Work boots: right and left steel-toed brown leather, ankle high work boots; six eyelettes with brown laces; thick protective leather flap over laces attached at toe; synthetic rubber, oil resistant sole. RELATED: hard hat, light and dark blue fiber glass with white ear protectiors and USS on the front, 2 stickers on the sides, 2000.116.1
These steel-toed boots were owned by Herbert H. Post, who worked as a civil engineer at U.S. Steel South Works from 1948-1977.
Beginning in the 1850s, Chicago's iron and steel industry flourished, growing with the city and its ever-expanding rail network to become the nation's fourth largest producer of steel by 1880. The South Works mill was established at the height of this growth period. Working at the steel mill was a difficult and dangerous occupation. The mills were noisy and hot, with temperatures often exceeding 110 degrees in the summer, and hazardous machinery surrounded the steelworkers. This pair of boots represents the daily work gear worn by steel workers for their protection against the constant potential hazards they faced.