Monday, January 17, 2011

Something Old & Interesting: Boot Scrapers

On a recent trip to Philadelphia to visit my daughter, while walking in the antique district, I encountered the wonderful antique cat boot scraper above near 17th & Pine Streets.

Before the advent of the automobile, horses provided most transportation and very few streets were paved, thus all manner of foul substances could be tracked into one’s home. During the 17th through 19th centuries, a common antidote to this unpleasantness was use of a boot scraper (a.k.a. foot scraper or boot cleaner) located on or near a home’s front stoop to clean one’s shoes or boots before entering through the doorway. Most were constructed from cast iron by blacksmiths or, after the mid-1800s, by foundries.

As you can see, boot scrapers can be found in many shapes and styles –some more functional and simple:

and others quite decorative and creative!

I am hoping to photograph more interesting antique boot scrapers during an upcoming visit to historic Charleston, South Carolina…

To see more 18th and 19th century Old City Philadelphia boot scrapers, click here.

Cassandra's Antique Bootscrape, inherited from her Grandmother Lavenua...


  1. You managed to get quite a collection on your pictures, and your grandmother's is very pretty! We have one here like a dachshund.
    Happy day, and happy times in Florida!

  2. That's our cat boot scraper on 12th St!!!!!!!!

    Dave & Martin


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