Saturday, November 7, 2009
Now that we are on the subject of shoes, in order to get the proper fit for your Red Ball Jets, it was necessary to stick your feet in the X-ray machine. How cool was that? It was better than an all day sucker and bubble gum! Sticking your feet in the machine, looking at the yellow greenish images of your bones, and wiggling your toes!
These machines were call fluoroscopes. They were on the cutting edge of technology. What a perfect way for the shoe salesman to give kids the best fit. According to one manufacturer, "The machine proved to be a valuable ally of the retailer. It enabled him to demonstrate the correctness of his fit and impress his customers."
These devices were in the stores from the 1930's and well into the late 1950's, which were the peak of popularity. At least 10,000 stores in the United States had them.
Then the concerns of radiation grew. Some of the boxes were not tight and radiation leaked out into the surrounding area. What about our feet? Good grief!
In 1957, Pennsylvania was the first state to ban these machines. By the mid 1960's, they were history.