Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shoe Store

This picture was taken in Richmond Virginia in 1899. It shows a shoe store. I would guess that the shoes are probably made in the back of the store, and the store probably repairs shoes as well. I think today we don't repair shoes much anymore. Usually people just buy another pair, as the labor to fix a pair can cost as much as a new pair.

8 comments:

  1. It seems as if the gentleman on the extreme left is missing his right arm. It's just an illusion I'm sure, zooming in, his hand seems to be in his jacket pocket.

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  2. Do you think they made luggage as well? That might explain the two steamer trunks sitting in front of the windows.

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  3. A few years back I took a belt into a shoe repair place. They seemed to have pairs of shoes on the shelf behind the counter that were waiting for their owners to show up.

    I requested that the part of the belt that holds the buckle be re-stitched. I do not recall the exact cost. I do remember thinking it was not unreasonable.

    To stay in business, I am certain that repair places have to remain competitive. How else could they stay in business?

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  4. i used to wear birkenstock sandals all the time and when you buy them here in the states they cost a goodly amount of money. So when the rubber soles wore down, i would get them repair for ~$15 rather than drop another 120 for new ones that i would have to wear in again.

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  5. I think this is a good point on your part. I have never taken shoes in to be repaired--I just wear them until they fall apart completely, usually. When there IS a problem I can fix, (like a strap breaking) I try to do it myself with polymer glue.

    I don't think anybody cares about this but me, but I am so proud of this that I'm just going to tell you about it! A year or two ago I ordered a pair of sandals online that I just loved--but they were too narrow for my feet (and a larger size would have been too long.) I snipped the strap covering the ends of the toes and put in an extra piece of fabric to lengthen the strap, secured it with glue and staples, then disguised the work with a few buttons. The shoes have stayed together to this day and I get compliments from people all the time who assume that the shoes are supposed to look that way. Ta da!

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  6. There are a few manufacturers the will "rebuild" an old pair of their shoes. I had this done twice and the rebuilt shoes were as good as new and the cost was about 28% of the cost of a new pair.

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  7. I took shoes to be repaired one time, but they were otherwise good-quality shoes and the heel just broke. I also took a back pack to the same place once to have the strap sewn back on. But I don't take junky shoes to be repaired.

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  8. I used to love the smell in shoe shops of old leather and oil. Must be part of what livery stables must have smelled like. Today the folks I've taken things to in a shoe repair shop seem of foreign descent. I secretly feel a bit honored to possibly be in the presence of a descendent of a family of craftsmen. We are so far removed today from the laborers who make the shoes we wear and everything else we use. It is difficult to find anything hand made in America. Its out there, just harder to find.
    Betty in TX

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