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The Buster Brown Horror


jwphillips2

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First, I'd like to say that my feet are still normal for my size - 13s. If you were a kid in the 50s you may remember

Buster Brown Shoes:

"My name's Buster Brown.

I live in a shoe.

Here's my dog Tige.

He lives there too."

Remember? Do you also remember the magic shoe machine? It was a giant fluoroscope (or continuous X-ray machine). You could stand on it and slip your newly shod Buster Brown feet in there and see, in grey and darker grey, your skeletal toes and how they fit in your new BBs. Since no one really understood radiation very well, the kids were encouraged to see how "modern" technology was being used to make your feet feel better. Kids would stand there A LONG TIME to see their toes wiggle. They might also stick something in the shoe hole to see what was hidden inside it. It must have been good for you, fluoroscopes are still being used. My hamster really looked neat in there!

Edited by jwphillips2
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I remember the Buster Brown's and the xray machine. I don't remember where the store was exactly but it was in the downtown area.

What I most remember about Buster Brown was that they sponsored "Andy's Gang" on TV. Andy was Andy "Jingles" Devine. Mostly they showed cartoons I think and had some characters that were puppets. Anyone remember PLUCK YOUR MAGIC TWANGER, FROGGY? (Sounds kinda dirty when you say it out loud.) Anyway, when Froggy plucked his magic twanger, a big puppet frog appeared and would solve the problem of the day, that was one smart frog.

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One further observation, the OP x-rayed his feet at Buster Brown and wears a size 13 shoe. I also x-rayed my feet at Buster Brown and I also wear a size 13. Is this a trend? I have been ridiculed and ostrasized because of my shoe size. I feel like compensation is in order. This could be bigger than tobacco, asbestos and agent orange.

Buster Brown - $how me the money !!!

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The dose the kids got was nothing compared to the cumulative exposure shoe salesmen received. Some used to reach into the X-ray beam to squeeze the shoe.

Also, people understood radiation well enough to regulate the shoe-fitting flouroscope's use as early as 1946. They were banned in Pennsylvania by 1957.

shoe.h1.jpg

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Interesting site (where the above picture resides):

http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/shoefittingfluor/shoe.htm

In 1946, the American Standards Association established a “safe standard or tolerance dose,” that the feet receive no more than 2 R per 5 second exposure. Children were not to receive more than 12 such exposures in a single year.

[...]

Despite these relatively high exposures, there were no reported injuries to shoe store customers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the operators of these machines. Many shoe salespersons put their hands into the x-ray beam to squeeze the shoe during the fitting. As a result, one saleswoman who had operated a shoe fitting fluoroscope 10 to 20 times each day over a ten year period developed dermatitis of the hands. One of the more serious injuries linked to the operation of these machines involved a shoe model who received such a serious radiation burn that her leg had to be amputated (Bavley 1950).

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One further observation, the OP x-rayed his feet at Buster Brown and wears a size 13 shoe. I also x-rayed my feet at Buster Brown and I also wear a size 13. Is this a trend? I have been ridiculed and ostrasized because of my shoe size. I feel like compensation is in order. This could be bigger than tobacco, asbestos and agent orange.

Buster Brown - $how me the money !!!

And if Fruit of the Loom had used x-ray machines...? ;)

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Very interesting. I certainly remember Buster Brown shoes but not the x-ray machine. Must be why I don't wear a size 13 shoe.

Hilarious,

Some guy up north found an original Buster Brown (with mongrel) metal stand up display from about 1932. Was in mint condition and it fetched lots of $$$.

There also has been an article or TV probe into these radiation gizmo's. Knew the controversy sounded familiar. Is this really Houston history though? More like Other Topics section ie; radiation, deaths, etc.

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Hilarious,

Some guy up north found an original Buster Brown (with mongrel) metal stand up display from about 1932. Was in mint condition and it fetched lots of $$.

There also has been an article or TV probe into these radiation gizmo's. Knew the controversy sounded familiar. Is this really Houston history though? More like Other Topics section ie; radiation, deaths, etc.

Whoa, I only ment that my feet don't glow in the dark now. I had no idea there was a probe on this. I just thought it was part of my growing up in Houston.

I was also unaware that Tige had more teeth than humans growing on both upper and lower sides of their mouths(37?). And, what's that number on his scarf? Is that the number of noses he's bitten from previous owners? Look at what he's eyeing now! He may have damaged Buster's right eye already.

I always thought Midnight and Squeaky were strange.

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It wasn't only stores selling Buster Brown Shoes that had those x-ray machines.

Other local stores for kids' shoes did, too...Red Goose Shoes, Poll Parrot Shoe Store, Krupp & Tuffly are some that come to mind.

Wonder if exposure to all that radiation a couple of times a year had anything to do with my feet being an odd, hard-to-fit size for a woman - 9 1/2 Narrow?

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  • 2 weeks later...
clicker1.jpg

I think there may have been a Poll Parrot shoe store on Harrisburg close to 67th. They sold red ball jets tennis shoes and some shoe with goose in the name where they gave you a golden egg with a prize in it if you bought the shoes.

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I think there may have been a Poll Parrot shoe store on Harrisburg close to 67th. They sold red ball jets tennis shoes and some shoe with goose in the name where they gave you a golden egg with a prize in it if you bought the shoes.

Uh, could that have been Red Goose Shoes?

ShoeGoose.jpg

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I think there may have been a Poll Parrot shoe store on Harrisburg close to 67th. They sold red ball jets tennis shoes and some shoe with goose in the name where they gave you a golden egg with a prize in it if you bought the shoes.

Get ready to laugh out loud Susan! :lol: Now considered real collector's item! :lol:

pict0099.jpgDM45.jpg

gooseshoes.jpgt_5_28_05_5.jpg

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Get ready to laugh out loud Susan! :lol: Now considered real collector's item! :lol:

pict0099.jpgDM45.jpg

gooseshoes.jpgt_5_28_05_5.jpg

Oh wow! Yes, of course..Red Goose Shoes. When I was a kid I had quite a few of those eggs around the house. Thanks for the info and the pics. I even remember the red ball jets song. Red ball jets, the anything at all you could ever ever wanna do shoe. Oh yes, I am laughing out loud.

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Oh wow! Yes, of course..Red Goose Shoes. When I was a kid I had quite a few of those eggs around the house. Thanks for the info and the pics. I even remember the red ball jets song. Red ball jets, the anything at all you could ever ever wanna do shoe. Oh yes, I am laughing out loud.

Maybe you better ditch the goose eggs, could be radio-active they say!

For the holiday mood we will just say 6 geese a layin.... :lol:

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Maybe you better ditch the goose eggs, could be radio-active they say! :lol:

They wouldn't do anything dangerous like that to us kids, would they?

.....scuse me, it's time to play with my Lawn Darts.

ps: If you pulled her neck, she would dispense an egg.

Edited by jwphillips2
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They wouldn't do anything dangerous like that to us kids, would they?

.....scuse me, it's time to play with my Lawn Darts.

ps: If you pulled her neck, she would dispense an egg.

That's hilarious! So what the hell was in the egg?

Reminds me of when they started putting panty hose in those egg shaped containers.

Was the Redgoose egg empty had $, dreaming.... :blush:

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So what the hell was in the egg?

Cheap little toys were in the egg when I got it. Think of a cluster of Cracker Jack prizes. It worked amazingly well. As a 4 year old boy, I had no interest in or knowledge of any article of clothing, but I had to have Red Goose shoes because of that egg.

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That's hilarious! So what the hell was in the egg? Reminds me of when they started putting panty hose in those egg shaped containers.

I think panty hose would have been a little too progressive for us kids back then. Besides, the patent on panty hose wasn't issued until 1979. That does seem weird now...

Edited by jwphillips2
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  • The title was changed to The Buster Brown Horror

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