The piece of September is a pantograph, also known as pattern grading machine. This 1970s machine was manufactured by the German firm Maschinenfabrik Moenus A.G. (a firm resulting from a former company established in 1862 by engineer Friedich Millers and sales agent Ludwig Webber) and distributed in Inca (Majorca) by Morey-Capó S.A. (1967ca-2007). The machine features a plate with the name of both companies.
Pattern cutting is the phase where the patterns used to cut out the different leather parts are prepared before assembly of the actual shoe. Pattern cutters used to work really closely with designers, since they were responsible for cutting the leather according to the designer’s drawings. The patterns were graded to each size and used as a basis to cut and punch the leather parts. This task used to be performed manually and repeatedly in the past, although the process became much easier and smoother with the uptake of software programmes and digital devices.
Based on what we know about shoe manufacturing, pattern cutting and design have always been tasks associated with the male gender. Very few women are known to have worked as pattern cutters, although fortunately this trend is slowly changing.
This machine  very similar to the popular “Super Lynx”  is quite difficult to operate and requires skilled labour. The original pattern is placed on the plate located on the right-hand side. Above the plate is a perforating punch, rails (to trace the contour of the original pattern with the punch) and small wheels for size grading (big or small). On the left-hand side is another perforating punch used to cut out the pattern in the desired size and under which papier maché would be placed.
Pantographs (or pattern grading machines) have incredibly developed throughout the 20th century. They have evolved from simple machines (such as the one displayed in our permanent exhibition) to extraordinarily complex devices (such as this item). Pantographs are hardly used these days due to the digitalisaiton of the process. The software programmes used to design patterns make it now possible to obtain patterns in all possible sizes.