Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


In three pints of small beer, put two ounces of ivory black, and one pennyworth of brown sugar. As soon as they boil, put a dessert-spoonful of sweet oil, and then boil slowly till reduced to a quart. Stir it up with a stick every time it is used; and put it on the shoe with a brush when wanted.


  • Another. Two ounces of ivory black; one tea-spoonful of oil of vitriol, one table-spoonful of sweet oil; and two ounces of brown sugar; roll the same into a ball, and to dissolve it add half a pint of vinegar.--Another. Take ivory black and brown sugar candy, of each two ounces; of sweet oil a table-spoonful; add gradually thereto a pint of vinegar, cold, and stir the whole till gradually incorporated.
  • Another. To one pint of vinegar add half an ounce of vitriolic acid, half an ounce of copperas, two ounces of sugar candy, and two ounces and a half of ivory black: mix the whole well together.
  • Another. Sweet oil, half an ounce; ivory black and treacle, of each half a pound; gum arabic half an ounce; vinegar, three pints; boil the vinegar, and pour it hot on the other ingredients.
  • Another. Three ounces of ivory black, one ounce of sugar candy, one ounce of oil of vitriol, one ounce of spirits of salts, one lemon, one table-spoonful of sweet oil, and one pint of vinegar.
  • First mix the ivory black and sweet oil together, then the lemon and sugar candy, with a little vinegar to qualify the blacking, then add your spirits of salts and vitriol, and mix them all well together. N. B. The last ingredients prevent the vitriol and salts from injuring the leather, and add to the lustre of the blacking.
  • Another. Ivory black, two ounces; brown sugar, one ounce and a half; sweet oil, half a table-spoonful. Mix them well, and then gradually add half a pint of small beer.
  • Another. A quarter of a pound of ivory black, a quarter of a pound of moist sugar, a table-spoonful of flour, a piece of tallow about the size of a walnut, and a small piece of gum arabic.
  • Make a paste of the flour, and while hot put in the tallow, then the sugar, and afterwards mix the whole well together in a quart of water, and you will have a beautiful shining blacking.


The best way of cleaning shoes in the winter time is to scrape off the dirt with the back of a knife, or with a wooden knife made for that purpose, while the shoes are wet, and wipe off the remainder with a wet sponge, or piece of flannel. Set them to dry at a distance from the fire, and they will afterwards take a fine polish. This will save much of the trouble in cleaning, when the dirt is suffered to dry on; and by applying a little sweet oil occasionally, the leather will be prevented from growing hard. To secure the soles of shoes or boots from being penetrated with rain or snow, melt a little bees' wax and mutton suet, and rub it slightly over the edges of the sole where the stitches are; this will be sufficient to repel the wet. Occasionally rubbing the soles with hot tar, and dusting over it a small quantity of iron filings, will tend to fill up the pores of the leather, and preserve the feet dry and warm in winter. 

The practice of pouring brandy or spirits into shoes or boots, with a view to prevent the effects of wet or cold, is very pernicious, and often brings on inflammation of the bowels. The best remedy for damp feet is to bathe them in warm water; and if they become sore or blistered, rub them with a little mutton suet. As many evils and inconveniences arise from wearing improper shoes, it may be necessary to observe, that an easy shoe, adapted to the size and shape of the foot, is of considerable consequence. The soles should be thick, and their extremities round rather than pointed, in order to protect the toes from being injured by sharp stones, or other rough substances, that may occur in walking. Persons wearing narrow or fashionable shoes, merely for the sake of appearance, not only suffer immediate fatigue and languor when walking only a short distance, but are exposed to the pain and inconvenience of warts and corns, and numerous other maladies; while the want of dry easy shoes checks the necessary perspiration, which extends its influence to other parts of the body. For children, a kind of half boots, such as may be laced above the ancles, are superior to shoes, as they not only have the advantage of fitting the leg, but are likewise not easily trodden down at the heels, and children can walk more firmly in them than in shoes.