Manufactured in the early 1980s, this cast-iron boot jack has been shaped as a beetle or Egyptian scarab, though some might say this boot jack looks like a cricket. The metal has been painted black, both top and bottom. This boot jack is in excellent vintage condition, but, unfortunately, it has no manufacturer’s mark.
For those unfamiliar with a boot jack, sometimes known as a boot pull, it is a small tool that aids in the removal of boots. It consists of a U-shaped mouth (in this case, the antennae of the beetle) that grips the heel of the boot, and a flat area to which weight can be applied. To operate it, the user places the heel of the boot in the mouth of the jack, stands on the back of the device with the other foot, and pulls his foot free of the front part of the boot. The process is then repeated to remove the other boot.
The boot jack has several advantages over the removal of boots by hand. By allowing the wearer to pull his foot straight up and out of the boot, and by using his full body weight to hold the boot in place, far greater leverage and a much more secure grip are possible than can be achieved with the hands. In addition, the wearer is spared the inconvenience of having to bend over or sit down to remove the boots, or directly handle them if they are dirty.
This nicely crafted and functional tool would make for a useful gift for any household. For those who collect metal objects, specifically cast-iron products, this beetle boot jack would be a great addition to such a collection.