Shoelaces. History of the most ordinary things
In history, it is often impossible to identify the name of the inventor of everyday things or the exact date of their invention. But sometimes there are exceptions. For example, history has remarkably preserved the exact date of a revolutionary invention and the name of the inventor, who achieved a breakthrough.
On 27 March 1790, the Irishman Harvey Kennedy patented in England shoelaces for boots in the form of threads with metal tips – aiglets.
The metal tips allowed the wearer of the boots to thread the laces effortlessly through the holes on the boots. And protected the tip of the shoelace from getting worn. This novelty became the basis for obtaining the patent. Laces themselves have been known for much longer. Recall bast shoes from Russia or tied American Indian moccasins or braided ties on ancient Romans’ sandals. But more frequently than shoelaces, shoes were secured on the feet with buckles and buttons. And probably shoelaces would never have ousted shoe-buckles were it not for the Irishman’s genius invention.