Anthony Faranda of Yonkers, NY worried that children didn't like wearing rubber-soled shoes because they made no noise when walking on a pavement. So, he invented a shoe gong. Or, as he called it, a "footwear actuated noise maker." He patented it in 1957.
It was a disc and clapper that could be worn over shoes. He explained: "The arrangement is such that upon normal walking steps or running strides the clapper is activated to make noise and thereby promote the interest of children in wearing shoes with soles that do not make an audible sound in engaging firm or rigid surfaces."
Maybe kids would have liked these, but not, I imagine, their parents.
He assigned the patent to the NY advertising agency McCann-Erickson. It's unclear what plans they might have had for these things.
And yet, Slimming Insoles are still being sold. I'm not sure if Dr. Metz himself is selling them. But you can buy some at Amazon, and they make specific claims about causing weight loss: "These slimming magnets emit magnetic waves which weaken fat cells in your body... Lose weight by walking with magnetic insoles."
Carl Herold of Pittsburgh didn't think it made sense to sell shoe polish in tin containers, because the containers were so expensive that they added substantially to the cost of the shoe polish. So, back in 1872, he came up with a solution, which he patented: pack shoe polish in animal guts.
The object of my invention is to provide a cheap and convenient mode or means for packing the ordinary shoe-blacking of commerce, which is now almost universally put up in shallow tin boxes, which, being expensive, comparatively, greatly enhances the price of the blacking thus packed... My improvement consists in putting shoe-blacking upon the market packed in the guts of animals, which will add but a trifle to the cost of the blacking.
Figure 1 is an elevation of a package of blacking put up in accordance with my invention. Fig. 2 is a transverse section thereof...
The blacking is packed in suitable lengths of animal guts A, which are then firmly tied up at both ends, presenting the appearance of a sausage. Each package should be wrapped in paper to prevent the grease or oil upon the outer surface of the package from soiling the hands in handling it. The blacking thus packed will retain its moisture, and consequently remain in a proper plastic state for a great length of time. In this condition it may be sold by the pound, each purchaser or user providing himself with a small saucer or other shallow vessel into which to empty portions of the package from time to time for use.
Odd collaboration: Sneaker brand Koio has partnered with pastry chef Dominique Ansel to produce croissant-themed sneakers. According to Fast Company:
This may be the first-ever sneaker collaboration with a baker. And it is certainly the only sneaker inspired by a croissant on the market... The sneaker’s upper is made of calf leather that has the texture of eggshells, flour-white suede, patent leather the color of yellow butter, and detailing on the toe and heel that looks like sugar. To top everything off, the laces come adorned with a rose-gold croissant accent.
Either this was an ingenious way to get out of jury duty, or a truly random coincidence.
What I find particularly odd is that the shoes were obviously pretty crappy, with paint spots and frayed laces. So somewhat weird that someone would steal them in the first place, and then choose to wear them while serving as a witness at a trial... and then, by sheer chance, the owner of the shoes happens to be in the jury.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.