Summary

Pair of leather boots. One has no last but has a cork insole. The other is on a hand made silicon and sawdust last.

The Barfoot surgical bootmaking business was bought in 1930 and ran until about 1974 when illness forced the retirement of the two brothers who owned it. It was originally located behind St Vincents Hospital and later relocated to Collins St in 1945.

Physical Description

Pair of leather boots. One has no last but has a cork insole. The other is on a hand made silicon and sawdust last

Significance

The Barfoot collection is significant for two reasons. Firstly it offers a different perspective to bootmaking - that of specialist surgical bootmaking, which addresses physical abnormalities of the feet or legs. Each shoe or boot was designed and made specifically for each customer, requiring innovative thinking and craftmanship by the brothers.This collection illustrates the particular nature of surgical bootmaking through pattern books that show the measurements and requirements of customers; some patterns; a pair of silicone & sawdust custom lasts and semi completed shoes, and 5 pairs of wooden lasts. [the complete collection of customer lasts has not survived] It also includes a few specialist hand tools typically not used by general bootmakers.

Secondly, the Barfoot collection also offers new objects that expand and enhance the existing bootmaking collections at Museum Victoria, and broaden our general understanding of bootmaking in the early - mid 20th century.

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