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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Carnival of Soles: 1935

Carnival of Soles: 1935

Oct. 24, 1935. Washington, D.C. "E.L. Wallace, Acting Chief of the Leather Section of the Bureau of Standards, shown with the endurance shoe tester. The tester holds eight shoes to test walking, steps, and sole construction." View full size.

 

Excellent title pun

Carnival of Souls is a low budget horror film from 1962; well done, Dave.

Test feet, not shoes

I dealt in antiques/collectibles for years and still have nightmares about the shoes. That machine should be testing how those torture devices called shoes hurt the feet, not how long they lasted while doing so. Shoes from the 19th and early 20th century were severely straight, inflexible and ill fitting.

The reinvention of the wheel?

The reinvention of the wheel.

Version 2.0 beta.

Everett Leland Wallace


Washington Post, July 3, 1955.

E.L. Wallace, Leather Unit Chief, Retires

Everett Leland Wallace, 67, chief of the leather section of the National Bureau of Standards since 1941, retired Wednesday after more than 34 years of Government service.

A native of Eldorado, Kan., Wallace has gained national recognition as a leather chemist, contributing to a project to make leather more durable by impregnating it with natural and synthetic rubber.

Wallace entered Government service in 1911 with the United States Bureau of Mines where he remained for nine years before joining the Bureau of Standards. Wallace and his wife live at 2239 N. Quantico st., Arlington.

By the way he looks at that shoe

work must have been his sole satisfaction!

Abuse Yourselves

Found this homemade machine on line, specifically designed for self-flagellation. Every once in a while some of us may earn a good kick in the derriere, but not continuously.

And a rather stylish pair of pumps

Pumps are the most difficult shoe to define, pumps have closed backs, a low-cut front that hits closer to the toes than they do at the top, and this is far too much information for a shoe.

The Mind is Strange

I took one look at this and instantly thought of the Rockit video by Herbie Hancock from the early '80's on MTV. It's the shoes on the machine that did it. I haven't seen or heard or thought of this song / video in 30 years but it instantly came to mind.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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