Pair of overshoes, anonymous, c. 1819 - c. 1840
In 1820 an Englishman, Thomas Hancock, began manufacturing products made of rubber. As it is elastic and waterproof, it was excellently suited for making galoshes. The shoes on display may originate from this early period, for the rubber is not yet vulcanized. This process, dating from 1839, hardens the rubber and improves its durability.