No need to cry “My feet are killing me!’ when you can buy Wellco Foamtreads for “The Walk That Relaxes.”
After the post last week about Wellco slippers and shoes, Jan Schochet sent this ad to me. Someone had posted it on facebook, so she did not have the particulars about the ad. However, there are plenty of clues in the ad that help us date it.
According to Jan, her parents relocated the Bootery from 9 Patton Avenue in Asheville to 16 Patton Avenue in 1963. Note that the ad says that the “bubble sole” is patented. This patent was granted in 1947. So the ad has to be between 1947 and 1963. The clip art graphics are in the style of the mid 1950s, but as you can see from the shoe style, this was not exactly a “fashion” oriented concern and the clip art could have been older. Still, all signs point to a late 1950s date.
The ad has been also removed from its physical context, as the name of the newspaper is absent. But the Bootery’s location in Asheville, and the reference to “right here in Western North Carolina” strongly suggest that the ad was in either the Asheville Citizen, or the Asheville Times. Today the paper is the Asheville Citizen-Times.
There is so much information on the internet, that I can’t imagine trying to find out about these long out of business companies. But this ad also illustrates an alarming trend, one that is brought about by Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and other “gathering” sites. So often photos are divorced from the context of their origins, and it forces people to guess at the image’s origin. I’ve stopped looking at Tumblr and Facebook for that reason. It’s just too frustrating.