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Lobb Shoe Salesman and the Used Car Lot. The Same?

Jared

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Originally Posted by Shoe-nut
He then would run his hands over your feet to see if the shoe fitted according to his expertise in this matter. At the time they also had an X-Ray machine there and we would then go over to it and check to see that the toes were not being cramped in any way. And wah-lah a shoe that fits.
That's awesome! I guess they had to stop because of the foot cancer, though?
 

von Rothbart

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I don't think I'd let a shoe salesman operate a X-ray machine on me.
 

Shoe-nut

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This machine was a great attraction for the kids and mothers concerned about good fitting shoes for their children. We regarded it as a toy and would ask to keep the x-rays on so we could watch our toes wiggle. Our shoe salesman would always say no that we shouldn't keep it on too long.
 

marc237

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Originally Posted by Jared
That's awesome! I guess they had to stop because of the foot cancer, though?


http://www.mtn.org/quack/devices/shoexray.htm

In the late 1940's and early 1950's, the shoe-fitting x-ray unit was a common shoe store sales promotion device and nearly all stores had one. It was estimated that there were 10,000 of these devices in use. This particular shoe-fitting x-ray unit was produced by the dominant company in the field, the Adrian X-Ray Company of Milwaukee WI, now defunct. Brooks Stevens, a noted industrial designer whose works included the the Milwaukee Road Olympian and an Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, designed this machine. [Large image 27K]

Shoe Fitting E-Ray Unit

The primary component of a shoe-fitting x-ray unit was the fluoroscope which consisted essentially of an x-ray tube mounted near the floor and wholly or partially enclosed in a shielded box and a fluorescent screen. The x-rays penetrated the shoes and feet and then struck the fluorescent light. This resulted in an image of the feet within the shoes. The fluorescent image was reflected to three viewing ports at the top of the cabinet, where the customer, the salesperson, and a third person (your mother?) could view the image at the same time.

The radiation hazards associated with shoe fitting x-ray units were recognized as early as 1950. The machines were often out of adjustment and were constructed so radiation leaked into the surrounding area.

By 1970, shoe fitting x-ray units had been banned in 33 states including Minnesota and strict regulation in the remaining 17 states made their operation impractical. Believe it or not, this particular shoe-fitting x-ray unit was found in 1981 in a department store in Madison, West Virginia. It was still being used in the store's shoe department! When it was pointed out to the store managers that it was against West Virginia law to operate a shoe-fitting x-ray unit, they donated it to the The U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
 

Jared

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Originally Posted by marc237
http://www.mtn.org/quack/devices/shoexray.htm
Thank you, marc! Aside: Rock climbing shoes need to be worn with as little space in the shoe as possible, ie painfully tight. As a result, you need a last that's pretty close to your foot shape; you can't correct for small foot abnormalities by going up a size or width. Bespoke would be the answer except that the shoes get worn out too quickly for it to be reasonable. There is at least one online store where you send in traced outlines and they recommend which lasts will fit you best - guaranteed of course. I wish Pediwear, Plal, et al did this.
 

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