Cast Iron Shoes

  • images for Cast Iron Shoes-thumbnail 1
  • images for Cast Iron Shoes-thumbnail 2
  • images for Cast Iron Shoes-thumbnail 3
  • images for Cast Iron Shoes-thumbnail 4
Dating from the 18th century, these metal shoes were made for and worn by a chemist. The donor is purported to have purchased these from a direct descendant of the famous French chemist, Antoine Lavoisier, and the shoes were supposedly worn by Lavoisier. However, there is no way to verify this claim, so we value these shoes for what they can tell us about early French scientific and cultural history.
They are made of cast iron; each shoe weighs over 1-1/2 lbs! The shoes slip on. There are rivets all around the top of the heels, sides, and insteps. On one shoe, some remnants of leather remain under the rivets. Whether this leather was strictly decorative or served some practical purpose is unknown.
Location
Currently not on view
National Museum of American History
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Edward Mm Nagel
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
leather (overall material)
Measurements
shoe 2: 7.7 cm x 28.6 cm x 10.8 cm; 3 1/16 in x 11 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in
shoe 1: 7.7 cm x 28.6 cm x 10.8 cm; 3 1/16 in x 11 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in
overall; left: 3 in x 4 1/2 in x 11 7/16 in; 7.62 cm x 11.43 cm x 29.05125 cm
overall; right: 3 in x 4 1/4 in x 11 3/8 in; 7.62 cm x 10.795 cm x 28.8925 cm
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Clothing & Accessories
18th century
Object Name
shoes
ID Number
CH.330783
catalog number
330783
accession number
299585