Shoe trees

At Market Lavington Museum, we collect items used locally in the past as a way of preserving the history of Market Lavington and Easterton. Visitors to the museum can often be heard contrasting our artefacts to modern equivalents or remembering that their parents or grandparents used to have such a piece of equipment.

Surprisingly, the design of the shoe trees in our collection is very similar to ones that can still be purchased nowadays, about a hundred years later. Ours are made of wood and, although we might have expected today’s ones to be plastic, many wooden pairs are still on sale.

We have already seen boot trees preserving the shape of Best brown boots. We also have beech wood shoe trees dating from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, donated by a lady in Easterton.

Our other pair, also with an Easterton connection, dates from the nineteenth century and are possibly made of elm wood.

They only appear to have supported the front section of the shoe.

However, the view from the rear suggests that maybe there was originally a section with a matching S shaped curve that would have slid in to support the heel part of the shoe.

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