Coming of the Machines

I always liked ta cut shoes by hand better'n by machine
ya kin distinguish the stock better in hand cuttin' than ya kin in machine cuttin'
we got one third more pay fur hand cuttin'
we wuz in it fur what we could get outa it


The first machines fur cuttin' uppers come in about 40 years ago
they wuz only used fur the standard shoes
That's why there's still hand cuttin'
that din't change their styles fur a good many years.
The dyes cost too much ta buy jest fur a style a shoes that changed every season
That's why there's still hand cuttin'
Ya can't cut shoes as skillful by machine as ya kin by hand
That's why there's still hand cuttin'


Taday everything is set so as ta make it easy fur a man ta make a lotta shoes quicker
We usta work by oil lamps
We'd have a lamp settin' at each end of our cuttin' table
taday they have electric lights


Each group that worked in a shop wuz a part of one of them picture puzzles
If one group din't stand up, ya coun't make a shoe
the most important part a that puzzle wuz the cutters
they decide, by the kinda work they did, what kinda shoe it'd be
after they done their part a the work
manufacturer'd know jest how much the shoe'd cost
he coun't be sure about the cost of material
'till the cutter wuz through his work



If there wuz a scratch on the leather
I'd havta pay fur it
A course the manufacturer coun't make ya pay fur that shoe by law
But ya coun't do that, 'cause ya'd lose your job


But we cutters that knowed our business
We'd know the diffrunt kinds a skins
kangeroo,
goat,
cowhide
jest how ta cut 'em
jest how ta make 'em look right
an jest how ta wear 'em