Shoe and Harness repair shops were very common in Manitoba towns up until the 1950s because horses were used on the farms until the 1950s. As tractors became common on the prairies, particularly the smaller, more nimble tractors that began appearing in the 1920s and 1930s, horses began to lose their dominant roles in prairie agriculture. However it was not until the late 1950s that horse traction on the farm became relatively rare. However there were, and still are, farmers who maintain there is a role for horse traction on the farm.
As a result of horses being used on the farm, industry and for domestic purposes such as pulling buggies, buckboards and carriages, there was always a demand for harness making and repair.
It was ideal to have the shoe shop in the same business because of the use of leather for both. In Pioneer Manitoba and up until recent times, shoe repair shops were common and made repairs such as resoling shoes and boots. Frugality was common in Pioneer Manitoba and people were used to repairing, renewing and making do in order to avoid purchasing new items.
While there were factories that manufactured harness, it was somewhat common for the harness maker not only to make repairs but to tan his own hides, cut the leather and make new sets of harnesses to sell.