clog boots, 1920-1930

These clogs were worn by men working in land reclamation. These labourers could often be found toiling on the vast tidal mudflats outside the dike from dawn till dusk.

To prevent the particles of sand and clay that the tide brought in from being washed away again at low tide, these men built small wicker dams on the Wadden Sea mudflats. After sufficient sediment, or silt had been built up, farmers could graze their cattle on the newly reclaimed land, known as kwelders in Dutch. They also served as a buffer zone which protected the land lying behind it against the sea.

Klomplaarzen, 1920-1930

Clog boots, 1920-1930. Click on the image to see a larger version.

A pair of sturdy clogs with well-greased leather shafts was indispensable in this work. And make no mistake here: this laborious method of land reclamation was practised until around 1970!