Before the mid-nineteenth century shoemaking was a widely practised handicraft; each community made its own, often using local materials. In the towns, cordwainers’ workshops and shoemakers grouped in trade quarters. This division of labour was most advanced in London. By 1650 only London and Northampton manufactured for more than local demand. Before the introduction of effective machinery in the 1850s, wholesale manufacture was superior to traditional bespoke methods, mainly for the fulfilment of large orders for a relatively standardized product, such as was needed by the army. From the mid-seventeenth century onwards, large army orders enabled Northampton master shoemakers to enter wholesale production. Other centres in the county joined the industry throughout the next 150 years (14.4) (Mounfield, 1965 and 1968). Elsewhere, wholesale shoe manufacture was begun by William Horton in Stafford in 1760 and in Norwich by James Smith in 1792.