Loving the quirky little exhibit here and there and relishing shoes as art, the shoe show at the Connecticut Historical Society is just the thing.
These well-heeled shoes for the well-heeled woman were not only owned, but also made by Hannah Edwards in about 1746. Looking pretty sharp for 260 years old. I would let Hannah make me a pair of shoes any day.
Like many Colonials, she made and repaired shoes at home, buying leather tanned by Native Americans. Vegetarian spoiler alert: the Indians used animal brains to tan the hides.
Even from early on, when shoes were made in small workshops called tanneries, chemicals from the process were dumped in our rivers. Sigh.
These shoes were made from a military flag carried in the American Revolution. Really! Red silk damask and painted with gold. Made in about 1780, they are a remarkable blend of patriotism and “waste not, want not.”
These shoes come from an era when many people went barefoot. See this 1776 ad that offered a $5 reward for the return of an African-American man named London, who had run away with a coat, vest, leather breeches, two pair of trousers, and notably two pairs of shoes.
I’m very committed to flats, so marveled at this wisp of a shoe.
Rubber has been big business in Connecticut since Charles Goodyear figured out how to vulcanize it for durability in 1844.
Rubber shoes and boots showed up not long after. In 1893, displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair, U.S. Rubber displayed these miniatures as advertisements for their full-sized counterparts. They were sold as tchotchkes, too. Instant nationwide marketing.
Attach canvas to a rubber bottom, and you get that feeling of walking barefoot. Yes, back to our roots, when shoes were a luxury good.
Comfort and canvas and rubber and voila!, you get sneakers, a Connecticut invention. These shoes were dubbed sneakers because the rubber soles allow you to sneak around very quietly. Shhhh.
In 1916, U.S. Rubber consolidated 30 companies to form the Keds brand. Soon athletes adopted Keds, as did just about everyone else, me included. I’ve had some pretty sharp Keds in my day–colors, patterns. Pretty groovy!
As was the pop culture section of the “Growing Up in Connecticut” exhibit also at CHS (it could have been Growing Up in Anywhere, U.S.A. after WWII).
This tv is so cute, it makes me reconsider having one of my own.
I was a Beatles fan, but don’t recall the baseball cards, like the one here on the left of John Lennon. My brother and I would have loved those.
We did definitely play with lots of plastic dinosaurs and creepy figures.
Oh what memories!