March 20, 1885

On March 20, 1885, Jan Matzeliger of Lynn, Massachusetts patented the shoe lacing machine. He’d previously patented a machine that manufactured shoes, putting thousands of gnomes out of business. When Quamorra Leathertack of the International Brotherhood of Gnomist Machinists and Leatherworkers was informed of the shoe lacing machine, he lost it. He was quoted as saying, “Matzeliger had put out of work thousands of hardworking shoe-making gnomes. Now he’s also taken the jobs of shoe lacing fairies! The elves and dwarves better watch out, because if Matzeliger will go after human friendly gnomes and fairies, he’ll go after anyone.” In 1891, it was reported that Matzeliger died from tuberculosis brought about from overwork. Although, there are those who claim he was elf shot as there was anti-IBGML paraphernalia scattered about his apartment the day he died.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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