The “Ten-Footer” Shop Shop was a part of a truly cottage industry. In David Johnson’s “Sketches of Lynn” (1880), he describes the “Ten-Footer” as one measuring ten feet in length by ten feet in length with the maximum size fourteen by fourteen. In all likelihood the average size was probably closer to twelve by twelve. The attic was left unfinished and used mostly for storage.
In the age before the Industrial Revolution many Massachusetts residents had home shops in the yards where family and neighbors could earn extra part-time money by doing piece work on shoes. Women sewed the uppers and men pounded wooden pegs into the soles. These cottage industry shoe workers were paid for each pair of shoes delivered to the local distributor.
We are compiling a list of ten-footers in Massachusetts (which included Maine prior to 1820), by adding photos and/or any other relevant information. We began through outreach to both Essex and Middlesex counties but have since expanded our search statewide. Help add to the list of ten-footers by sharing your knowledge. If you know of the existence of any of these ten-footers, please let us know.