Belgians can take credit not only for their namesake waffle but for the boot scraper, a handy device used for removing the crud caked on the bottom of your shoes before entering a clean abode. Known as a "decrottoir" in French, the boot scraper gained wide usage in the early 19th century throughout Europe, eventually spreading to the American colonies as the new footpaths and tree-lined boulevards of modernizing cities made the activity of walking fashionable.
In Belgium, boot scrapers were widely installed as a convenience until the 1840s, when city officials ordered them off public spaces. The muck, however, remained, and private citizens began instead to install their own boot scrapers in niches near the front door of residences. Boot scrapers of all shapes, sizes and designs can still be found at the entryways of Belgian homes today, as well as in front of buildings in older American cities like Philadelphia and Boston.
With its straight stakes and hand-forged curled tops, this iron boot scraper was inspired by American colonial designs. Based in East Bethel, MN, the workshop behind this boot scraper employs a combination of traditional blacksmithing and modern welding techniques to produce heirloom-quality items intended to last for generations (and generations of mud) to come.
Push the scraper's pointed ends into the ground at least halfway or until securely staked into the ground. After gardening, hiking or other muddy exploits, scrape the bottom of your shoes along the blade until dirt is dislodged.
This boot scraper is produced by blacksmiths in East Bethel, Minnesota that look to history for their catalog of products. Striving to keep traditional methods of blacksmithing and welding alive, this forge creates useful and beautiful works in iron that bring this durable and historic art into today's homes.
The blade of this scraper is double welded, that is, welded on both sides for maximum cohesion, to extra long, helically etched stakes in order to maintain a secure fit into the ground that will stand up to even the most rugged boot.
Iron boot scraper featuring double-welded scraper blade and extra long supports with helical stake ends. Painted with three coats of flat black enamel. Hand-forged by blacksmiths in Minnesota.
16.5 inches (42.9cm) x 9.25 inches (23.5cm)
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