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Quotes of the Day for 19 May 2004 – Shoes

As I said yesterday, I've gotten a flood of requests in the last few days. One was from a reader at Sydney, Australia who works in a shoe store to pay for her shoe collection which currently numbers 70 pair. She says, "The first thing I look at when I meet someone is their shoes!" Well, it happens that on this day in 1885, Jan Earnst Matzeliger of Lynn, Massachusetts started making shoes on his new "Lasting Machine," turning out 700 pair per day compared to 50 for a skilled manual shoemaker. Born in Dutch Guiana, this black foreigner with little command of English had been in the US for only twelve years. His triumph was short-lived, he died less than three years later, but because of him the working class was able to buy decent shoes, a US industry was born that lasted for a century, and I have two excuses to pick quotes on shoes.

Van's signature

The quotes:

Always wear expensive shoes. People notice.
     - Brian Koslow

What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that the garment with which it is clothed?
     - Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1474 - 1564

Englishwomen's shoes look as if they had been made by someone who had often heard shoes described, but had never seen any.
     - Margaret Halsey, With Malice Toward Some, 1938

"Walk a mile in my shoes" is good advice. Our children will learn to respect others if they are used to imagining themselves in another's place.
     - Neil Kurshan

I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat.... Everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large.
     - Charlie Chaplin, 1889 - 1977

Him that makes shoes go barefoot himself.
     - Robert Burton, 1577 - 1640

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