Perfect for a crisp fall day are these two-toned heeled pumps from the 1930s. These tan suede shoes with brown alligator leather toes with perforated edging, heels and decorative bows were made by Naturalizer. Biltrite is stamped into the heel. There is decorative zig-zag stitching around the vamp opening. The covered knock-on heel is 3 inches high with the straight styling popular in the 1930s. In addition to Naturalizers, the label inside reads Plus Fit Lasts.

While similar to Spectator (or “Co-respondent” in Britain) shoes, these do not have the typical perforated wingtip or heel cap. They simply have a stitched and perforated toe cap and covered heel. Nevertheless, the two-toned construction gives the appearance of a Spectator without some of the flash, especially given the tan and brown coloring rather than the more typical white and brown (or black or blue).

Naturalizer was created in 1927 and by 1938 had a distinctive brand image. Biltrite was a rubber sole and heel company founded in 1908 in Trenton, NJ.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

Red, white and blue for the 4th of July! Shoes, that is. All from the late 1940s and early 1950s, these stylish pumps are perfect for any celebration.

The RED peep-toe shoes are labeled Mainstreeter’s, size 7 and date c. 1948. In the late 1940s the open toe as well as the opening of the heel and the chunky heel were popular. The white-trimmed bow is a nice accent. This pair was worn by Mrs. Ruth Holmes Walker Gadsden of Summerville, SC.

The WHITE perforated leather pumps from the early 1950s are from Naturalizer / The Shoe With the Beautiful Fit. Started in 1927, Naturalizer became known for its stylish yet wearable shoes, a name that signified quality. In 1945, $5 million worth of Naturalizer shoes were sold. This pair was worn by Margaret Ellen Chandler James of Charleston.

The BLUE leather pumps are also late 1940s, worn by Mrs. William Mims Harper of Darlington, SC. The right shoe bears an I. Miller, Beautiful Shoes / Made in New York  label, while the left shoe label tells us  they were sold at the I. Miller Salon /  Sosnik’s, Winston-Salem, N.C. The squared walled toe is very stylish for the ‘40s, as is the smart 2 ½” heel. The unusual “bow” adds a streamlined flair.

Israel Miller, a Polish immigrant in 1892, was originally a theatrical designer in New York. He established the I. Miller Shoe Company in the 1920s, designing and manufacturing women’s shoes. In 1926 he built a large building on Times Square, with architect Louis H. Friedland and decorated with sculpture by Alexander Stirling Calder as a tribute to the theatre. The carving on one side reads: “The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated to Beauty in Footwear.”

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from our textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our new Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday