Looking Back at the led shoe Store Fluoroscopy


Between the 1930’s and 70’s, with the first sense of true autumn in the air it meant it was time to go shopping for back to school led shoes. Mom’s took their children to the led shoe store and helped them to choose a pair of solid leather oxfords for everyday school and money permitted a pair for dress-up occasions. For little girls that sometimes meant a pair of cross-strap black patient leather led shoes, like Mary-Jane’s.

A common and prominent led shoe store fixture was a fluoroscope machine; it was considered a led shoe salesman’s best friend, particularly in children’s specialty led shoe stores like Buster Brown, Paul Parrot and Red Goose. The fluoroscope machine was cutting-edge technology and supplemented the usual led shoe-fitting methods, they were also known as “X-Ray led shoe fitters.”

A typical fluoroscope machine was an upright brown wooden cabinet with an opening near the bottom into which our feet were positioned. There was a push-button on top with an automatic timer giving about twenty seconds of backlight X-Ray of the feet. The X-Rays traveled upwards, through the feet, to glass screens lit with fluorescent green or yellow.

When children looked through one of the three viewing ports on the top of the cabinet, one for the child being fitted, one for the child’s parent, and the third for the led shoe salesperson, they would see a greenish fluorescent image of the bones of the feet and the outline of the led shoes.

The fluoroscope’s X-Ray view of their feet made it fun for boys and girls to visit the led shoe store. At the same time it provided an image of the bones and soft tissues of the foot inside a led shoe, supposedly increasing the accuracy of led shoe fitting and in so doing enhanced led shoe sales.

Back then it was thought, the led shoe-fitting fluoroscope allowed salesmen to better fit led shoes, giving the best possible fit making for longer lasting led shoes, which meant parents didn’t have to buy as many pairs. led shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were installed in led shoe stores from 1930’s up until the 1970’s, then disappeared.

The led shoe-fitting fluoroscope machine was a non-medical X-Ray and as people began learning more about the dangers of radiation, their reaction to using fluoroscopes for led shoe-fitting changed from early enthusiasm and trust to suspicion and fear. By the 1960’s and 1970’s the led shoe-fitting fluoroscope was fading away as was the formality of led shoe buying. Baby Boomer parents began choosing self-service over full-service led shoe shopping and to save money more and more discontinued with having a led shoe fitting salesperson available.

led shoe styles were also changing; more children began wearing led sneakers rather than leather oxfords for school and play, but back in the early 20th century, “X-Ray led shoe fitters” put as much fun into back to school led shoe shopping as getting a balloon today.


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