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Thank you! Those are fascinating!

I actually recognize several from our neighborhood cobbler's shop, though likely of a slightly later vintage most being electric powered. They were mighty devices which yielded pounding and ripping noises in operation which I found somewhat intimidating as a young boy.

The shop had half-high booths with doors that swung open on the front, and seats inside. If you wanted to have your shoes repaired while you waited, you removed them in there and sat and waited for them to be finished. The last time I visited this shop I did that, and picked up The Saturday Evening Post to entertain myself while I waited. I began to read a fascinating story that I was disappointed not to have time to finish before my shoes were done. It was titled True Grit.
 

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Thank you! Those are fascinating!

I actually recognize several from our neighborhood cobbler's shop, though likely of a slightly later vintage most being electric powered. They were mighty devices which yielded pounding and ripping noises in operation which I found somewhat intimidating as a young boy.

The shop had half-high booths with doors that swung open on the front, and seats inside. If you wanted to have your shoes repaired while you waited, you removed them in there and sat and waited for them to be finished. The last time I visited this shop I did that, and picked up The Saturday Evening Post to entertain myself while I waited. I began to read a fascinating story that I was disappointed not to have time to finish before my shoes were done. It was titled True Grit.
You bring back memories. The one in the area of my childhood days also included hat cleaning and blocking service as well as shine parlor. It was quite large, the cobbler machinery alone occupied a wall at least 20' long. It also had at least 10 of the booths you describe. Always busy. It also happened to be owned by my Godfather, a soft spoken and kind man. On the main drag we had haberdashers, men's hat shops and shoe shops.
 

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You bring back memories. The one in the area of my childhood days also included hat cleaning and blocking service as well as shine parlor.
As did ours. I had forgotten about those, and don't think either was much used by the time of my last familiarity with the shop. But in my childhood, the apparatus for hat blocking also fascinated me. And with that recollection, I realize the origin of the term blocking.

The shop had a set of domed wooden blocks of various circumferences to which the hat would be fitted and then steamed back into shape. The blocks themselves were beautiful things; deeply walnut and honey colored and worn smooth with a satin luster from many years of use.

Was Proust a cobbler!? :D
 
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