Interesting facts about galoshes

Galoshes or, as they are also called, galoshes have a long history. There are two versions of their origin. According to one of them, galoshes owe their origin to the distant culture of the Indians of South America. When the Europeans began to visit the mysterious continent, they noticed how the Indians smeared the sap of a rubber tree on their feet and waited for it to dry up, turning into impromptu waterproof shoes. They became interested in the properties of the sap of a rubber tree, began to make haberdashery trifles from it, and at the beginning of the last century - to bring ready-made rubber shoes from the Indians.

According to another version, galoshes were invented by the Englishman Radley at the beginning of the nineteenth century, who could not recover from the cold he caught because of the eternal London slush of those years. Out of boredom, he read the volume of Julius Caesar's "Gaulish War" and learned that the ancient Gauls wore protective shoe cases "gallicae" to protect them from dirt. In 1803 he patented his invention - shoe covers made of fabric soaked in the raw juice of a rubber tree. Galoshes made of raw rubber had one serious drawback: in the cold they hardened and became brittle, and in hot weather they "melted" - they smelled unpleasant, became sticky and soft.

In the first four decades of the 19th century, many entrepreneurs tried to make rubber independent of natural conditions. Most fortunate was Charles Goodyear, who, after years of experimentation, invented the method now known as vulcanization ("welding" rubber with sulfur when heated). American companies quickly began mass production of "overshoes", ie. upper shoe made of vulcanized rubber. The new galoshes were not afraid of either heat or cold. The American novelty met brisk demand in other countries, including Russia. From that moment on, galoshes began to gradually enter the life of the Russian nobility.

In the summer of 1859, the Hamburg merchant Ferdinand Krauskopf, together with several Russian merchants, established a "factory of galoshes and other rubber and gutta-percha products in St. Petersburg. In the summer of 1860, the first rubber factory began operating in Russia. The business immediately went full swing: in October, up to 1, 000 pairs were produced. galoshes per day. The original name of the factory was the Partnership of the Russian-American Rubber Manufactory (TRAPM). Since 1888, a trademark in the form of a triangle with the initial letters of the company inside it appeared on the products, and after another 20 years the name "Triangle" was officially added to the former Soon the factory exported its products to Europe, and in Russia the tentacles of its marketing extended all the way to Vladivostok.

Shoe covers were the main products of the rubber industry in the 19th century. The main buyer of these rubber products was the urban population, and all of its categories. Galoshes became a part of the cadre workers' outfit, who often put them on their shoes even when the weather did not require it - for force. Officials and merchants, janitors and cabbies in inclement weather wore low or deep galoshes on boots, boots or felt boots. Wealthy peasants followed the townspeople. Count N.E. Komarovsky noted in his notes that for the Russian peasant the galoshes put on his boots "almost raise him above the level of other villagers, giving him the importance of an aristocratic character." Somewhat later, winter galoshes appeared on a warm red bike lining - they were softer, warmer, and did not damage leather shoes. It is these galoshes that have become iconic and have forever remained in the memory of many generations of Russians. TRARM has become one of the largest "rubber" manufacturers in the world, has received awards and gold medals for its products and was awarded the title "Supplier of the Court of His Imperial Majesty". At the height of the First World War, "Triangle" was, in fact, the only supplier of rubber for vehicles and aviation. The main product - galoshes - faded into the background.

The shortage of galoshes was immediately felt by the buyers, one of whom was the hero of the story "Heart of a Dog" by Mikhail Bulgakov, Professor Preobrazhensky. As you know, galoshes from the front entrance of the house where Philip Philipovich lived disappeared back in April 1917. They were resisted by the proletarians. The latter can be understood: galoshes were not enough for all of them. Soon trade was banned, and galoshes could only be purchased illegally in the market or stolen somewhere.

The production of Soviet galoshes began only in 1921, when the "Triangle", followed by the Moscow "Bolshevik", resumed work. The demand was huge, the goods were sold instantly. The best creative forces of the country worked in the field of advertising of Moscow galoshes - the posters of Mayakovsky and Rodchenko remained forever in the history of Soviet constructivist design. The desire to increase production volumes by all means often led to a decrease in the quality of products. This threatened the country with currency losses - galoshes were an export item of the Country of the Soviets. The Triangle brand was well known abroad, but Soviet rubber products no longer met Western requirements. In August 1930, the Council of the USSR Trade Representation in Germany, sending materials on claims to the head of the Red Triangle, wrote: "We discredit our products in the eyes of foreign buyers as if our task was not to expand, but to narrow the sales markets for our goods." ...

By the end of the first five-year plan, the business of galoshes worsened, prices rose even for what was distributed. Historian A.G. Mankov, in his youthful diary, described a family quarrel that took place in the spring of 1933. The conversation was about buying galoshes, a pair of which cost 15 rubles, which would be a blow to the family budget. My father shouted that all the money goes "for grub", but then suddenly agreed that galoshes were also needed. After all, it was a basic necessity. The next rise of cult footwear came in the 50s and 60s. A wide assortment tried to cover all types of population and all life situations: galoshes and boots for men, women, boys, girls and children were produced; galoshes with a heel socket - to put on shoes, and without it - to wear on bare feet; molded without lining (chuni); such as sandals with a strap instead of a backdrop, etc.

Since the 1970s in the USSR, clumsy galoshes with a red bike lining gradually began to go out of fashion, leaving the townspeople alone with the slush and mud on the streets of large Russian cities.

The last tribute to the classic "Soviet" galoshes was given by Bosco Di Ciliegi, which designed suits for the Russian national team for the Salt Lake City Olympics. Our team wore a coat "a la Chaliapin", beaver hats and galoshes, dressed on felt boots.

In the USA and Europe, galoshes continued to be in demand and did not go out of fashion. In the 1960s. it was the galoshes that helped create the name for the famous Italian designer Elio Fiorucci, who took three pairs of galoshes, painted them with bright colors and took them to a fashion magazine, asking the editor to photograph and publish the picture. As a result, his galoshes became a sensation, and they learned about the young Ferucci in Milan.