A really interesting little piece that’s in my collection is this Dominion Shoe Company Catalogue of 1912-1913 styles from Hamilton, Ontario. I haven’t been able to find any information on the company itself, but this booklet still gives a really interesting look at what was en vogue at the time.
Yes, the booklet is in terrible shape on the outside: the cover is torn and creased, yet it’s a fascinating thing. What does a cherub have to do with shoes? Absolutely nothing.
According to the first page, this catalogue is but a tiny sample of what The Dominion Shoe Co. carried at the time. The addition of rubber goods is fascinating—what rubber goods did they carry? I mean, going from shoes to rubber goods of all descriptions is a bit of a jump.
Each shoe is illustrated on these pages, with a title and description of materials. Even the available sizes and widths! Very classy shoes. In today’s currency they would cost approximately $126—though the prices would likely increase further than that because of the cost of materials and labour. They were made with real leather, after all.
These handsome shoes were also just $4.00 per pair, except for the McKay Sewn version of the Police Bal. None of those words are familiar to me.
I like both styles of shoe listed here. Ankle support! Classy appearance! Would look extra handsome with the right suit!
The standard-shaped Blucher listed here appears to be the everyman’s shoe, being available in multiple price grades (from a humble $2.00 up to $4.00) and in every width.
What exactly is “advanced and correct style”? Let me know when you figure that out!
Although Model 45 looks a bit like a clown shoe from this angle, I’m sure it was a truly elegant product in its time.
I really appreciate what looks like a bow on Model 60, in black-striped ribbon, no less!
Although I utterly hate heels I still find the ankle strap pumps to be utterly adorable. Maybe it’s the bow. It has to be the bow.
Ah, we’re starting to get into the boots. Dark bottom half, slightly lighter top half is a very neat look.
Aristocratic and Genuine Style, indeed. How about a fancy cane and hat to go with that footwear?
A note about Vici: it’s kid leather, chrome-tanned with an oil and soap finish. This type of kidskin was developed in the 1880s and featured in the likes of Vanity Fair, very fancy stuff. Kidskin itself is a very soft and thin leather that was mostly used for gloves. Sometimes lambskin or calfskin were used instead as they were similarly soft and thin.
The word ‘natty’ means neat, as in fashionable. This term was coined in the 18th century and would still have been in common use in the early 20th century. It’s definitely not slang that I hear very often, though a lot of that is from me being in northeastern Ontario and not, say, London, England.
I love how the descriptions repeat themselves, just with different wording, as if the writer was flipping through a thesaurus the entire time.
This is the very last page. A couple of interesting decorative elements here, as well as the hope that the reader will seek this company out for other products.
The back cover. I love this graphic. The lady with her parasol, looking rather stylish, and the shoe just… existing there, as they do.
What did you think of The Dominion Shoe Company’s selection? Did you have a favourite type of shoe?
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