The timbered residential building, which dates from the mid-19th century, was transferred to the museum block from Snellmaninkatu 15. The building represents the heritage of the 19th century classicism and it includes two rooms by a porch chamber. The biggest room has been renovated as a shoemaker’s workshop, while the porch chamber in the middle serves as a shoemaker’s dwelling. Another big room in the other end of the building belongs to industrial workers.
Room 1301/Shoemaker’s workshop
The profession of a shoemaker has long traditions. The awls, which are shoemaker’s tools, have been found in Finland in the prehistoric findings of the older Roman Iron Age (0-200 A.D.) and at the time of the crusades (1050-1150/1300).
In the area of Kuopio, there were parish handicrafts men as early as in the 17th century. In the 1740’s the parish got its first permanent shoemaker due to the actions of the gentry. There were seven shoemakers practicing their profession in the 1790’s. During the first decade of the 19th century, the amount of the shoemakers had increased to eight.
In the rural community of the past, the shoemaker was a highly respected profession together with a tailor and a blacksmith. It was better to stay in good terms with the shoemaker. Otherwise, the shoemaker would not come to the house to make shoes.
Because of the appreciation towards the shoemaker, he was provided food and clothes by the houses he visited. Some financial compensation was paid also. The arrival of the handicrafts man to a house meant not only expenses but also news and entertainment.
In the countryside, the shoemaker may have had a determined area where he went from house to house. The profession was often inherited from a father to a son. It was also possible to learn the profession from a master by being an apprentice.
In a town’s Centre, the shoemaker usually worked in his own workshop. The appreciation of the profession and the wealth that came with it had a consequence: shoemaker’s workshop was often considerably large. For instance, in the latter part of the 19th century the shoemaker Matti Hakkarainen had a workshop in Kuopio, which at its largest employed ten workers. Shoes were usually made when the orders came in but in the winter times, some shoes were also prepared to the storage. The shop, which sold shoes, was connected to the workshop. In Kuopio, the decision to establish a trade limited company of the shoemaker professionals was made in May 1889.
The shoemaker’s dwelling serves also as a workshop. There is a porch chamber next to it. In the vitrines on the tables, there is a collection of shoemaker’s tools from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.
The first step in the process of making a shoe was to take measurements of the client’s foot. A suitable last was selected according to those measurements. Next, the shoemaker cut the leather. In the early days, the leather for the shoes was self-made or ordered from the tanner. Later on, it was bought from the shop. On the table next to the back wall, there is a ’räkkirauta’ which is a leather-processing tool used in scraping it. It lies on a skin-cutting board. The shoemaker has used the iron knife with a long handle to cut the thick bottom leather. The leather could also have been cut with an ordinary, straight cobbler’s knife.
In the vitrine of the first table are the patterns of a long-legged shoepack, some measuring equipment and lasts of shoes. In the middle of the vitrine there is a roughly made, wooden pair of shoemaker’s tongs, e.g. a stitching-board, which was a devise used in sewing leather. Below the patterns, there is a so-called straight last, which fits for both feet. On the right, in the vitrine is a pair of so-called ’flat-nose’-lasts and some other last models. On the furthest right, there is an iron nailing-last of the top lift and a last hook, which was used to pull out the wooden last when the shoe was ready.
By the wall, next to the window there are some repairing- and nailing lasts with holders.
Shoemaker’s round table has a half-open space under the table top. It has been used for storage. Underneath all this, there is a cupboard. On the table is a copy of a so-called cobbler’s lamp. The pulp was filled with water and it strengthened and focused light coming from a window, an oil lamp or a candle.
The shoemaker’s stool is a cask made out of plywood, over the top of which there is a tightened seat-skin. The lasts were stored in this hollow seat.
In the vitrine, on the table in front of the window, there are some shoemaker’s tools needed in the process of making the shoe on display. On the table, there is also a box for storing and transporting the shoemaker’s equipment.
1. On the right in the vitrine there are boxes of nails made out of wood and iron. The wooden nails the shoemaker made himself. They were used for nailing the soles of the shoes.
2. The pitched thread used in sewing shoes the shoemaker made himself. The pitch thread was made out of linen thread by pitching it. It was done with a hook and a pitch pad, which are also in the vitrine.
3. Pig’s bristle was used as a needle at the end of the pitch thread.
4.-5. Shoemaker used the knife in cutting and in carving the leather. There are two kinds of knives: straight and curved ones. The straight knife was used in cutting the leather for shoes and the curved knife was appropriate for example in making the edge of the sole thinner. The tools were often self-made since it was important that they were fitting into their user’s hand. The knives were kept sharp by a sharpening leather, which hung from a nail on the side of the shoemaker’s desk.
6.-7. The holes were made to the leather with a leather-piercing tool and a hammer. The hammer was an important general tool, which was used in many work stages. With it, the nails were hammered to the soles of the shoes and the seams of the finished shoe were made even. Out of the shoemaker’s tongs, the spoke-tongs were the most important ones. In the process of nailing, the sole a so-called pulling over was done with the spoke-tongs. It means that the leather of the shoe was tightened over the last. After this, the sole was nailed with special nails made out of soft iron.
8. Different kinds of awls were important. When sewing, the holes were made to leather with a curved awl. Pitched thread was slipped through the holes by a pig’s bristle. The straight awl and a hammer was used to a hole for pressing or hitting the nailing to the sole and the heel. In addition, a shoe-needle may have been used in sewing. The needle was threaded through the leather to the hole made by an awl.
9. The last stages in the process of making the shoe were cleaning, finishing and decorating. The ends of the wooden nails were taken off by long-stemmed files. The edges of the shoes’ soles were smoothened by a file, which had a rough surface.
10. The ready-made shoes were decorated with various sorts of ornament drafts. The edges of the shoes were cleaned with special tools. A wooden shoe-edge polisher, for example a cobbler’s pawn, is from the 19th century. A devise with a shaft and an iron blade has been used in shaping the edge of the sole.
A wooden, round stick, which is at the lower part of the vitrine, has been used in rubbing and polishing the leather. The smaller curved object is a sewing club.
In front of the window is a shoemaker’s machine. Manually operated sewing machines appeared at the latter part of the 20th century. At the end of the 1930’s mechanical shoe industry displaced the shoemaker’s handmade shoes.
Room 1302/Shoemaker’s dwelling
Household tasks were carried out in the workshop and the porch chamber served as an extension of the living quarters.
In the corner of the room there is an imperial-bed which can be pulled out from the end. The bed is covered with a lace-coverings.
The tobacco pouch, the tinderbox and the pipe were kept in the pipe shelf’s drawer, which is at the corner by the door.
At the wall by the window there is a flower stand, constructed out of three intersecting, vertical rods. Pot plants became general in the second half of the 19th century at the homes of all social classes. Various kinds of flower stands can be seen in the interiors of many homes.
In all the windows there are so called ’salusiini’ curtains which cover only the lower part of the window. In the countryside, they were the only kind of curtains. In town houses those kind of curtains may have been used in other rooms too, but usually they were used in the kitchens.
Room 1305/Range room of the industrial worker’s family
Along with the industrialization in the 19th century, a large amount of people moved from countryside to towns. The situation concerning the housing came to a head; the amount of the rental flats started increasing and the size of the flats started getting smaller. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries over 60 % of the workers’ flats were range rooms with only a one room. In this kind of rental room, there may have been living over ten person at the same time.
Merchant Moldacoff established a matchstick factory in Kuopio in the middle of the 19th century. The factory was placed by the old graveyard, opposite the present-day bus station. At the begin the matches were probably manufactured at the lakeside of Mustinlampi. In 1880 Birger Hallman bought the factory from the councillor Malmberg. The matches had a good sale in Russia and at good times the factory, which was also called ’Tikkula’, gave employment to a half of the people in Kuopio. At the second half of the 19th century there were at least three other manufacturers of matches in Kuopio. Gustaf Ranin carried on brewing-, milling-, and lumber industries in Kuopio. He also established his own shipping company at the latter part of the 19th century. Saastamoinen’s bobbing factory started operating in Haapaniemi, Kuopio, in 1901. When the operation was at its largest, it employed over 450 workers.
The working family often lived in a one crowded room. There was not much living space per person. Up till the early 20th century the general way of living was the single-room system. Gradually people began living in flats, which had a kitchen and a chamber.
At the doorway there is a range which can be heated from the side of it, and there is a tiled register stove connected to it. If there was only a register stove in the room, the cooking was done on it with the help of the iron cast pots, which had stands. At the end of the 19th century there were also joint kitchens in town circumstances.
At the doorway of the kitchen, there is a washing cupboard and a table cupboard where the household utensils were kept. Kitchen implements were also hung on the wall or kept on the edge of the range. A wall-hung cupboard was often a part of the interior decoration.
On the wall side of the room, there is a table with a drawer and chairs. Tablecloth was not used on the table on weekdays. In addition to the separate chairs, there was often a rocking chair and a small chair for the children, a kind of which is on the side of the range. In a family with many children, there was also a ’nattu’, e.g. a small chair with a hole in it, which had a box-like bottom part with a chamber pot.
Timbered walls of the room are covered with grey painted cardboard. At the end of the 19th century, people started covering the walls with paper. Newspapers or brown machine paper may have been used for this purpose. During the last decades of the 19th century, people started covering the walls with multi-coloured, printed wallpaper.
Some pictures started appearing on the walls of the working class families at the end of the 19th century. The most common pictures were framed photographs of the emperors and the empresses of Russia, printed pictures of religious motifs and unframed sentences from the Bible printed on cardboard. On the picture behind the table are the royalties of England. On the back wall hangs a framed New Year’s greetings. There are also two other cardboard pictures on the walls, which have texts from the Bible.
The most space-taking articles in the flat were the beds. There were at least two beds in an apartment; however, the other one might have been a sofa bed with a cover. As common were also the beds, which can be pulled out from the end. All members of the family did not always fit in actual beds, although small children were put to sleep at both ends of the bed, feet towards the centre, in order to save space. Additional space was sought from the floor. The amount and the quality of the bedclothes varied. Earlier the bed was cushioned with straws covered with a white piece of cloth, twice the bed’s width, woven out of white carpet rags. The bed straws may have been put into a sack. Actual mattresses began appearing in the 1880’s. Pillows were also used. Up to the 1880’s the length of the sheet was only half of the bed’s length and later on people started using longer sheets. Padded quilts were used as coverings. Their coating was made of stretching material and the lining was out of shirting. The bed clothing, which was made into a high pile, may have been covered with a finer quilt.
Couple of pot plants were kept on the windows. A Christmas begonia and an Indian-rubber plant were the most usual ones but also a garden balsam was flowering on many windows. Flower stands, which had three legs, appeared at the turn of the century.