10 MUST-HAVE-X-MAS-PRESENTS | #05 | THE MINER’S KNIFE: LE MINEUR FROM PassionFrance®

this knife is something really special. something with an exciting but sentimental history. the MINEUR was used as the name tells by miners from the middle of the 19th century on. and it is really difficult to describe the environment of this so hard working men and their families in the east of france in these old days. underground mining was the hell: brutal heat, high humidity, dusty. the miners were called by the folks “GUEULES NOIRES” what meant “black muzzles”. it was extremely dangerous in the mines and the families were so poor, because of lowest payment for that hard work. the wives had often worked in a second job and they tried to get a small garden just to get some vegetables, salad and other things to survive. the MINEUR knife was the daily companion of the miners and the people living in that mining regions. the miners wore it open in their bootlegs underground to kill all the hungry rats. when working was done the knife was used in garden or in the kitchen. often the MINEUR was the only knife in a household – unbelievable nowadays. WOLFGANG from PassionFrance told me the history of this simple knife and i was absolutely impressed. everytime i hold this knife i must think for the “GUEULES NOIRES”. 2005 the last mine was closed but the knife still is part of the culture und tradition in the typical mining areas like ARDENNES, ALSAC and LORRAINE. the bar end is so black as the miners faces were. the size and the form enables a perfect grip – i love the edging. it is made of ebony, the blade is 10 cm long and the ressort is needle etched by hand. a wonderful present with a great history. available at VOLLMAR&SÖHNE: www.passionfrance-shop.de . pics | LTG


BOOT OF THE DAY | #182 | RED WING HERITAGE – NEW IRON RANGER STYLE “CHOCOLATE MULESKINNER” #4590

just some minutes ago these news reached me from RED WING HERITAGE europe. i must confess that i am not the greatest fan of the IRON RANGER. i like the look, but from the first time on i saw this boot i knew it will be something for the masses. i owned one that i sold after a short time to a good friend, seeing this boot too often. but i although must confess that this CHOCOLATE MULESKINNER is really mega nice. this is what RW HERITAGE says about the boot: “Red Wing Shoes’ popular Iron Ranger boots are inspired by the style Red Wing Shoes built in the early 20th century for miners working in the northern Minnesota Iron Range. Mining on the Iron Range was a dangerous job full of hazards and the brave workers who took these jobs required extra protection on their feet. To meet the demands of this type of work Red Wing Shoes designed a boot with a capped toe that was double layered with leather. The heel pocket an extra strip of leather that supports the heel inside the boot  was moved to the outside of the boot for added stability. These design changes provided a seamless boot interior and added durability to the exterior of the boot; necessities for workers on their feet all day in the harsh conditions of the mines. Five years ago this work-inspired design was successfully re-introduced as the Iron Ranger and quickly became a popular style for everyday dress. Now,  Red Wing Heritage is introducing a new version of the Iron Ranger built with rugged Chocolate Muleskinner leather. Named the 4590 this style’s unique roughout leather and classic design makes it a handsome addition to any outfit.” the boot will be available at european stores mid-september. pics | Red Wing Heritage Europe