.” When he/she finds the person that they want
they say, “I’ve found my squirrel.” After that
the two of them run in opposite directions around the circle and
try to get the open space.
In the game Snow Man there’s no limit on how many
children can play. There are two goals/boundaries that are on
opposite sides from each other. One person is picked to be the
Snow Man. The Snow Man gets a good supply of snowballs, and stands
halfway between the two goals. All the other children go to either
one of the goals. Then the person who’s the Snow Man says,
“Who’s afraid of the Snow Man?” If the kids
don’t run then the Snow Man says, “Oh, you’re
afraid of the Snow Man!” After he/she says that the children
all have to run to the opposite goal, and the Snow Man has to
try and hit as many as he can before the reach the opposite goal.
If any are hit then they have to go beside the Snow Man and make
snowballs for him. The words are then said all over again, and
the last person hit then becomes the Snow Man.
Games have changed a lot from the 1800’s till now.
Things were more handmade back then. Now we have more technology
so the games are better. They didn’t have playstations,
gameboys, games cubes, or x-boxes like we do. Some of the games
and toys are the same, but have been upgraded a little. They played
with cars, trains, and boats just like kids today. Except now
we have electronic cars, boats, and trains. The game marbles is
basically the same except we might have added more ways to play.
Kites are the same except we have made ones that are bigger, and
There were nights where Gideon and his family would probably
get together and have a family night. On those nights there would
be a fire if it was cold. They would all sit together and take
turns telling stories that they made up, or they would tell myths.
Another thing that Gideon might have done was play a family board
game, or cards. At some point one member of the family would get
out an instrument if they had one, and start playing something.
Everybody would then join in and start singing.
Activities and Games were really important to children
and adults in the 1800’s, and is still a really important
part of life now. If games weren’t created along time ago
then children and adults back then and now wouldn’t have
anything to look forward to after a hard day. There would be nothing
to help us relax. Just think, what do you think life would be
like if we didn’t have any sports, games, or toys?
Photo source - Foxfire 6, 190, Garden City, Anchor Books
The sun rises over the treetops of Deerfield,
and so begins another day of shoemaking for Gideon Burbank.
a middle aged shoe maker slipped quietly out the door to his
house and into the spring air. The ground was slushy and he
did his best to step around the puddles so as not to get his
feet wet and then catch a cold. Behind him Ida splashed noisily
through the mud in her new homemade shoes, running to catch
up. She finally met him at the door to his shop.
on ruining your new shoes already?” he asked gruffly,
looking down at her soaked feet.
Ida just giggled
and asked “Where do my shoes come from Papa?”
“Well” he replied “I made them from
a cowhide.” Ida looked shocked but she had heard this
he told her “they find a cow that has died, and they take
off all it’s skin. Then they put it in a big hole dug
in the ground called a vat. The vat is lined with oak boards
and filled with a limewater solution. the hides soak in the
water for three to five days until all the hair becomes loose.”
Ida stared at her father with wide and slightly frightened eyes,
but he did not notice and kept on talking.
this, the skin is draped on a special bench where the hair is
scraped off with a long, dull knife. When the hair is gone the
skin is flipped over and the flesh on the other side is scraped
disgusted covered her ears and slipped out of the shop. Her
father was so caught up in his story, he did not notice her
absence and still kept on.
that they soak the hides in yet another vat filled with salt
water. Following this process the hides are put in another vat
that has a steady stream of fresh water running through it,
so all the salt and lime is rinsed off.”
step” he told the empty workbench, “is to grind
up a bunch of tan bark (oak, hemlock, or chestnut) and place
it in a layer on the bottom of a vat. A hide is placed on top
of that, and then another layer of bark covering the hide. The
hide and bark are built up in layers until the vat is full.
The hides will stay there for ninety days, and every so often
they will run water over them. Every few days the hides are
removed and the bark replaced. The ooze from the bark enters
the pores of the skin which tans the hide to make leather. after
ninety days the hides are hung to dry. Grease is rubbed into
them to soften them once they have dried. and that’s how
you make leather which I sew into shoes” Gideon said finishing
his story. He looked over at the work bench where Ida once was,
but she was gone. He looked under the bench, in the closet,
in the toolbox but she was gone. He sighed and started on his
Gideon was finished
with Mr. Riddle’s shoes in less than five minutes, all
he had needed to was cut shoelaces. Mr. Riddle would pick up
the shoes later that day along with other customers coming to
pick up or order shoes. For now though, the shop was empty and
all the shoes finished. With nothing else to do Gideon began
to tidy the shop for later that morning. He was just picking
up his peg rasp, used for rubbing off pegs inside the shoe (this
one had a long handle and a swivel head so it could reach inside
a boot), when a mouse snuck across the floor of the shop. Without
thinking Gideon foolishly raised his peg rasp and brought it
down with all his might on top of the small gray mouse (or so
he had planned). The mouse, seeing the shadow of the falling
peg rasp, scurried quickly out of the way, as the peg rasp smashed
onto the floor. The rasp’s swiveling head went flying
to the other side of the room and Gideon was left with a long
metal rod and no mouse. Cursing, he went to retrieve the end
of the rasp as the mouse sauntered off most certainly smiling
to itself. After the mouse incident any heart that Gideon had
ever had for cleaning disappeared. Instead he returned to his
house for breakfast. He would go back to his shop at when the shop opened for
shop was small and never bustling with people, no more than
five or six at a time. But today the Miller family had arrived
with all five of their children needing new shoes and the shop
seemed as though it would burst.
moved through the line taking exact measurements of everyone’s
feet so he could make lasts to fit their shoes to. Many of the
shoes he made only differed in size as there were very few styles.
Most were regular, plain lace up boots or shoes. No shoe would
have decorative stitching, though some women’s shoes would
have buttons. Rough, heavy work boots called broganswere
also sometimes ordered by men. They were made with the uppers
turned ‘flesh’ side out, which made them more water
planned on getting a year (sometimes more) out of their shoes,
but how long the shoe really lasts would depend on how much
they wore it. Gideon would normally sell his shoes for one to
three dollars, but he always tried to get the most for his work,
as there were times when customers were scarce.
At the shop closed up and Gideon
began to work on the shoes. He started little Mary Miller’s
shoes by finding a good piece of wood to make a last (a model
of the foot) out of. He rooted around in the woodshed for a
bit, throwing chunks of wood this way and that until he found
two perfect pieces. Back in the shop Gideon began to whittle
a last of Mary’s right foot from the detailed outline
he had drawn earlier. It was made in two pieces with a hinge
in the middle, so that when it needs to be removed from the
shoe all that you need to do is insert a metal rod into a hole
cut in the top of the last, pull sharply and the two halves
will snap together so you can pull the last out heel first.
Using the last
Gideon cut out the parts of Mary’s shoe from a large section
of leather. A shoe normally had five to seven pieces, the sole
(cut from the thickest part of the leather) the insole, two
quarters and the vamp ( toe and tongue). A toe cap was often
added, (it covered the toe) and a heel spur or counter (covers
the back of the heel) though it was used less commonly. For
Mary’s shoes Gideon decided to combine the two quarters
into one piece. He had a lot to do and that would make for less
sewing. There would also be fewer seams for water to soak into
on muddy days like this one. Carefully he cut out the pieces
making sure the knife didn’t slip and ruin that section
of leather. At the points where the uppers would fold under
he cut v-shaped notches so the leather would lie flat under
the insole. When it came time to cut the sole Gideon used a
rounded knife that was pushed through the leather to cut the
thick hide. After the right shoe was finished he began the same
process with the left foot. When all the pieces were cut he
laid them in a bucket to soak overnight. This process of wetting
the leather was known as casing. Working with damp leather had
many advantages. Wet leather is softer which makes it easier
to punch holes through, also when sewn the thread will ‘sink’
into the leather leaving a much smoother seam. When it came
time to peg the shoe together, the pegs would be bound tightly
in the shoe as the leather dried. The leather pieces would lie
in the water overnight and the next morning Gideon would assemble
The light was quickly
fading but Gideon figured he could get one more shoe in before
the sun slipped behind the trees, just as it had risen from them
Gideon was just
preparing to go back to his house when Ida came running through
Papa!” she yelled. Then she tripped over one of the water
filled buckets. It tipped over and water spilled over the floor
of the shop. Gideon groaned hoping that tomorrow would be less
The Next Day
the actual sewing of Mary’s shoe Gideon began making the
pegs that would be used later on for putting the uppers and the
soles together. These pegs were made so they were each 1/8 of
an inch square and pointed on the end. Some of these pegs were
made an inch long and others ½ an inch.
Finally ready to
begin sewing, he gathered all the materials he would need and
placed them at his side. He removed the uppers (quarters and the
vamp) from the water and clamped them together evenly. For needles
he used hog bristles. Steel needles could also be used but hog
bristles were easier to get and were plenty stiff. The bristles
were split into four quarters at the base. The ends of his flax
thread were left untwisted and then inserted between the grooves
in each needle. The thread and bristles were then waxed together
so they wouldn’t come apart. The rest of the thread was
waxed as well to make it stiff.
By hand, using
an awl each hole is poked in the leather so the needle can go
through. The stitching is done with two needles and no knots are
tied in the thread until you come to the end of a seam. Instead
the thread is ‘criss-crossed’ through the holes and
pulled tight. Next, the last was put upside down on a ‘peg’
that is raised up from his workbench, so the bench doesn’t
get in the way of making the shoe. The insole is laid on top of
it and tacked down with two pegs to hold it in place. Gideon used
lasting nippers and shank lasters to pull the uppers over the
last, shape them and to get the wrinkles out of the leather before
the sole is attached. A ½ to 3/4 inch overlap is left to
peg the soles into. Before the heavy sole is put on the tacks
in the insole are removed. The uppers can also be tacked down,
the tacks would just be replaced with pegs as the sole was pegged
on. After laying the outer sole on the last, Gideon used his awl
to poke holes all the way around the sole (through all the leather
to the wooden last) for the pegs to go into to. Gideon then gathered
the wooden pegs that he had made earlier and a saddle hammer and
began to attach the sole. He used the shorter ½ inch pegs
and made his way around the shoe, removing a tack and replacing
it with a peg until the sole was completely tacked on. He also
cut a small chunk of thicker leather for the heel and hammered
that into place with the one inch pegs. He then did the same exact
thing with the other shoe.
Later when the
shoes had dried Gideon used a heel shaver to take any extra leather
off the soles and heels. He also found his other peg rasp and
rubbed off any peg ends left inside the shoes. The last thing
he had to do was to punch eyelets in the shoes with his awl and
cut shoelaces. He used groundhog leather for the laces because
it was tough and wouldn’t break with excessive amounts of
tying, untying, and being stepped on. He cut the leather with
his gauge knife that had an adjustable blade so he could make
the laces the correct width. When he had finished he set the completed
shoes on a wooden shelf. He was just about to start another pair
when he glanced out the window and saw Ida running full speed
towards the shop. Gideon looked at his work bench in horror, seeing
all his important tools sitting in plain sight. Not to mention
the other buckets of water. He ‘raced’ to the door
and barred it shut just as she arrived.
Tools Similar To Those That Gideon Burbank Might Have Used
Photo source - Foxfire 6, 190, Garden City, Anchor Books
1860 Federal Census
Ingalls, Laura, Farmer Boy, 1974, New York, Harper Trophy
Based on a title search, we believe that this house in Deerfield
is the one that Gideon Burbank live in. There have been extensive
renovations to it, so it would not have looked like this in the
The Gideon Burbank
house was located at Deerfield Parade, 64 Nottingham Rd. The house was located in a good area with nice people and good living
except for the blacksmith and the tin mill. The house is still
in Deerfield but I’m not sure who owns it now but it’s still standing.
So are the garage but not the shop. The place changed over the
years. The garage has electric doors and the house has is painted
yellow and has new attachments that are called portico a porch
or a walkway supported by columns.
The shop is not standing anymore it lies in pieces right
by the house. The house that Gideon Burbank used to own was
a lot different from now. It probably had brick walls or wooden,
plane stone still, four panel doors, elliptical fanlight, small
attic window, plain wood cornice, double hung windows with six
panes in each stash and a gable roof.
- According to Deerfield Town records, Gideon Burbank's shop
was located across the street from his house. There is still
a small outbuilding located there, which may or may not be the
This small building across the street from the house may
or may not be Gideon Burbank's shoemaking shop.
Gideon Burbank owned seven-eighths an acre of land.
It was not a lot for then. Gideon Burbank could not of had electricity
until 1870 when the first light bulb was invented it was called
the filament or the incandescent bulb. But he would need the
money to get the electricity. Gideon Burbank could not have
indoor plumbing until 1876 because it was invented in England.
E.F. Stevens who sold it to Joseph Brown, cordwainer,
first owned Gideon Burbank’s house.This included a right of way to the well.The purchase price was $390. Joseph Brown sold the property
to Stephen Brown in 1849. Steven Brown, was a physician. Stephen
sold the property to Gideon Burbank in 1854 for 400$. Stephen
Brown paid $390 for the house in 1849. The deal also included
a shop built by John M. Moore. Gideon Burbank shop was meant
for making shoes he was a cordwainer. The shop would have contained
a bench, leather, hammers, shoe molds, soles and scissors. Since
he was the only shoemaker on the road business was probably
good for him. The shop was not built by him, it came with the
The house that was
purchase by Gideon Burbank was worth 1100$ he purchases it for
610$ less. The house only cost 400$. What 400$ is worth now
16,524$ so basically he got the house for a very cheap amount
today but back then also cheap. The purchase price of the house
was inexpensive considering a good quality horse could be purchased
Gideon Burbank died June 16,1912
and Eliza Burbank, his wife, died November 21,
1912.In Eliza’s will she named two heirs, John, her son
and Ruth, her granddaughter. John Burbank had died. The property
had pass to Ruth Burbank Pennell included the land, house, well,
shop and the garage. In 1947 the property passed from Bertha
Burbank, John’s widow, of Lynn, Massachusetts,
to John Barnes, of Marblehead, Massachusetts.
The Gideon Burbank
house has been inhabited for 151 years in the town of Deerfield. It started
life has a cordwainer, shoe maker’s shop, and has most
recently been repainted and remodeled by its current owners.
This house has seen remarkable change. From a privy outdoors
to indoor bathrooms, from candlelight to Edison’s a filament
light bulb, from a horse in the barn to a SUV in the garage,
from a shoemaker’s shop on the property to job probably
in Manchester or Concord.
remarkable that the house remained in the same Burbank family from 1854 until at least 1947, a total of 93
years. Gideon and his wife, Eliza, would probably still
recognize their old neighborhood; many of the old houses have
survived. It would be fascinating to walk their old property
with them and hear their stories.
What was considered to be decent dress for men in the 19th
century is very different from today’s point of view. Head
cover was very important for both men and women. Waistcoats and
frock coats were also important pieces that men usually wore everyday.
And if a man were seen in public without either a waistcoat or
some type of coat, he would be considered naked! A waistcoat,
worn in the nineteenth century, was a men’s sleeveless garment
most always worn underneath a coat but over a shirt. You could
think of a waistcoat as almost like a vest. A frockcoat, which
was worn in the nineteenth century, was a coat that hade knee-length
skirts on both front and back of the coat. Usually, the waistcoat
and frockcoat would be worn as daywear. From 1835 through 1855,
men would wear a waistcoat with the single or double-breasted
brockcoat in colors of green, brown, olive or more common colors
– black or navy. They’d wear both the waistcoat and
frockcoat with trousers. Younger men would usually be seen wearing
the button fly-front trousers, but likely be seen wearying the
fall-front trousers. This collection, altogether would be worn
as “daywear”. The dress coat made of wool, cotton
or silk, could also be worn as daywear during this time.
A 19th Century Waistcoat
Photo source - http://www.historyinthemaking.org/catalog/gallery_files/waistcoat40.jpg,
cited 28 Feb., '05
During the 1850s,
the dress coat became formal “eveningwear”. That,
along with the shawl-collar waistcoat and dress trousers, completed
the formal eveningwear outfit. Eveningwear would usually be even
more formal than daywear and was strictly not to be worn during
In the nineteenth century, men would
be seen most likely wearing suits if they planned on sports and
leisure activities. [One of] the suits worn for these activities
was called the Norfolk Suit. By the 1880s, this suit would consist
of a jacket called the Norfolk jacket, which would usually be belted
and pleated, the sack coat, and knee breeches or knickerbockers.
Work clothing in the late 1800s consisted of the work sack coat,
the work waistcoat, a work shirt and a pair of work trousers. This
set of clothing would differ from the morning wear because the work
set of clothes would usually be more durable than daywear and evening
wear, while still being exceptionally comfortable.
According to the weather, in the nineteenth century, whether it
was worm or cold outside, wool garments would mostly be worn year-round
(into the early 1900s). Though heavy woolens, in either darker shades,
plain, checked or striped patterns would be reserved for the colder
seasons, (such as winter) while cotton and linen garments would
be worn while it was warmer.
The clothing you wore in the 1800s represented mainly
how rich or how poor you actually were. Usually, if you were wealthy,
you would probably be able to buy more decent clothing than if
you were porrer. Wealthier people in the nineteenth century would
most likely be seen wearing clothing of finer quality, such as
if you were a businessman. If you were working as a businessman,
you would be seen wearing shoes with buckles, usually of either
silver or brass. If you were a more common, ordinary person, such
as Gideon W. Burbank, as a shoemaker, the chances are great you
would be seen wearing shoes with laces. And if you were a more
ordinary person, you would probably own very little more than
just one set of clothing to wear.
Morning Coat as Worn by Wealthy 19th Century Businessman
Photo source - http://www.historyinthemaking.org/catalog/gallery_files/MorningCoat.jpg,
cited 28 Feb., 2005
As today, in the nineteenth century, there were a wide
variety of different fabrics to choose from. The fabric then
was mostly of a single color. Color coordination was not considered
to be very important (it didn’t matter if you wore an
orange shirt and a pair of purple trousers together –
you wouldn’t be considered “weird”).
After solid colors, stripes became popular. The stripes were
usually pretty wide, generally to ha half inch wide. Narrow
stripes were not particularly common around this time. Printed
cloth was available, but it had to be hand-dipped in paint in
order to be printed. Printed cloth was typically quite expensive,
normally because it was very hard to assemble. The printed cloth
was commonly found as only two colors – the color of the
paint as one and the other, the color of the fabric. More than
one color of paint cause trouble(it would be harder to print)
and it would b even more expensive, so the fabric was usually
kept simple. That is until 1840, when checks and plaids became
popular. For checks ¾” to 1” was the preferred
size to be worn, but plain cloth would be worn for anytime,
As I said, in the nineteenth century, there were a wide variety
of different fabrics. Printed fabric was one of them, while
cotton, linen, wool and buckskin were too.
Cotton wasn’t quite
so popular yet, but it was gaining its popularity as it became
widely available. Linen was the most common cloth during this
time and if you can find it today, it would be quite expensive.
Wool was worn year-round during this time. It was very durable,
could outlast cotton by several times. It’s also an insulator
of heat and will not burn [easily].
There were also a wide variety of colors and dyes available.
There was black, which was most used and most popular. Blue
was widely available, more expensive and used sparingly. Brown
was widely available and easy to dye. Green was available, but
tough to dye. Pink was available. Purple was available, but
not common. Red was available, but was harder to dye and more
costly. Tan was very common. Yellow was widely available and
orange was available. Commercial dyes were actually more common
during that time than people think. Mostly any color that can
be made today, could most likely have been made then, too. Some
dyes were more expensive than others, while others faded more
The person that
our social studies block has chosen to study is Gideon Burbank.
The sub topic I have chosen to study is How much was one dollar
worth 1897. This is when Gideon Burbank was 73 years old. My ultimate
goal was to figure out how many times more our money is now than
first thing I did to start my research was to figure out what
to do. So I came up with an idea saying, If I got a bunch of prices
for how much products were worth in 1897 and compare them to how
much they are worth in 2005, I could figure out how many times
more money is in 2005 then in 1897.I used one primary source throughout
this project. A primary source is an original record of a document.
The source was an 1897 Sears and Roebuck catalog. So the first
thing that I did with the book was to skim around to get a feel
on what was common in 1897. One thing that I found a lot was a
big assortment of women’s clothing.There weren’t as many men or children’s clothes
as there were women’s.
some of the products I chose to make price comparisons on were
Spalding baseball, Stock western saddle, men’s toupee and
a Yukon’s gent’s bicycle. Overall I picked and
priced thirty items out of the catalog. After I have picked these
items I went online to find out what the prices were in 2005.
Sometimes the prices were outrageous, like a pure silver thimble
in 1897 was .20 cents. Now in 2005 it is $30.00. That is $150.00
times more expensive now than it was in 1897.
after I have found all of the prices for 1897 and 2005 I made
a chart that includes four columns. The first one is what the
item is. The second one is the price in 1897, the third column
is the price now and the last, is how many times more it is now
than in 1897. I figured out how many times more the product is
worth in 2005 than in 1897 by taking the larger number out of
the two years and dividing the smaller number into it. After I
have done this to all of my thirty items I averaged them out.
I did this by dropping the highest and the lowest quotient first,
then adding the rest of the twenty-eight items together. When
I did this I got $665.25. After this I divided this by twenty-eight
to find the average. When I did this I got 23.75 times more expensive
now than in 1897.
after I have done this research I was curious on what the actually
number was. So I went online and got the inflation calculator
typed in one dollar in 1897 and got 21.09 times more expensive
now then in 1897. So after I did this I appreciate how many times
more money is worth now than in 1897.
Here is an old glove from the early 1900s.
It was only $2.25
Old photographs of Deerfield Parade
from the late 1800s and early 1900s, like the one above show an
abundance of large, beautiful elm trees. Yet, none are around anymore.
Joe H. decided to see why that is.
Elm trees were very important back in the late 1800's.
The Elm trees were important because they produced a lot of shade.
They were used for shipbuilding, making barrels, furniture, flooring,
sporting goods, wagon wheels, folk remedies, boxes, crates, and
more. The Iroquois Indians of western New
York used the bark
of American elm for canoes, and twisted it into ropes. The Elm
trees in Deerfield in the late 1800's include
the "American Elm", and the "Slippery Elm". The American elm,
also known as the "White Elm", was more common, and more popular
than the Slippery Elm was. The American elm's scientific name
is "Ulmus americana L." People valued
the American elm the most in Deerfield, because of its huge shade area, and because of its beauty. The American
elm makes so much shade because of its vase shape. If you were
to look at old pictures from early 1900’s, or late 1800’s,
you will probably always will see at least 1 Elm tree. Since most
of the Elms died, people cut them down after they were infected
to reduce the spread of the disease. There are still some Elms
to see today, one place I know of is at the Fred Dodge’s
farm in Deerfield.
The American Elm
Photo source - http://www.uafortsmith.edu/attach/Arboretum/AmericanElm/AmericanElmTree.jpg,
cited 28 Feb., '05
Elm Trees were valued in the
1800s for their beauty and shade.
Photo source - http://ab.id.au/albums/usa/img_0192.sized.jpg
The American elm
grows flowers, and fruits. The flowers appear from March to
May before the leaf buds appear. The fruits called "Rounded
samaras", 3/8-1/2 inch across, deeply notched at apex, hairless
except for margin; appear April to May. You probably don’t
see the American elm too much anymore because of "Dutch Elm
Disease." Dutch Elm Disease, also known as DED, has killed
more than 95% of the U.S's Elms. Dutch Elm Disease was brought
to the U.S by a shipment from Europe. The lumber shipment was infected
with a fungus called "Ceratocystis ulm." Dutch Elm Diseaseresults in the
blockage of the water-conducting tissue within the tree. The
Elm bark beetle carries this fungus. The Dutch elm disease
can enter an Elm through root grafts. The fungus is thought
to be started in Holland, hints the name "Dutch" Elm Disease. The Disease is also thought to
be from Asia, and then moved to Europe, then to America. The
Dutch elm disease started killing the American elm, and other
Elms in North America
in about 1930. A well-established 100-year old American elm
can be killed in as little as two weeks if Dutch elm disease
attacks it. People started to grow Elms in their homes, and
in tree nurseries, where the trees are pretty protected from
the disease. 6 types of Elms are native to North East U.S,
and there are 16 types in the world. The American elm has
been in the North East U.S about 650 years before they started
to die-out in 1930. The American Elm survived so long because
of their adaptability to many environmental conditions, their
adaptability to grow in a lot of different soil, and because
its adaptability to the North East cold. Our classes dead
person is G.W.Burbank, and he relates to this because he was
alive to see Elms live at their fullest, and to see the Elms
die-out. Its a pretty good guess that he has had something
to do with a Elm, like sit under one on a hot summer day,
or cut one down for firewood, or also had 1 or more Elms on
Some other interesting stuff I found on the American
Elm, and Slippery Elm is that the American Elm weighs 33-35
lbs. per cubic foot when air dry. The Slippery Elm weighs
43 lbs. per cubic foot when air dry.
15 2005, )(Telephone
In social studies class my teacher told us about
a project we had to do where we had to study a man who died about
a hundred years ago. At first I was all bummed out that we had to
do research and write a paper, but then we started finding out all
these really cool things about this guy and we found out it was
kind of, dare I say it, fun.
The guy our class was studying, his name was
Gideon Burbank. He was born in 1824 and died in 1912. He had a wife
Eliza Ann Hoitt. He was a shoemaker for several years and he had
four children, the first child we could not find
the name and he was born on May 26. His second child was Ida A.
Burbank and she was born on September 25, and when she was older
she became a teacher. His third child was Amy Q. Burbank and she
was born on May 13. The forth and last baby was Charles W. Burbank
he was born April 20, 1859, but just one month and 6 days later
Now here is where my topic comes in. Gideon lived
on 64 Nottingham road, and my question was to find out where Gideon
W. Burbank lived. He lived in a white house up by the parade. The
first thing I had to do was figure out how
much money was worth from 1824-1912. So my friend Kyle R., (whose assignment was to find out how much
money was worth.) We found out the formula, we had to find simple
things like shoes, or jewelry from and old sears catalogue and find
out how much that was worth, and then we went online and found out
how much it was today. Then you divide today's prices by the old
priced then we crossed out the lowest number and the highest number
and we averaged it all out.
Price in 1909
Price in 2005
How Many Times More Expensive It is today
42.24 Times More Expensive
I found out in some old town record that a friend
of the family gave me that his lot was worth $1,100 in 1908 so then
I multiplied that by 42.24 to figure out how much it would be in
2005 money and I found out that it was worth $46,464 in our money.
When he first bought the house he bought it for $500.
I understand why prices go up but in some ways
it just doesn't make sense. If you think about it, the more time
that goes by the less of a product you have because u have been
selling a lot of it for a long time but, now we have better technology
so it is not as hard to make things to sell as it used to be. We
used to have to have people make everything but now we have robots
and computers and we can make a toy by pushing a button. In a lot
of ways I think that we are being ripped off by the government but
that's just me.
Thank you for reading my report on Gideon W.
Burbank, I hope you learned a thing or two about Gideon Burbank
and the cost of his estate.
Sears Catalogue 1987
Eve Taylor at Country Woods
Walmart (I actually went there and got the prices.) February
Sears (I actually went there and got the prices.) February 6th
Daddy's Junky Music (Talked to them on the phone.) February
Kitchen Etc. (I actually went there and got the prices.) February
Photo source - 1912 Deerfield, NH Town Report, p. 4
The Deerfield Town Report for 1912, the year Gideon
Burbank died, lists an interesting expediture: $250 (a considerable
sum of money for the time) for "browntail moths". Alex N. and
Travis K. have investigated what this moth is and why it was
such a concern for the people of Deerfield.
chrysorrhoea or the brown tailed moth considered a plague in
moths are a pest for trees, bushes humans and animals. The caterpillars
cause rashes to humans some normal and some sever. The brown
tailed moth caterpillars are blackish-gray with tuffs of ginger-brown
hairs and two orange spots near the back of the tail shone above.
The caterpillars are active from late summer through to winter
then they hibernate till late spring. The caterpillars billed
webs that look similar to what a tent worm would make as shown
below. When the caterpillars wake up from hibernation they'll
stay active till late June. The caterpillars and the moths eat
everything but they seem to focus on eating a ferity of trees
and bushes like English elm, dog rose, apple trees, hawthorn,
pear trees, forsythia, blackthorn, and a ferity of fruit trees.
The brown tail moths have white wings with a brown tail (hence
the name) the moths are active from mid July through to late
summer. during mid July the moths
mate, laying eggs covered in small brown hairs on the bottom
of leaves and bushes. These bushes most commonly are Hawthorn,
Blackthorn or other related fruit bushes. Although it can include
a wide variety of other trees. During Late Summer
August/September time the eggs hatch and the caterpillars
fed on the foliage, turning the leaves a brown ‘scorched’
The caterpiller of the brown-tail moth (left)
builds a tent-like nest during the winter.
During winter the Caterpillars weave
a web that look like something a tent worm would make in a bush
or a tree. During Late Spring to Late June, the Caterpillars turn into black chrysalis. And during Mid
Julythe Chrysalis hatches into adult moths described
above. How can the moths be controlled. The best way to control
the moths is to remove the webs or tents in the autumn by cutting
off the affected twigs. The tents should be sealed in a plastic
bag and then burnt or put in a wheelie bin. The tents themselves
should be disturbed as little as possible and you should ware
gloves to protect your skin. Where did they come from the brown
tail moth was accidentally introduced to North America
in 1897 from Europe. I don’t have
any evidence that the moths have entered New
Hampshire but they have been located
in Casco Bay which is three miles from
The Adult Brown-Tail Moth
Photo source - http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/websiteimages/btmoth1.jpg
There are four stages of development
for the Brown Tail moth. In the spring Brown Tail larvae emerge
from their winter nest which is spun around them 2-4 inches
long holding 200-300 eggs each. During May and June the caterpillars
grow quickly as they eat leaves. They grow to a mature size
of one and a half inches. In late June the caterpillars spin
cocoons for three weeks. While it’s in the cocoon, it’s
forming into a moth. During July the moths break out of the
cocoon and mate. Then the female lays her eggs and another
generation of Brown Tail moths begins.Brown Tail moths are an orangey-brown color and have
a white line on each side of their back. They have two red
dots near their tail that are covered with reddish brown hairs.
Tail moths have caused lots of destruction. They have deadly
hairs that cause an allergic reaction sometimes they can cause
death. They are not good for the environment because they
eat any leaves that have green and only leave the veins. They
also eat things like shrubs such as apple, oak, cherry, hawthorn,
shadblow, rugosa roase and bayberry. If an animal tries to
eat the Brown Tailed moth they will get very sick and die.
If Brown Tail moths live in your yard
you should get rid of them immediately! There are many ways
to get rid of them like soak the nest in pesticides, get a
zip lock bag put the nest in and throw it in the trash or
burn it or spray it with Nuclear Polyhydrosis. The webs must
be destroyed by late March.
Page 3 The New Hampshire
Shoespaper December 3rd,1853
Quote of the
close relationship between a man and his shoemaker
is based on the shared secret
of the client’s
This month’s quote is something that shoemakers always
say. In fact, the quote is like an unwritten rule.
It is now something that people say without thinking
about what it means, saying it more like a jumbledbunch of words
than like a
what usually happens to quotes like this is that their meaning
gets lost, and eventually the quote disappears too. I would
like to prevent that from
happening to this quote by taking the time to write about
its meaning, so all shoemakers and anyone else who is interested,
please read on. The quote
mentioned above means that the person whom is getting their
feet fitted for a new pair of shoes, and the shoemaker should
people that know
what the person’s shoe size is. In other words, the
shoe size should be kept a secret.
So, do all of you shoemakers keep your clients shoe size
a secret? If you do not, maybe you should consider
trying it. It is a good rule of thumb to have, and really
the courteous thing to do.
Page 11A the North Easterner
Newspaper May 17th1860
Strike at the Shoe Factory
On the yesterday
of May 17th, 1860, the operatives at the shoe factory
in Lynn Massachusetts went on strike. Some eight hundred
woman and four thousand men protested the low wages and poor
The factory is owned by V.K and A.H Jones.
One man said “How do they [the factory owners]
expect us [ the workers]
to work in a dust covered, lint-filled room twelve hours a
day, for a weekly wage of only five dollars? Even the thought
of it is totally barbaric.”
The workers are asking for a ten-hour day and a ten percent
wage increase. They do not think that to be a vast request
A woman from the
sewing room claims,
husband and four
children to feed. My husband and I each only make five dollars
a week. That wage is barely enough to get one person by,
let alone six [people]."
V.K Jones, one of the factory owners
declares, “We have five-thousand and sum employees here.
If I increased each and every one of their wages ten percent,
that would be five hundred dollars more that I would pay
each week, not to mention that less shoes would be made
in a ten
hour work day,
and therefore less profit will be made. If I did that
my family wouldn’t even be able to scrape by.”
request and disobedience to me is repulsive. In
fact I should
fire every single one of them for it, and make
it so none of
them could ever be able to get a job again.
Such action is
completely intolerable. How do they dare cause
bad name to my business? They should be
thanking me for
letting them have a job at all, considering
that there are plenty of homeless and jobless people out
on the streets who would love to have such a grand job.”
states A.H Jones.
Up north in New
Hampshire, the branched establishments of the Jones
factory have many pleased workers. Many of the workers
are happy because the strike in Lynn
caused the New Hampshire
factories to need
to make more shoes, and the Jones’ have
decided to give the workers a temporary five percent
However, there are some dismayed workers too. They
complain about having to work longer days if they want
to keep their jobs.
Page 8 The Shoe Source
Newspaper July 20, 1900
An Interview with
This month's issue features a shoemaker named Gideon
from Deerfield, New Hampshire. Gideon is seventy-six years old. He
has been a shoemaker for fifty years now.
Gideon is married
to Eliza Ann Burbank. He has one daughter and one
son. His daughter is a teacher and has been one since the
age of fourteen.
Gideon has his one shop in theattic of his house.
around, from house to house, fitting and making shoes
for the whole
family. He has a methodic way of starting with the oldest person
in the family and making the shoes for the whole family
by age until every
single member of the family has a brand new
pair of splendid shoes.
Gideon usually makes
up to date and fashionable shoes. However, he is
also willing to make exotic shoes that could start a
new a new trend upon request.
He sells ladies shoes for one dollar and ninety cents to
two dollars and fifty cents a pair depending on the
style and the material that the shoe is made of.
He sells children’s shoes for seventy
cents to one dollar and twenty
shoes he sells between ten cents to seventy
cents a pair.
His men’s shoes cost eighty cents to two dollars and
seventy cents a pair. These prices are all a slight
bit cheaper than the retail price from a large manufacturer,
and according to his clients, the shoes
are just as well made.
Mr. Burbank usuallymakes shoes out
leather. He makes
some shoes out of velvet and felt as well. Gideon
is starting to construct
rubber shoes also,
but he has limited access to rubber so he charges
more for rubber shoes than for his regular ones.
Page 9 The Shoe Source
Newspaper July 20, 1900
to Gideon W.Burbank, shoemaking is a good business, as long
as you have something
“Otherwise it is hard to get business
because there are so many shoemakers in this area [the
Northeast] today, which your clients will just
as easily get new shoes from the next person
that walks down the street.” Gideon says.
These are examples of types of shoes that Gideon
The 1907 Deerfield Town
Report shows that foriegn workers were used to help
build roads in Deerfield. Paige T. investigated whether that was
common or not.
When Gideon W. Burbank was still living in the 1800’s,
there were five Italian men who used to work around Deerfield.
They worked on building a highway. When they were working around
Deerfield they were literally called
a “group of Italians.” We wonder today why they
would call them that, but we think it is because Italian people
were known to keep to their own groups. Rather then the other
immigrants like Irish or Russians who would mix in with the
Americans.Italians would live in
groups from the area they came from. People would sometimes
refer to the places they lived as “Little Italy”.
When Italians lived here they usually worked as shoe shiners,
rag pickers, sewer cleaners and any other nasty jobs that other
people did not want to do. Usually Italian kids worked too, but
Italians were not accustomed to this because Italian kids usually
stayed home in Italy.
Italian kids were also forced to go into schools. For jobs like
this they would not make a lot of money, it was usually in the
range of five to ten dollars a month for working ninety hours
a week. This to Americans even then was very little.For example the five Italians working on the highway near
Deerfield made forty-eight dollars and
twelve cents to split among five of them. The town records however
do not tell us how long they did work, I guess it was almost four
or five months. When Italians moved here they would usually move
to bigger cities like New York,
Baltimore and Detroit,
so they could be closer to big industries to get more jobs.
Italians of all ages came to America, looking for something
Photo source - http://www.propulsivemusic.com/works/ellis4.jpg,
cited 28 Feb., 2005
Italians who left were usually
from rural communities and have little or no education. Many
Italians who immigrated here were men, they made up about two
thirds of the Italian’s out of 655,888, and this was because
they would usually move here just to get some money then move
back to Italy,
to be with their families. Italian immigrants moving to America
peaked in the years 1880 to 1930. At this peak
of Italian immigration
1.5% of the U.S population was Italians, this was considered
still not that much. Italian immigrants living conditions were
not good at all they would usually live in filthy, dirty rundown
housing with not very good running water and poor sewage systems.
This was because Italian immigrants were not cared about as
much; hence it was not such a huge deal to people when an Italian
immigrant was murdered. Male Italians usually even skipped food
meals to save some money. This did not help them in any way;
it made it harder for them to work, because they were hungry
and weaker. When Italians would move here American people would
treat them with some respect, but usually Americans were afraid
of the Italians cause of there Catholic religion and some Americans
thought Italians were lazy and were a lower class plus they
thought Italians were not smart. I feel this was not a very
fair judgment, especially since many Italians did not live or
intermingle with Americans, they kept to themselves. Italians
were also feared because of there mafia myth in the 1870s Italians
were thought of as ruthless killers who pretty much had no soul.
People said that the Italian rate of being arrested was much
higher then American arrest rates but they were wrong it was
just a stereotype; even today you sort of think of Italians
as mafia leaders or in gangs’ movies like Scarface,
do not help this stereotype. When Italians moved here they would
some times cause hostile outbreaks with the Irish because of
the long hours low wages they would work, they began to take
a lot of the Irish jobs. This is why I think “the group
of Italians” might have lived up in Deerfield
to avoid a lot of these hostile outbreaks. You didn’t
see many immigrants living up in a little place like Deerfield,
where it was probably not as easy to get a job.
So after reading what Italians went through when they
lived in America
we wonder why they would want to move here just to go through
that? Well conditions in Italy
were not much better, actually in a way they were worse. Italy
started to become an overcrowded country, actually many places
in Europe started to become overcrowded.
The people there made low wages and had high taxes, jobs also
started to become more and more scarce because American products
started to get sent into European countries. Italy
also got hit very hard with diseases like in the north Pellagra
[a disease that is lack of vitamins it is caused by dietary
lack of vitamin B and protein.] The south of Italy
got hit with Malaria also known as “bad air” in
Italian [this disease is caused by a protozoan parasite.] So
Italians in the 1800’s had a harsh life almost everywhere
they lived, but most immigrants did. I could not imagine having
to pack up from my home and move half way across the world to
a foreign place where people are not exactly nice to you.
I have a lot of opinions on how the Americans treated
the Italians or any immigrant when they came over. I don’t
think it was nice of Americans to think of them as lower then
they were because they were from another country to begin
with too. Especially since they didn’t even get to know
there customs or the way they lived there life. Sometimes
I wish I could send people who are like that to another country
that don’t speak or understand the language they speak,
and see how they feel, then add on a bunch of people who think
they are better then them.
Birthplaces of Parents of Babies Born in Deerfield in