Old EXPENSIVE shoes found

jnicholes

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Found these shoes at a thrift store. I thought they were organist shoes, so I bought them for US$8.98.

I am an organist, and I needed new organ shoes.

When I got home, I did some research after testing them on my organ. They do function as organ shoes.

Turns out, according to the model number (20305,) these are from the 40s!

The brand is also a very high quality brand, according to my father.

Interesting.

If I am incorrect with my research, please let me know.

Jared
 
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jnicholes

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What makes shoes organ shoes?

This is the second time today I’ve had to answer that. You see, organ shoes are like a high heel for men. It has a gap in between the toe and the heel. As a result, you’re able to play the pedals on the organ more efficiently. For example, if you have these shoes, it makes it easier to hit two notes with 1 foot without hitting the note in between. Something that’s hard to do, even without shoes.
 

Red-Coat

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I’ll bet those are comfy and worth every penny of 9 bucks. I don’t know if they are specifically “organ shoes” (as opposed to being “suitable for”) but they’re definitely not from the 1940s. The heel just has the word “Forsheim” moulded into the rubber, which indicates they’re rather more modern. Older shoes have the company logo on the heel, like this:

Forssheim.jpg

You can’t date their shoes from the model numbers alone since those can span wide timeframes, but your shoes have a manufacturing date coding… those two letters alongside the words “Flexible Fibre Insole”. The first letter equates to the month (A=January, B=February etc) and the second letter equates to the last digit of the year (A=0, B=1 etc). In the 1950s the month was a letter but the year was a number, so ‘FG’ could only be for June of 1966, 1976, 1986 or 1996.

That more modern date is also supported by the style number. From 1957 to 2002 it was a 5 digit code like yours (20305). Prior to that, model numbers usually began with the letter ‘S’ or ‘F’ followed by four digits.

The first digit of the model number indicates the colour (2=black) and the other digits indicate these shoes were one of the “Balmoral” styles of dress shoes.
 
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jnicholes

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I’ll bet those are comfy and worth every penny of 9 bucks. I don’t know if they are specifically “oragn shoes” (as opposed to being “suitable for”) but they’re definitely not from the 1940s. The heel just has the word “Forsheim” moulded into the rubber, which indicates they’re rather more modern. Older shoes have the company logo on the heel, like this:

View attachment 2049195

You can’t date their shoes from the model numbers alone since those can span wide timeframes, but your shoes have a manufacturing date coding… those two letters alongside the words “Flexible Fibre Insole”. The first letter equates to the month (A=January, B=February etc) and the second letter equates to the last digit of the year (A=0, B=1 etc). In the 1950s the month was a letter but the year was a number, so ‘FG’ could only be for June of 1966, 1976, 1986 or 1996.

That more modern date is also supported by the style number. From 1957 to 2002 it was a 5 digit code like yours (20305). Prior to that, model numbers usually began with the letter ‘S’ or ‘F’ followed by four digits.

The first digit of the model number indicates the colour (2=black) and the other digits indicate these shoes were one of the “Balmoral” styles of dress shoes.

The things you didn’t know, Thanks for pointing that out! I appreciate it.

They do work on my church’s organ. I tested them out today. They work pretty well for the pdeals.
 

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Takes me back to the days you got your new shoes at the shoe store and the sales clerk would check out all the details of your feet in order to provide you with a great fitting comfortable pair of new shoes. My mom would take me, my brother and sister all together. Seems like it was just before going back to school each year was the time we all headed to the shoe store and I always got the lecture on the way home in the car about when and when not to wear the new shoes, as that's what my Red Ball Jets are for to play in, not the new expensive ones. I always ruined my good shoes to soon it seems, forgetting what I was told. That's when I'd be handed a can of KIWI shoe polish and told to spiff them up at best I can. I can still recall the smell of that shoe polish. In a way it was kinda stimulating to sit down and shine the heck out of those good pair of shoes.
 

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Takes me back to the days you got your new shoes at the shoe store and the sales clerk would check out all the details of your feet in order to provide you with a great fitting comfortable pair of new shoes. My mom would take me, my brother and sister all together. Seems like it was just before going back to school each year was the time we all headed to the shoe store and I always got the lecture on the way home in the car about when and when not to wear the new shoes, as that's what my Red Ball Jets are for to play in, not the new expensive ones. I always ruined my good shoes to soon it seems, forgetting what I was told. That's when I'd be handed a can of KIWI shoe polish and told to spiff them up at best I can. I can still recall the smell of that shoe polish. In a way it was kinda stimulating to sit down and shine the heck out of those good pair of shoes.
I remember many Saturday nights polishing my shoes for church on Sunday
 

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I remember many Saturday nights polishing my shoes for church on Sunday
Me to. I was a frequent flyer during the early 1990s and at the airports back then was the last I recall ever seeing a shoe shine man. Before then you'd find a guy to shine your shoes just about anywhere.
 

Red-Coat

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Me to. I was a frequent flyer during the early 1990s and at the airports back then was the last I recall ever seeing a shoe shine man. Before then you'd find a guy to shine your shoes just about anywhere.

I was in Cuba not that long ago and there were shoe-shine guys on every main street in Havana.
 

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Could you possibly post a picture of your organ shoes and maybe a picture of your organ shoes next to the ones you just bought

Pictures are really NICE to visualize :)
 

tamrock

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I was in Cuba not that long ago and there were shoe-shine guys on every main street in Havana.
I'll bet there was. From what I've read of the Cubans it seems a lot of things classic, is something they prefer to hold on to. Or maybe they're just a bit stuck in time? Here you can't escape the latest and greatest. This is why I hunt the thrift stores as there's so much of, out with the old to make room for the new going on.
 
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View attachment 2049168 View attachment 2049169 View attachment 2049170

Found these shoes at a thrift store. I thought they were organist shoes, so I bought them for US$8.98.

I am an organist, and I needed new organ shoes.

When I got home, I did some research after testing them on my organ. They do function as organ shoes.

Turns out, according to the model number (20305,) these are from the 40s!

The brand is also a very high quality brand, according to my father.

Interesting.

If I am incorrect with my research, please let me know.

Jared
Organ shoes. Well, that's a first!
 
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jnicholes

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Could you possibly post a picture of your organ shoes and maybe a picture of your organ shoes next to the ones you just bought

Pictures are really NICE to visualize :)

Good morning everyone!

This is actually my first pair of organ shoes. I’ve been playing without them all this time. I don’t have another pair to compare them too.

However, I can make a video showing how they work.
 

Red-Coat

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From Wiki:

Organ shoes are typically as narrow as comfortably possible to prevent accidental playing of more than one pedal key at a time. They usually have both leather soles and leather heels that are glued into place (rather than stitched) which allow the organist to slide the feet along and across the pedals easily.
The soles should be thin enough to feel the pedal key surfaces reasonably easily, but sufficiently stiff for solid and secure playing contact with the pedal keys. Organ shoes typically have a slightly higher heel of about one inch to ease playing with the heel and to allow non adjacent notes to be played at once by one foot.


As I understand it, purpose-made organ shoes would be an expensive purchase from a specialist supplier. I couldn't find any record of Forsheim ever having made them, but doubtless there could be a number of styles from mainstream makers which would fit the criteria above.
 

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