Lanark County Shoe Socials? A Past Fetish or Party Game?



 In the July 1893 of the Almonte Gazette this was announced:


“A Shoe Social is one of the biggest amusements of today. All the girls go behind the screen and stick their toes out of the underneath of the lower edge. The young men select their partners by chalking their initials on the tempting toes. Ar a recent party some of the boys said that some girls gave other boys tips on whose toes to mark?

Hello? Foot shenanigans at a Shoe Social? Say it ain’t so!

Of course we give the girls tips on toes and straight tips too. See all the latest styles from 50 cents up at H. H. Cole’s Boot and Shoe Store in Almonte. —June 3 1893 Almonte Gazette”.

If this happened today imagine how the public would react. It seemed it didn’t take much to entertain these folks, and from the looks of my feet I would have remained a spinster for life.


Onion Parties

As green onions are now on the market, we give here a new game. Six girls stand in a row while one bites a chunk out of an onion and a young man pays 10 cents for a guess as to which one it was ; if he guesses right he kisses the other five ladies. If he does not he is only allowed to kiss the girl with the onion-scented breath.—The tariff is extremely reasonable and we predict that this will be a popular game, as most of the boys will be disposed to go it once even if they lose.


Read the Almonte Gazette here


August 25, 1893-Almonte Gazette

Mr. Jas. Weekes has disposed of his grocery business to his brother Alexander, who will continue the same at the old stand, and has purchased the Stock of the Parlor Shoe Store from lb . C. C. Allan

The Alexandra Limp

After her marriage to Prince Albert, Alexandra of Denmark (pictured above) became a British superstar and fashion icon. Devoted fans copied her dresses and necklaces, but things got really weird after Alexandra developed a pronounced limp. Suddenly, women across the UK were limping around on mismatched shoes, all in the name of fashion.

In the well-do-do hotspots of Britain, toadying women began clumping about in a style that suggested they’d recently stood barefoot on discarded Lego.

At first, it was a DIY affair. Women would simply grab odd shoes to help them totter effectively. But canny shopkeepers soon realized there was a pretty penny to be made from what otherwise would be retail’s most unshiftable line – wildly mismatched footwear, with one high heel, and one low.

What did ordinary people make of it all? Not a great deal, if this 1869 report from the North British Mail is anything to go by. “A monstrosity has made itself visible among the female promenaders in Princes Street,” it seethed. “It is as painful as it is idiotic and ludicrous.

“Taking my customary walk the other day, observant of men, women and things, I met three ladies. They were all three young, all three good-looking, and all three lame! At least, such was my impression, seeing as they all carried handsome sticks and limped; but, on looking back, as everyone else did, I could discover no reason why they should do so.

“Indeed, one decent woman expressed her pity in an audible ‘Puir things!’ as she passed, but I was enlightened by hearing a pretty girl explain to her companion, ‘Why that’s the Alexandra limp! How ugly!'”

Related reading:

Taffy Party Comes to Blows and Infection on the Ramsay Line – What was in the Punch?

“Manolo-in” and “Jimmy Choo-in” about Uncomfortable Shoes

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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