Jan Ernst Matzeliger


Birthday September 15, 1852

Birth Sign Virgo

Birthplace Guyana

DEATH DATE Aug 24, 1889 (36)

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Dutch Guyana-born shoemaker who invented a machine that allowed for the production of up to 700 pairs of shoes per day.

Before Fame

He was a sailor during his teenage years, and he later moved to the United States where he worked at the Harney Brothers Shoes Factory.


He suffered from tuberculosis and died in Massachusetts at the age of 37.

Family Life

He was the Dutch-Surinamese son of an engineer and a slave.

Associated With

He and street lamp creator Charles Brush were both important 19th-century inventors.