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Shoes - Left and Right

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165571.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:58 am Reply with quote

I think this is a really fascinating fact, Vitali.

My way into it would simply be a picture of a pair of pre-left/right shoes, and the question:

“Which is which?”

Keep it simple, and let the panel do the work.

165654.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:28 am Reply with quote

X-ray machines were used to fit shoes in the US in the 40s & 50s. They were banned in the early 70s, but as late as 1981 they were in use in Madison, W Virginia.

Here is one:


165659.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:41 am Reply with quote

They were used in this country, when I was a kid.

165689.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:40 am Reply with quote

Yes I remember those too.

167367.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:06 am Reply with quote

Another possible question here can be: When and where the promotion "Three shoes for the price of two!" was revelant?
F: In a hospital for amputees
A: anywhere prior to 1850 (where there was no distinction between left and right shoes/boots - see my earlier posting)

167383.  Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:31 am Reply with quote

Why would a soldier need to know the difference between hay and straw?

168167.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 6:55 am Reply with quote

Here's a picture of an elephant shoe, created for sore-footed "Tina" at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.

They made a special cast of the elephant's foot, but...

Sadly Tina passed away days before the shoes were completed.


168208.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:03 am Reply with quote

Wonderful! Is it left or right, egg?

168210.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:07 am Reply with quote

You mean you can't tell?

168211.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:09 am Reply with quote

As tested by another pachyderm

168225.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:09 am Reply with quote

If she trips on that loose shoelace, they'll be clearing that dog up with a hose.

172744.  Tue May 08, 2007 10:20 am Reply with quote

Kudos to Jon Petrie on the picture team for making contact with Rebecca Shawcross, the Shoe Heritage Officer at Northampton Museum, who has knocked this question for six (particularly my stuff about the sewing machines).

Until the 1590s shoes had no heels and were made in left/right pairs. But when heels came into fashion it was more difficult to do so, and they were made straight. A few L&R heel-less shoes can be found up to the 1620s, but not many.

So things stood till about 1800, when flat soles came back into fashion and the L/R pairs came back. From about 1820 it was became easier to make L/R pairs even for heeled shoes because they started using the pantograph.

So the period when shoes were indistinguishable was limited to the 2 centuries 1600-1800.

Maybe we can still do something with that, though?

172745.  Tue May 08, 2007 10:24 am Reply with quote

Big one of these for Jon then.

181483.  Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:33 am Reply with quote

The world's oldest shoes

Can't really tell if they're left and right shoes though.

181528.  Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:09 am Reply with quote

Can't really tell if they're shoes, come to that. Oven gloves, maybe?


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