Shoemaking and paving were important trades in all 13 colonies. Shoemakers usually specialized in certain types of footwear. For example, shoemakers were leather workers who made leather shoes. The shoemakers were the ones who repaired the shoes when they got too worn.
In the decades leading up to the American Revolution, fashionable women’s shoes became politicized as British government settlers discouraged other settlers from buying British goods. In 1765, a Philadelphia shoemaker put out an advertisement aimed at women who wanted to “distinguish themselves by their patriotism and encouragement from American factories,” alerting them that he made “all kinds of woolen or woolen shoes, in all sizes. , as neat and inexpensive as any imported from England.
When European settlers arrived in the Americas, they brought with them many non-native animal species, including horses. Throughout the colonial era, horses were incredibly expensive animals that usually only belonged to wealthy white families. Saddlery and harness was therefore a fairly lucrative profession, since most of the saddlers sold to wealthy people who wanted nice things.
Saddlers made different types of equipment depending on who their customers were and how they rode their horses. Pigskin was a good material for hunters as it helped riders stay seated when chasing an animal (steerskin, on the other hand, became more slippery over time and made it easier for riders to glide). Saddlers also made side saddles for women to use while wearing dresses and racing saddles for horse jockeys.