• "Stetson Shoe store interior." Courtesy of Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Stetson Shoe store interior
    • Date
    • 1874-1982
    • Description
    • Title from materials accompanying item. Date supplied by cataloger.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).
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    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library

  • "Smith Holbrook Stetson Shop." Courtesy of Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Smith Holbrook Stetson Shop
    • Date
    • 1874-1982
    • Description
    • Title from item. Date supplied by cataloger. The Heiser Co. Cleveland, O.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).
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    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library

  • "Mr. Stanley Heald." Mr. Stanley Heald, was the president of Stetson Shoe Company, Inc., located in South Weymouth. Courtesy of Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Mr. Stanley Heald
    • Date
    • 1935
    • Description
    • Title from item. Date from item. From N. W. Ayer & Son, Inc., Room 1214 Statler Office Bldg., Boston, Mass.
    • Rights
    • Rights status not evaluated. This work is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND).
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    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Weymouth Public Libraries, Tufts Library

  • Retail Shoe Salesmanship, by George F. Hamilton, in collaboration with Frank Butterworth, H. T. Conner, A. H. Geuting [and others],1920. Courtesy of Harvard University via HathiTrust.

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    Retail shoe salesmanship, by George F. Hamilton, in collaboration with Frank Butterworth, H. T. Conner, A. H. Geuting [and others]
    • Date
    • [1920]
    • Creator
    • Hamilton, George F.
    • Rights
    • Public domain. Learn more at http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use
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    • HathiTrust
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    • Harvard University.

As was the case for other retail establishments, shoe stores were the public face of a brand’s outreach. In 1920, nearly 250,000 American women and men worked in the retail side of shoemaking alone. Customer service in these spaces was so prized that shoe sellers consulted books such as George Hamilton’s Retail Shoe Salesmanship (1920) to learn not only how to interact with customers and push stock, but also how to dress or even tailor one’s diet in order to become a better shoe salesperson.

Shoe fashions after 1850 changed rapidly, and stores tailored their displays to celebrate the variety of styles. Most manufacturers distributed their shoes to a range of stores. To prevent any overstock, many retail locations contracted with suppliers so that surplus could be routed back to their factories. Some larger companies, such as Stetson, owned specialty stores that distributed only their designs. Overall, American shoe sales accounted for more than 1.5 billion dollars in the early twentieth century, with Massachusetts leading the industry with more than thirty-five percent of the nation’s production in 1919.