Category Archives: Shoes

Canadian Fashion Connection – Berlin Felt and Rumpel Felt Companies

Born in Saxony on May 10, 1850, (Johann) George Rumpel completed his schooling at the age of fourteen and then apprenticed as a shoemaker with a three year ¬†indenture. George then followed his two older brothers example & immigrated to … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Hydro City Shoes

In 1889 G. V. Oberholtzer founded a shoe factory with his business partner M. Armbrust in Berlin, Ontario. After Armbrust’s death, Oberholtzer carried on alone, moving the company to new premises in 1893 to Weber and Victoria streets, to be … Continue reading

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When everything was Tango…

On September 15, the Fashion History Museum will be hosting a Tango Tea. A popular entertainment that developed during the years leading up to World War 1, and survived until the end of prohibition. The soiree allowed men and women … Continue reading

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The World’s First Booty Call

142 years ago, on August 10, 1876 Alexander Graham Bell received the world’s first long distance telephone call in Robert White’s Boot and Shoe store and Telegraph office. The one way phone call made 13 km away from the Dominion … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Savage Shoes

Founded in 1922, the Parker-Steel Shoes Ltd. company of Preston, Ontario, was bought out in 1927 by Laurence Melville Savage, his father, and a business partner. In 1936 Savage also acquired Hurlbut Shoes, and the Wragge Shoe Company of Galt, … Continue reading

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Patent Fashions – 1937 Shoes

American design patent D104,965 was granted June 15, 1937 for 3 1/2 years to John J. Doucette, of the Pedigo shoe company of St. Louis, Missouri. Founded as the Pedigo-Weber Shoe Company by 43 year old James Pedigo in 1912 … Continue reading

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Fashion in Song – Point of No Return by Nu Shooz (1986)

I am bending the rules with this addition because the song isn’t about fashion, but the video uses stop motion to animate a lot of shoes and sneakers – and after all, the band’s name is Nu Shooz… The band … Continue reading

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More Master John

Last year I wrote about legendary Toronto bootmaker Master John. Fashion journalist Nathalie Atkinson also wrote about him as part of her ‘Clearly Canadian’ series on Canadian fashion design for the Globe and Mail. We were both working on shoestrings … Continue reading

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The Devil Wears Bata — Sonja Bata 1926-2018

Nineteen years ago today I left the Bata Shoe Museum. The reasons I left came flooding back when I heard that Sonja Bata died two days ago at the age of 91. In 2006 I saw the movie The Devil … Continue reading

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Canadian Fashion Connection – Pierre Paris

Pierre Paris was originally from the Basque region of southern France. After immigrating to Canada, he located in Vancouver and opened a boot-making business in 1907 where he specialized in making logging boots for the booming lumber trade. The company … Continue reading

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