The history of the wooden shoe has many facets. Clogs are not only an outstanding example of foot protection but they also reveal a great deal about an area, the maker and even the person wearing them. The oldest clog found in the Netherlands dates from 1230. There are still clog makers who are masters of this ancient handcraft. The wooden shoe has many additional functions, which has nothing to do with foot protection. . . Along many of the smaller waterways in the Netherlands it is customary for bridge keepers to throw out a clog attached to a pole, enabling the boat owners to pay their dues without having to stop. Farm clogs filled with houseleeks plants are believed to have the power to prevent lightening from striking. Many people in Holland have a worn out clog somewhere on the wall with a geranium planted in it. The wooden shoe can be used as a nesting box, money box and bottle holder and has even been used as a soundboard for a violin. The clog has also been used as a toy – how many sailing boats have been made from them over the years? Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam.
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